Twisting truth to partisan purposes is shameful. It is also today’s media. Gone is objectivity. That said, tales of journalistic activism are getting wilder. Three make “Wow of the week.”
First, we have National Public Radio (NPR) – funded through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, itself funded by annual congressional appropriation. NPR is congressionally chartered, stations publicly owned, many by universities.
NPR’s listenership is 2.5 times more Democrat than Republican, roughly 40 percent calling themselves “moderates.” This is important since elections are decided by moderates.
If political leftists aim to sweep the future, they must pull moderates left. That is why this week’s news around NPR is so disturbing. In a slap in the face to American taxpayers, NPR declared they are rewriting their code of ethics – to allow political activism by reporters.
In this world of mirrors, you say, “whoa, that is absurd, show me.” Okay. The new NPR “ethics policy” revises an earlier policy and now directs NPR reporters need not stay clear of politics or abide professional canons of ethics.
The new “ethics” policy – as described by NPR – says “journalists” may advocate for “the freedom and dignity of human beings” on social media, in real life, by inference in stories. They are given a “green light” to protest, march, and “support democratic, civic values that are core to NPR’s work,” defined as a “right to thrive” focused on “race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, disability, or religion.” So, ideology trumps objectivity. NPR reporters can go march, then write. See, New NPR Ethics Policy: It’s OK For Journalists To Demonstrate (Sometimes); NPR Allows Its Reporters to Engage in Direct Activism.
Some will say that is nothing new, just codifies the obvious. Objectivity was never NPR’s strong suit. Still, there is a “wow factor” here. This officially turns a page. NPR makes no pretense of abiding ethics guidance from the “Society of Professional Journalists,” which is against journalist activism. See, e.g., Political Involvement.
Ironically, the Society’s ethics committee – touchstone for credible journalists – wrote: “Skeptics of journalistic objectivity are quick to point out that some publishers and owners of news media outlets may not follow the rules they lay down for their employees.” Perhaps that is why NPR is “gilding the lily?” Just make the unethical sound ethical, then follow policy. Easy, right?
Second incident. This one relates to COVID vaccine reporting. A major news outlet reports “Unvaccinated Americans Whiter, More Republican than Vaccinated.” Wow, okay, if true, that seems to be a multi-level hit. New variant should be blamed on the unvaccinated, who seem to be “whiter” and “Republican,” which of course smacks of racism, Trumpism, implicit anti-rural Americanism. But what does the story report? The reverse – omitting other key data.
The story cites “Kaiser Family Foundation” polling, which contradicts the headline. The poll cited – once you dig into it – shows 70 percent of “whites” have been vaccinated, 65 percent of “blacks.” That is the opposite of their headline.
More, the poll shows that, while one-third more Democrats than Republicans are vaccinated, both parties are more than 50 percent vaccinated, and other demographics tell the real story – 85 percent of those over 65 vaccinated, fewer in each age category below that. See KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor.
Then, counter-stories are left untold. Like what?
Objections to the federal mandate – get the experimental jab or lose your job – are about constitutional rights.
They are NOT about race.
The Big Media inference – lie told through selective, untruthful, partisan reporting – is that resistance to the vaccine, and thus spread of delta, is the fault of white, Republican, rural America. Is that right?
What about a minority Vice President who said she would never get the vaccine, then reversed herself?
What about Mr. Fauci’s countless reverses? What about those worried for children and for the unborn? But wait, there are others.
Others? Yes, how about the American Postal Workers Union, which firmly opposes the Biden federal mandate that they must get this vaccine. Who are they? They must be rural white, male, Republicans, right? No. They are 220,000 largely urban, minority, female federal employees. See, e.g., American Postal Workers Union OPPOSES Biden Vaccine Mandate; American Postal Workers Union opposes vaccine mandate.
That union – one of many federal unions with similar positions, convictions, and demographics – is roughly 37 percent female, 21 percent Black, eight percent Latino, eight percent Asian. See, e.g., Workforce Diversity and Inclusiveness.
Nor are they alone. By example, many healthcare workers – especially unionized healthcare workers – are resisting vaccine mandates. That gives you the double-wonder. Why would healthcare workers resist a safe vaccine, and then again – what is the resisting demographic?
A representative healthcare workers’ union might be “1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East,” largest healthcare worker union in the United States, with 400,000 members. Famous in the Civil Rights Movement, they just protested the vaccine mandate pushed on them by a New York hospital system. While demographics are unclear, good bet many members are minorities.
So, the second media “Wow of the Week?” That narrative, all unvaccinated are white, Republican, rural, and male? Patently untrue, on the facts.
Third, “Wow?” How about this: That story pushing blame for spread of “delta” Covid on “whites” and “Republicans” was run – by Voice of America (VOA).
The same VOA that sucks down $218.5 million hard-earned taxpayer dollars each year to push truth around the world?
Yes, same. You paid for that story, as you did NPR’s reporting.
So, three “Wows of the Week” on media twisting truth for partisan purposes – with tax dollars. Time to vote this lot out, yes? How about some accountability – Now, wow, there is a concept.
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