Monday, April 2, 2012

April Fools? Can Journalists Make Jokes?

A BLOGGER FOR FORBES.COM posted a story yesterday about Mitt Romney dropping out of the presidential race.

The story continued:
The move shocked observers, including Senator Santorum, as Governor Romney seemed poised for a decisive victory in Wisconsin.

The governor, however, said he concluded that he has “no chance” to win the general election in December and that a Santorum candidacy in 2012 would be in the “best interest of the party.”

He explained, “It will save time. As many observers have pointed out, my defeat in 2012 will be interpreted by the party faithful as evidence that our problem is that we’ve become too pragmatic and moderate. In 2016, we’ll ˜correct™ that and nominate some right-wing nut and get demolished in the general election.

It’ll be like Goldwater in 1964. I don’t want to wait until 2020 to get my party back. I’m all about efficiency. Let’s get our butts kicked now and move on.”

Of course, the whole thing was an April Fool's day joke. After the story was circulated via news aggregators, it was pulled from the Forbes site.

Should journalists play pranks like this? Is it lighthearted fun or irresponsible?

See the full, original post here. Photo by AP via ABC news.


Allison Webber said...

I didn't think this was very responsible of the journalists to do. I think an April Fools joke would be okay for journalists to pull, but I don't think they should have used a story quite so important and relevant to what is going on currently. It would have been okay to joke if it hadn't been about someone who most likely didn't know, and I don't think joking about presidential candidates dropping out of the race is acceptable.

Michael Zahn said...

Journalists are allowed to make jokes to an extent. Journalists have earned their way to the top and are trusted news people. It is more important to that they do their job and are understood as professionals, before they outstretch their boundaries. Don't get me wrong, journalists are people too, and I believe that they are allowed to make jokes, but I think they have to be way over the top or mentioned at the end that it was a joke, so that there are absolutely NO discrepancies.

Catherine Palmer said...

I don't really think it's cool to joke about something so serious. The presidential election is a huge thing that's happening in our country. The president is the leader and speaker of our nation. Even if someone doesn't agree with Romney they should still respect him and the fact that he's running and not joke about it. I dont really think journalists should joke, it kind of takes away credibility in my eyes. Maybe if it was over something less significant.

Rebecca Grimm said...

I think that if they want to play a joke, it shouldn't be on such a serious topic. I don't think the presidential election is something that we should be joking about. It makes Romney look less stable, and he probably lost credibility with some people.