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Monday, October 30, 2006

Journamalisming

The Star Tribune editors ask, should we do our jobs and fact check candidates? Well, what do you think you are killing so many trees for? CJ's columns?

The fact that they even have to ask this is sad, but considering how little fact-checking goes on, it's not surprising. Not only is fact-checking not done, but more often than not it is done in a pretend "balanced" way. The media is unable to admit when one side is wrong or worse than the other. No, it has to be "balanced". That's how reporters lump Michael J. Fox's issue ad along with real attack ads like the Playboy ad in Tennessee. Republicans smear character, Democrats...get an endorsement from a person with a vested interest in an issue that Democrats support and Republicans oppose. If Carl Pohlad cut an ad for Pawlenty saying that he supports Tim for bringing a new stadium, would that be an "attack ad"? Give me a break.

The issue of immigration ads is a perfect example of this. True, the Star Tribune reported the fact that all of a sudden tons of Republicans put out immigration ads, but that's it. Immigration remains one of the least understood issues in this country. There's plenty of soundbites and goofy characters, but reality is something much of the public is unfamiliar with. Why didn't the Star Tribune take a closer look at these ads and immigration in general? Why didn't they take a look at the internal fight within the Republican party between the business conservatives who want cheaper labor and the social conservatives who hate furriners? Where's the context? Where's the explanation? Where's the work?

So ink-stained wretches, why else do you think you exist?

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