Since I haven’t written a diary for a while, I thought I’d pass this along. Jo Mannies, on the Post-Dispatch’s blog Political Fix, published a post basically just reiterating the Republican talking point that Nixon “stormed out” in anger of the State of the State address, a point which as far as I can tell is completely unsupported by any real evidence. Of course, she also did the standard “but Nixon’s aide denied it,” but my critique of the matter is here:
Unless there’s something left out of this post, I think it is completely inappropriate for the website of a major newspaper. As a journalist, you have a duty to investigate various claims and not simply act as a stenographer for the people in power. If there is no evidence for Sloca’s claims, other than his undisclosed “eyewitness”, then he should not get to insert personal attacks into the public discourse via the Post-Dispatch.
I don’t mean to sound harsh but it strikes me as part of a larger problem where the media culture seems to think that being “objective” is just writing down the opinions of two opposing views rather than figuring out what the actual facts are. The former view may seem fair enough, but it can actually be quite easily abused by shameless administrations like Bush or Blunt. Take, for example, the following set of headlines:
“Blunt says Nixon likes to dress up like a Nazi. Nixon denies it.”
“Sloca says Nixon has swastika tie. Nixon denies it.”
“Bond says Nixon is big fan of Hitler. Nixon denies it.”
While following the so-called “objective” method of journalism, these clearly paint a negative picture without any basis in fact. Likewise, this blog post, as far as I can tell, is merely adding to a calculated GOP narrative against Nixon without even asking for any independent confirmation.