With the inauguration of America’s first black president less than a week away, it was inevitable that the self-obsessed media would insert their own diversity into the occasion. Sure enough, in his Monday Washington Post wrap-up, Howard Kurtz laments the lack of black reporters covering the White House as “a pale reflection of America.” Summing up the piece’s prevailing sentiment is the Post’s Michael Fletcher, who is black. “It feels like you would want to have black journalists there to bring a different racial sensibility,” he says.
Whoa, hold on a minute: Hasn’t the mantra from media types all along been that journalists are objective?
If we accept that black reporters will have a different take from their white colleagues on Barack Obama, does it follow that one of those views is more “accurate” or legitimate than the other? And now substitute “conservative” for “black.” Doesn’t this underrepresentation argument concede the point that conservatives have made all along about press bias? After all, it’s hardly a secret that most reporters and editors are liberal or left-leaning.
Photo credit: wstera2 (Creative Commons)