Sunday, September 23, 2007

This Is Why Nobody Trusts Journalists Anymore

RIGHT WING PUNDIT Ann Coulter used hints of information gleaned from a Mark Bowden Los Angeles Times column and turned Bowden into the ultimate anti-war, left wing liberal, anti-American naysayer.

The problem is that she got the whole story wrong, Bowden says in today's Philadelphia Inquirer.

The real danger isn't that Coulter's story was syndicated and published across the country. The real danger is that other journalists will find the story and use the information, perpetuating the false information.

"It seems to me that real journalism is the opposite of this," Bowden writes. "We make our best contributions when revealing that something widely believed to be true is not. This requires, first, that you do not begin with a conclusion. You do not assume to know the truth about anything before you begin reporting. In my experience, the truth is usually surprising."

This isn't about politics. This is about quality journalism.

Do your own reporting. Use information for good, not evil. Remember that we have a huge impact on the communities we serve.

14 comments:

james riggio said...

if she cared that much about what he said, she should have found a way to ask him directly rather than interpret what he wrote and get it completly wrong

Paul Klein said...

Ann Coulter is propably one of the smartest person out there. All she has to do is say this or that and she sells a million books. She does this without even spending lots of money for advertising. She gets it for free. Everytime she makes a outrageous comment, all the news organizations pick it up and give her free publicity. She is laughing all the way to the bank. Ignore her, and she will go away.

Thomas Mates said...

I would certainly hope that most journalists would take the stance that if Ann Coulter says something then it can't be true. She could tell me that the sky was blue and I would call her a liar on general principal alone.

Kylee said...

Isn't journalism about putting out the truth? Shouldn't journalists have to really do their research in order to do this? Yeah.

Chris said...

Fuck Ann Coulter.

Maria Zankey said...

Well said, Chris.
Liberal and conservative rivalries aside, Ann Coulter and her counterparts are what gives journalists a bad name.
Journalism is not meant to sway public opinion, let alone get people downright mad. It is to let people form their OWN opinions based on the facts.
I'm thoroughly disgusted.

Doanh said...

I don’t think she cared about what Bowden said. I’m sure she understood exactly what he meant. Being a right wing freak, she probably feels threatened by anything she doesn’t agree with and feels compelled to write something against it because it’s her job to say ignorant things. Bad “journalists” launder stories, and it takes a complete idiot to use Ann Coulter as a source. There isn’t any real danger in popularizing her story because most people know what she is about.

John D. said...

I didn't know anything about Ann Coulter before this, so i read up on her.
She seems to have some valid points in her other articles, although they completely ignore opposing arguments ( and sometimes facts). Coulter seems more hell bent on badmouthing democrats/liberals then upholding her duty to the truth. She doesn't even build the stance of conservatives, just attempts to insult the opposition.
It looks like she took a swing at using Bowden as another pawn in which to wage her slightly obsessive war with democrats and got so cuaght up in her fury that she began to formulate an argument without even comprehending what she was trying to ridicule.
The truly dangerous thing about Ann Coulter is that she does have access to weapons of mass destruction... the media.

Kylee said...

"The truly dangerous thing about Ann Coulter is that she does have access to weapons of mass destruction... the media."

..amazing.

Anonymous said...

Ann's a little over the top for me-- leaning to the Conservative side. In her mind, she's an entertainer, a gadfly, no different than Al Franken, Rush Limbaugh, Jon Stewart, Bill O'Reilly etc. except she pushes back a little hard and we're not used to seeing women in that role. What blurs the line a little bit is the credibility news agencies give her (and them) as if she's some guru of Conservative thought. Heck, she's no less offensive than some of the liberal editorialists in the newspaper.

In politics right now, there is a locker room mentality where the most outrageous dirty trick or innuendo scores political points. It won't be too long until this breed of nastiness, i.e. Ann Coulters, Karl Roves, James Carvilles, and ilk are out of fashion. It can't come soon enough.

What is scary, however, is how easily the little voters who do not seek out real news or information are swayed by this kind of 'entertainment'. But to try to reign it in is a slippery slope in a free society!

Chris said...

Ann's a little over the top for me-- leaning to the Conservative side.
Leaning? Like toppling over?

In her mind, she's an entertainer, a gadfly, no different than Al Franken, Rush Limbaugh, Jon Stewart, Bill O'Reilly etc.
I seriously doubt that she considers herself an entertainer.
Listen to Jon Stewart on Crossfire. He makes an excellent point when he talks about being lumped in with Bill O'Reilly, etc.
Priceless

Robin Tarleton said...

Any semi-educated person knows Ann Coulter is just someone who will say anything to make money or get attention...and that shes completely crazy and often contradicts herself.

Marisa said...

Ann Coulter is crazy. I have a friend who likes to quote her just to make people annoyed. That people would use her information as fact is just as scary as the idea that people would listen to what Jon Stewart or more so Steven Colbert have to say and think it's straight information. These days it's hard to find straight information, let's not make it harder by lumping people like COulter into the mix.

Marisa Block

davonne said...

a public service announcement form your neighborhood friendly professor. hehehe

i agree. using other reporters information instead of going out and getting the information yourself is lazy. check your sources and get the story right.