Daniel Froomkin of the Huffington Post -- formerly of The Washington Post -- suggests an answer. He is exactly the kind of liberal agitator in the newsroom who wants every news story to be a blazing editorial. Every reporter must divide the world clearly between Liberal Sense and Conservative Nonsense. His latest article is titled, "Writing a Neutral Story About Something So Heartless As the Food Stamp Vote Is Not Good Journalism."
On Sept. 19, The New York Times reported, "The Republican-led House yesterday voted to make deep cuts to the food stamps program that has kept millions of American families from going hungry since the recession hit, saying its response to growing need was instead a sign of bloat and abuse."
In short, Democrats keep families from starving. Republicans reject "growing need" as "bloat."
Froomkin argued that attempting objectivity, like quoting awful Republicans, creates horrendous "triangulating mush" that fails to educate voters. The Republican food-stamp vote was for him "a blatantly absurd and cruel move (that) struck me as a good test of whether the Washington press corps could ever bring itself to call things as they so obviously are -- or whether they would check their very good brains at the door and just write triangulating mush that leaves readers to fend for themselves."
Republicans should complain that while the Times story contained spending numbers and quoted both Democrats and Republicans, it contained the usual liberal media bias -- indeed, editorial slant -- in favor of social programs growing by leaps and bounds, forever and ever. But Froomkin was livid at the Times. "Like those at essentially every other mainstream news organization, they wrote it straight. They focused on procedure. They quoted both sides. And they called it a day."
Froomkin characterized Republicans quoted in the Times as either "fabulously disingenuous" or "shockingly dishonest." Froomkin would prefer these fools to be banned entirely from the news pages, unless they were tarred and feathered in print as unhinged extremists. Only that socialist view is the "truth."
Rep. Marlin Stutzman was "fabulously disingenuous" to insist that anti-poverty programs be measured by lifting people out of poverty, not just increasing spending in an era of trillion-dollar deficits. Somehow, he's the irrational one.
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