Judgmental Journalists Should Be Judged

Tuesday, 21 Sep 2010 11:30 AM

By Ben Stein's DREEMZ

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Let's judge those who judge.

A daring idea and let me tell you how it came to me.

I was at The Rio hotel in Las Vegas watching TV. A very famous TV correspondent was interviewing a man named Mr. Carl Paladino, who is now the GOP candidate for governor of New York.

The correspondent was asking about pornographic videos that the candidate had sent around, and also about a racist comedic video that he had sent around regarding Mr. Barack Obama.

The correspondent was really giving it to Paladino. Really letting him have it, It reminded me of O’Brien, the Inner Party officer of The Thought Police in 1984 grilling Winston Smith.

The correspondent was just beating him and beating him until he caved in and apologized.

Now, one thought came to me, which was, “What does this have to do with public policy or governance?” But the real thought came a moment later.

The thought that came to me was, “Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone.”

How interesting it would be to know by what moral authority media people give other people the third degree. I agree that when policy is being discussed, the correspondent should have free rein. But when it’s a matter of personal behavior, what gives the reporter/anchor/commentator the right to sit in judgment?

After an earlier report on a genuine psycho named Christine O’Donnell who is running for the Senate from Delaware, the network had three wise men talk about her, and they were genuinely smart men, one of whom I know extremely well.

They asked interesting questions and made good points. But what gives them the stature to judge the morality of other people on national TV? Shouldn’t we know something about their moral qualities if they are going to judge other people’s moral qualities?

Think about it: TV anchors, reporters, commentators, columnists, and editorial writers for major publications are extremely important national figures. Their opinions guide policy.

Shouldn’t we know something about them? Would it be relevant if they were carrying around the same or similar moral flaws (if they are flaws) that the political figures they castigate carry?

We would not want a judge ruling on drunk driving cases if he were a drunk, would we? Yet national journalistic figures (way above my humble level) do not have to be confirmed for their jobs by the Senate, do not have to be vetted . . . they just get co-opted by the powers that be that are already there.

My humble point: why are the Inquisitors above inquiry?



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