Saturday, November 08, 2008

News Flash: World Unfair, Unbalanced

Deborah Howell is back at the counting game in her Washington Post Ombudsman's column this morning, carefully measuring every "positive" or "negative" Obama story the Post ran during the campaign to see if it was balanced by a similarly slanted story about McCain. I don't know whether she actually buys this foolishness or whether it's part of her job to pacify rubes who might buy the paper, but that's really beside the important and disappointing fact that this facile view of news and of the world exists within the upper echelons of American journalism.

I'm not going to waste a lot of time on this today, and not just because Howell simply repeats all of the errors I critiqued in her nearly identical column of last week. No, I'm not going to waste time on it today mostly because Deborah Howell is a dolt. This passage from early in her column today demonstrates that she doesn't even know the difference between news and opinion:

The op-ed page ran far more laudatory opinion pieces on Obama, 32, than on Sen. John McCain, 13. There were far more negative pieces (58) about McCain than there were about Obama (32), and Obama got the editorial board's endorsement. The Post has several conservative columnists, but not all were gung-ho about McCain.
So "several conservative columnists" Broder, Will, Applebaum, Krauthammer, Cohen, Gerson, Hiatt, Hoagland, Ignatius, Mallaby, Marcus, Novak, Samuelson, Dana Milbank and Kathleen freaking Parker! didn't love JohnnyMac well enough. And this has exactly what to do with a news bias against the Republican?

Whooo-kay. But life (and especially Saturday morning) is too precious to waste any more of it on utter nonsense. Good luck with your special little world, Deborah.