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News in America was intended to sanctify opinions, not facts. LA Times column illustrates Journalism’s fatal misunderstanding. 8/20/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Uncategorized.

If there is ever a museum exhibition about the final days of the misguided journalism movement that began in the 1920’s, Pulitzer Prize winner Martin Skube’s screed deserves its own display case near the end of the exhibit. Not for its stylish vitriol, in which all bloggers are literally referred to as “blockheads,” but because it illustrates how far the movement strayed from the ideals of the Founding Fathers.

By excoriating bloggers for allegedly being heavy on opinion and light on facts, Skube upholds journalism’s cultish belief in the sanctity of facts over opinions, in their misguided quest to develop singular and “correct” public policies. This is the polar opposite of the teachings of Thomas Jefferson, who sanctified opinion over facts, in a quest to determine the will of the people to guide their government. To Jefferson, opinions were better than facts — they also included judgments to fill-in the inevitable unknowns and unknowables, and the preferences to which free individuals were entitled.

Jefferson wanted debate as delivered by blogs, not “the truth” as delivered by Pulitzer Prize-winning elitists. It is no coincidence that the Soviet Union’s official newspaper was called “Pravda,” which means “truth.” A free people deserve something better than someone else’s truth.


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