Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Editorial Between the News Lines

On December 19 the Associated Press put an article on the wire by Brian Skoloff regarding Ron Paul having refused to return a campaign donation from a contributor with white supremacists affiliations. The piece not so subtly implies that those with unpopular beliefs should not be allowed to participate in the political process. This is an idea that normally could be dismissed to the ranting of a fascist crank, if it had been presented in an opinion editorial. The Associated Press item was released as a news story however, and therefore its editorial subtext demands a bit more scrutiny.

The campaign contribution was made in late October. Ron Paul's position on the issue was made public and has been widely discussed since November. So here at the end of December, why does the Associated Press even consider the issue to still be news? Is the AP merely a month behind everyone else? Are they trying to influence the electoral process by repeatedly broadcasting old news? Or are they simply not paying attention to what is going out under their name?

It is annoying enough that journalist of the day don't seem to grasp the difference between reporting the news, creating the news, or waxing on about their own opinions. When their employers start letting them mix the three, we should start paying very close attention.

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