The Post-Election Blog Blues | Main | None Dare Call It Bias
January 11, 2005

Didja Ever Notice That Andy Heyward Got Off Scot-Free?

And what's the deal with hot-dog buns? Hot dogs come in packs of eight, but buns come in packs of ten. What are you supposed to do with those two superfluous buns?

Bad, cliched impression aside, Andy Rooney -- a stone-cold liberal, but often a cantankerously contrarian one -- can't help but notice that those of the "front lines" of the Rathergate report got canned, while the big Muckety-Mucks-- the ones supposedly keeping a close eye on standards and journalistic practices -- continue in their jobs with a light scolding.

Again: There can be little doubt that Mary Mapes -- who did show strong political bias, no matter what the weak and timid Panel Report said -- is responsible for most of the sins of commission that occurred in this fiasco. But Heyward and Rather were guilty of sins of omission nearly as mortal, and Heyward and Rather definitely committed sins of commission when they -- not Mapes -- defended the story to the hilt and insisted the documents were "accurate" if not "authentic," and therefore the story true although faked.

That is gob-smackingly vile interpretation of journalistic integrity. Journalism isn't a science, of course, but it strives to be more like a science, or at least a rigorous art, than a religion or some other faith-based venture. And yet the latter is precisely what Rather and Heyward have recently claimed journalism to be -- not what you can prove by evidence or at least confirm by the testimony of those in a position to know, but merely what you "know" in your heart.

Dan Rather continues to maintain he "knows" in his heart his "facts" are all true, despite the fact that he has almost no evidence for them.

Is journalism a profession like engineering or medicine, or is it a profession like the priesthood? It would appear to be the latter, as Rather and Heyward see it.

Liberals can continue being faux-clever about the "reality-based community," but a reality-based community believes only in verifiable facts and does not insist that what is "known" in one's heart constitutes valid and verified facts fit for broadcast.

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posted by Ace at 02:21 PM

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