Jarvis nails it (as he does so often re: journalism and its antics)
The problem with Olbermannâ€™s contributions is not that he made them but that he hid them â€” itâ€™s the coverup that always gets you in trouble [pace R. Nixon] â€” and that MSNBC made him hide them. The problem with MSNBC suspending Olbermann is that it heads down transparency road in exactly the wrong direction, toward continued opacity. And the problem with MSNBCâ€™s policy that makes contributing to candidates a suspendable offense is that it prevents journalists from acting as citizens of the communities they are to serve.
This and other similar moves by liberal/progressive news organizations is giving intellect a bad name. Who REALLY believes there IS such a thing as true objectivity? I would find the organization that really does a good job at this to be extremely boring. It seems obvious to all of us when it comes to â€œnewsâ€ that the org who shouts â€œfair and balancedâ€ (ie.: â€œobjectiveâ€, â€œfactualâ€) loud enough are the very ones who have true motives to hide.
I think most people understand that journalists and organization heads VOTE. And that they can still be journalists however they vote. Why then is MSNBC pitching such a fit?
Donâ€™t we liberals deserve our Fox News, but with intelligence, sanity, openness? That was its promise. But like NPR, it is now a place where opinions and action are verboten
Amen , Jeff.
There is another issue that this matter stirs up in me. It is how , in the church, we are also expected to â€œkeep our political opinions to ourselvesâ€ when we are preaching, teaching, or doing something in the capacity of teacher/opinion as a ministry of the church. Here we have again, an attempt to deny what for many people is an integral piece of oneâ€™s â€œchurch membershipâ€. To the extent that public policy DOES impact the populace, particularly the poor, there is a strong drive to advocate and to work for relief from those policies, as well as to bring the story and the impact to light. Given, it is a problem when church folks who â€œadvocateâ€ leave this ultimately in the hands of the state for the solution. There is still the call to the church to actually provide alternative structures and means to alleviate said problem. Many fall into what David Fitch calls â€œThe Great Giveawayâ€ (in his book of that title). Instead of pitching their tent with the oppressed group, they stay at the â€œpublic squareâ€ to â€œadvocateâ€ while staying away from the actual people for whom they advocate. This is â€œfarming it outâ€ to the state. This becomes nothing more than secular politics with occasional theology thrown in.
Now if a church is engaged with a group affected by public policy which they are working to change, do the political machinations become off limits? Do they avoid confronting certain candidates who oppose, or NOT SUPPORT candidates who ARE INVOLVED with said issue?
And when it comes to matters of war, how does the church say what it means about peace and non-violence? To avoid voice in matters of war in order to avoid the inevitable conflation of nationalism with faith, and â€œoffendâ€ the sense of â€œcriticize America and you offend God who established this â€˜chosen peopleâ€™â€; is this not a similar move in order to â€œmaintain some sort of â€œobjectivityâ€ on this issue, as if there are â€œtwo equally valid argumentsâ€ from which to choose? Sometimes there are simply WRONG sides to take. Did the slavery issue in the mid 1800â€™s feature debates with â€œtwo equally valid argumentsâ€? I donâ€™t think we could call them â€œequally validâ€ today.