By Guy W. Farmer, the Nevada Appeal
When I studied journalism at the University of Washington in Seattle many years ago, we aspiring journalists were always cautioned to avoid getting too close to our news sources in order to maintain our objectivity. Apparently, however, that rule no longer applies as major TV networks show their love for President Obama by broadcasting from the White House.
Not long ago NBC News moved into the White House for a couple of days as overly deferential Nightly News anchor Brian Williams lobbed softball questions at the president, thereby missing an opportunity to grill Obama about serious policy issues. And then on June 24 ABC News broadcast a one-hour “infomercial” for Obama’s national health care plan from the White House. Objectivity? Forget about it!
Bernard Goldberg, a former CBS News senior producer, recently published a book titled “A Slobbering Love Affair” in which he lambasted the so-called mainstream media for acting as cheerleaders for the president and his policies. In his book, Goldberg argues that “the media’s blatant disregard for their traditional role as … government watchdog has endangered America and eroded the notion of a free and fair press.”
I’m siding with Goldberg as I watch traditional media, print and broadcast alike, push political agendas in their newsrooms. A recent example of fawning coverage was the way in which the venerable New York Times covered last year’s presidential election campaign. Obama could do no wrong in the Times’ “news” columns while his opponent, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz), couldn’t do anything right. That’s when Newsweek magazine became Obama-week.