When traditional journalists dismiss lowly bloggers like me as partisan and biased, while holding themselves up as oracles of objective, impartial, fair and balanced reporting, I generally respond by pointing out that for us mere humans, objectivity is an impossible, if at times an admittedly lofty goal. Editorializing routinely creeps into the prose of even the most careful reporter… sometimes to the point that even their own editors sit up and notice.
Take for example the Seattle P-I’s Chris McGann, whose report on the Gregoire-Rossi debate in this morning’s paper appears to have sustained a few targetted snips from the initial report that appeared online Saturday night (via Google’s cache).
Saturday night McGann wrote:
The two sparred about crime, health care, and the environment in similarly harsh tones and for much of the evening the challenger kept the incumbent on her heals.
And this morning we read:
The two sparred about crime, health care, and the environment.
And on Saturday, McGann freely expressed his opinion that…
Gregoire’s manner came across as defensive, while Rossi seemed more able to stay on message.
While on Monday… well.. that bit of editorializing is entirely missing from the Monday edition.
Huh. I guess McGann thought that Rossi decisively won this debate, which is not how I saw or it, nor how it was portrayed anywhere else in the media. No doubt we can agree to disagree when it comes to matters of opinion—I just wish that more journalists would openly acknowledge that opinion informs everything they report.