February 27, 2013

What’s remarkable about this piece — titled “W5 + H = A Baseline for Integrity” — by Fox News contributor Erick Erickson is not that he raises the call for greater integrity in conservative journalism:

Conservatives are trying so hard to highlight controversies, no matter how trivial, we have forgotten the basics of reporting: W5 + H as I learned in grade school, also known as who, what, where, when, why, and how. I think conservatives need to reset some of their reportorial resources to tell the stories that need to be told by focusing on the facts at hand in a world view of the right. We need to establish a baseline for integrity in reporting that then allows us to highlight the truly outrageous. That baseline must be the basics of who, what, where, when, why, and how and it must be set before taking the next step into analysis of motivation and its implications.

Nor is it that he acknowledges that conservative journalists fall prey to the same access corruption as the rest of the media:

Just as troubling, there are some conservative reporters out there who aim for the basic facts, but get stuck on talking points. Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, myself, and others have been lamenting a lot of conservative reporters for this very reason. These reporters seem to covet access to the Speaker, Senate Minority Leader, and Leadership. They report on the Republican leadership’s side without question and turn conservatives in Congress into the butt of jokes.

What’s remarkable is that Erickson runs through the entire exercise without mentioning a single outlet that has run afoul of these standards. And that’s in a piece in which he calls for greater adherence to “who, what, where, when, why and how”!

A search for “Friends of Hamas” in the story yielded nothing.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.