October 26, 2016

"There are many decent, ethical highly professional people who work in journalism. I am happy to say that I work with a number of them at the Daily Inter Lake."

"But sadly, the standards that we try to hold ourselves to here in Kalispell, Montana, seem to be foreign to many reporters and editors on TV and at other newspapers around the country. Because of that, I could probably write a column taking my fellow journalists to task every week and never run out of material, but honestly I didn’t expect to return to the theme quite this quickly...."

ADDED: This is an excellent column, which I noticed because it's featured at Real Clear Politics, but I've had a place in my heart for The Daily Inter Lake, ever since I stayed in Kalispell a few years ago. I used to make the "Law Roundup" page a regular stop and blogged it often. I need to get back to that. It's written in a delightful style that makes petty crime seem almost comforting. From today's report:
Someone complained that a “little car” with a loud muffler kept going back and forth on Seventh Street West. An officer was unable to locate the pesky car....

Someone from a bar called to report a man had threatened to come back and shoot the place up.

A man entered a business on West Idaho Street and reportedly threatened to kill two workers before knocking over some beers and leaving. Workers wanted officers to tell the man he was not welcome.

36 comments:

Amichel said...

There are many decent, ethical, highly professional people who work in journalism. -Citation needed.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I recently watched a local news reporter covering a Trump speech. She "reported" that Trump brought up the unfounded allegations of sexual assault against Bill Clinton.

Sebastian said...

Charming. Don't they know the difference between fact and opinion, our Ethical Editor asks? Why, yes, they do. But they don't care. They don't have to care. They have higher goals than mere facts. What difference, etc.?

rhhardin said...

Maybe highly decent, ethical professional people would be better; or decent, highly ethical professional people. If there are many of them, maybe there are people of all three kinds.

This is not to say that there are not many decent, ethical highly professional cat burglars too.

Work is prayer.

buwaya puti said...

Simply put, it isnt a personal issue for the AP writer and editors. They are directed to do this, though I suspect they are willing participants.

The AP as an organization, since it is a news service, is obligated to report neutrally, to provide straight facts to its subscribers. This sort of thing is a betrayal of their tradition.

When at AIG we had the AP news feed coming over the teletype, and I sometimes used to hang out by the teletype office to grab the rolls that werent getting clipped with relevant stuff for the boss! It was cool seeing all the foreign news come in that, maybe, would make it into the newspapers the next day.

rhhardin said...

He ought to be slamming the audience for news, which is where the problem is.

They just pander to it to keep it there.

MadisonMan said...

The author of the piece will never be hired to write for the NY Times -- and most Times writers will think that's a condemnation.

rhhardin said...

The election is sort of a one-off, so the news audience contains people not usually interested. They're the ones disgusted by the media. About 80% of the population, roughly.

The 40% of women who like soap opera are the regular audience and the ones responsible for the wretched condition of the national debate.

Greg Hlatky said...

"There are many decent, ethical highly professional people who work in journalism. I am happy to say that I work with a number of them at the Daily Inter Lake."

Name one. Just one.

Lucien said...

I'm still having trouble with why use of "beleaguered" doesn't have just a hint of bias in it -- and why the valiant editor didn't even think of deleting it.

Clyde said...

People with ethics will be stuck in the backwaters like Kalispell. For the people who are unencumbered with them, the sky's the limit. Hello, bright lights, big city!

Ann Althouse said...

I'm a long-time fan of The Daily Inter Lake.

dreams said...

"I'm still having trouble with why use of "beleaguered" doesn't have just a hint of bias in it -- and why the valiant editor didn't even think of deleting it."

Yeah, I had the same reaction to that but based on the bias of the press I guess it is a fact.

Nigel Tufnel said...

"I'm still having trouble with why use of "beleaguered" doesn't have just a hint of bias in it -- and why the valiant editor didn't even think of deleting it."

Me too.

Probably cycled through "desperate", "clownish", and "pathetic" and settled on the more neutral "beleaguered."

dreams said...

"beleaguered." It was used in the original AP article. I think Trump is beleaguered by the bias media which is so obvious that it should be considered a fact.

rhhardin said...

The shortest path through the thesaurus from biased to unbiased is
biased interested sympathetic charitable broad-minded unbiased

(When done right, any three in a row mean the same thing but any four do not.)

MadisonMan said...

I'm a long-time fan of The Daily Inter Lake.

And yet, it doesn't have a Tag!

Sydney said...

The newspapers of quality who subscribe to the AP reports should ask for their money back if they have to do that much editing on them to make them decent journalism.

wild chicken said...

The InterLake's circulation is in a very conservative area. That makes it easier to be objective eh.

Michael K said...

"The InterLake's circulation is in a very conservative area."

That area, if my recollection is correct, has a large summer population of very rich who these days tend to vote left.

Maybe enough of them go home for the winter (November) to leave the local voters alone.

If you are from that area corrct me if I am mistaken.

Terry said...

It's the adjectives and adverbs that reveal bias. A Journalism 101 class should teach students to justify every adjective and adverb in a story, even non-political stories.

Meade said...

The writer's best point comes at the end of the piece. The larger "threat to our democracy" and to our long tradition of accepting the Will of the People as expressed through our elections comes not from Donald Trump but from our current President -- Barack Obama.

Kevin said...

To paraphrase John Kerry: If you're a decent, ethical, highly professional journalist, you get stuck in the Daily Inter Lake.

mccullough said...

Sounds like a crime wave in that town

Rick said...

It's interesting that the larger and more impactful the publication the more biased it tends to be. This trend is consistent with gatekeepers using left wing politics as a promotion attribute. Much like academic and government employment (most departments) you can have a job as a non-leftist as long as you keep your opinions in check. But the process is stacked against you such that simply not being a left wing partisan is a black mark eventually limiting you. Consider our host and compare to someone like Jake Tapper, another moderate liberal whose profession treats him as a conservative because it is so far left it cannot see the line between liberal and conservative from where they are.

One thing the article doesn't note is that the AP criticizes Trump for making unfounded accusations of drug use. This would recall to any reasonable and knowledgeable person that Howard Dean and various media personalities like Bill Maher accused Trump of being on cocaine during the debate. That fact is not mentioned.

But somehow the media believes it's a major issue when Trump does it but not worth mentioning when the left does it.

Paddy O said...

The largest threat to our democracy always comes through our current President.

Good thing Washington didn't want to be king. Now there was a threat! Biggest threat until that Adams character didn't support the revolution in Europe ("French Spring"), that is until that upstart Jefferson weaseled his way in and started making his own way in the Presidency.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

rhhardin said...The election is sort of a one-off, so the news audience contains people not usually interested. They're the ones disgusted by the media. About 80% of the population, roughly.

It's funny, rhhardin, but the Media line now is something like "sure we're acting contrary to our self-described ethical codes (regarding impartiality, balance, etc) but we're only doing that because this is such an unusual case & Trump is such an unusual guy." That's a silly defense, but even if one bought it the question would be what happens when this election is over? The Media is happily destroying whatever credibility & trust normal people had in them now, so why would that trust suddenly reappear on 11.9? The Wikileaks stuff showing the cozy relationships & collusion btw the Media and Democrats isn't hurting much now (due to lack of coverage, mostly) but long-term that peek into how the sausage is made just can't be good for public trust in the Media as an institution.

Serves 'em right, of course, but even though I wish everyone hated the Media as much as I do the decline in trust itself will have consequences...not all of them good (for us as a nation).

Paddy O said...

The nature of almost every business is that the people with genuine character and regard don't rise because they don't stand out. How does a person stand out? Either they are in a right place at the right time moment, or they manipulate the work to highlight their own efforts. Going from small market to major market purely on workman like coverage of local issues isn't going to boost anyone's career. That's why narcissists can do so well, as they take credit for everything good, blame others for anything bad, and are willing to massage or mangle the truth so they have the best possible story.

And we reward them, because who wants to have a government in which we respect other people and want the best for them? We want the best for us and those people who get in our way deserve what they get. Thus we vote. Depraved as we are.

rhhardin said...

When the election's over and the one-off interest in news disappears, there will still be the target soap opera women audience, just as before.

That's the audience they're after, not the 80% who won't tune in for any news, absent a special event to draw them. Those won't pay the daily bills.

It's soap opera or nothing, if the biz is to survive.

The civil problem is that politicians free-ride on that need of the news biz. That audience votes and it's big enough to matter, even though it's a minority.

Michael K said...

" the AP criticizes Trump for making unfounded accusations of drug use."

Pretty much every doctor who has watched Hillary believes she has Parkinson's. If they are Democrats, they won't say so in public.

That episode on 9/11 is what Trump is talking about with "drugs." Her collapse and sudden recovery at Chelsea's apartment had to be apomorphine administration by the USSS guy.

It doesn't even have to be an injection.

This was the first study of a new sublingual apomorphine formulation in PD patients. In this open-label study, APL-130277 appeared to provide a convenient, rapid, and reliable method for treating OFF episodes.

OFF is the freezing we've seen repeatedly with her.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...

...the decline in trust itself will have consequences...not all of them good....

The decline in trustworthyness will have consequences. If it is joined by a matching decline in trust, then the consequences will not be good. If it is not joined by a matching decline in trust, the consequences will be much, much worse.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...The decline in trustworthyness will have consequences. If it is joined by a matching decline in trust, then the consequences will not be good. If it is not joined by a matching decline in trust, the consequences will be much, much worse.

That's a good point. It's also true, though, that widespread trust in institutions is supposed to help hold us together as a society, culture, and nation. I blame the Media for not being trustworthy, sure. We all lose something, though, if only in terms of cohesiveness as a people, when that shared/common trust in the Media (as an institution) goes away.

It's tougher to all "get on the same page" about anything when no one trusts the printer! [I prefer my mixed metaphors shaken, not stirred.] It's getting to the point where the majority of the nation can't agree on basic facts and that makes building any kind of national consensus really difficult. I want small government and I don't want a one-party State, but I recognize that consensus & "buy-in" are important in a large democracy. I guess my larger point is that the damage the Left has done to the Media (idealized as a fair, independent institution that disseminates facts) will have harmful effects on the nation as a whole. Even as someone who hates the Media I admit that much.

SukieTawdry said...

I've passed through Kalispell a number of times and once spent several days there due to mechanical problems. Delightful place. Quirky (I like quirky). Incredible natural surroundings. I read Frank Miele regularly.

Deb said...

"Someone complained that a “little car” with a loud muffler kept going back and forth on Seventh Street West. An officer was unable to locate the pesky car...."

"and that's the news from Kalispell, Montana where the women are strong, ...

Paul Zrimsek said...

"Beleaguered" is how you end up if you garner too much opposition.

wildswan said...

"rhhardin said...
The shortest path through the thesaurus from biased to unbiased is
biased interested sympathetic charitable broad-minded unbiased

(When done right, any three in a row mean the same thing but any four do not.)"

I loved the idea but couldn't get down to four. Maybe it needs practice?
ethical to criminal
ethical, conscientious, play it safe, guarded, provisional, ephemeral, fugitive, criminal