Being objective does not require one to be non-partisan.

I ran across a link a few days ago to a Politico article from June about the return of American journalism to its partisan roots and how this trend is not a bad one:

Is this the end of all that is good and decent in American journalism? Nah. I say good for them. An abandonment of the pretense to “objectivity”—in many ways a return to American journalism’s roots—is long overdue.

Journalism in the United States was born partisan and remained, for much of its history, loud, boisterous and combative. Note this appraisal of one of our presidents in the leading opposition newspaper of his time: “If ever a nation was debauched by a man, the American nation has been debauched by …. .” The commander in chief—and alleged debaucher—whose name completed this sentence? George Washington.

The article provides a good summary of how American journalism started out as an almost entirely partisan affair and remained so throughout much of its history. It was only in the early and mid-1900 that journalists and news organizations began taking an "unbiased" approach to reporting.

I am certainly not the first to point out the fact that one does not have to be nonpartisan to be objective. The quest for empty objectivity looks increasingly like a means of avoiding the responsibility of making a judgement about what is right and what is wrong.

Show Comments