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To Tweet or Not to Tweet

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"The reporters, columnists and news anchors you follow almost all have opinions about the subjects they cover. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, it is a good thing, because any person who immersed him or herself in a vital, contentious subject all day and formed no opinion about it whatsoever would be an idiot, and you do not want to get your news from idiots. . . .

"By having policies like these, newspapers only reinforce an inaccurate idea of their own profession. Objectivity does not mean having no opinions. (Having no opinions more likely is a sign of apathy or stupidity.) Nor does it mean having opinions but hiding them. It means having opinions -- as intelligent, informed people do -- but not subordinating your work to them. It means being truthful and fair about your area of coverage, even if doing so hurts the causes you support.

"If you slant your coverage, hiding your beliefs does not make your work better. If your work is fair, sharing your beliefs does not make it less so (on the contrary, it provides your reader more information to keep you honest). But by perpetuating a fiction no one believes anyway, newspapers don't make themselves trustworthy; they just seem phony."

I predict this will sort itself out. There was a time when newspapers were reluctant to have their reporters go on TV for fear they would say something compromising. Now they have PR departments trying to help the bookers. A year from now, this flap will seem quaint.

Military Alert

The following would be amusing if it weren't so disturbing. As Crooks and Liars (among many others) reports, John L. Perry says in his Newsmax column:

"There is a remote, although gaining, possibility America's military will intervene as a last resort to resolve the Obama problem. Don't dismiss it as unrealistic.

"America isn't the Third World. If a military coup does occur here it will be civilized. That it has never happened doesn't mean it won't. Describing what may be afoot is not to advocate it . . . :

"Did you get that? Perry doesn't advocate a military overthrow of the Obama administration, he's . . . just sayin'. Does anyone doubt that we'll see 'military coup' signs at the next tea party? Mr. Perry believes he has the pulse of our military, but his assumptions go beyond the pale, straining the limits of credulity:

"Top military officers can see the Constitution they are sworn to defend being trampled as American institutions and enterprises are nationalized.

"They can see that Americans are increasingly alarmed that this nation, under President Barack Obama, may not even be recognizable as America by the 2012 election, in which he will surely seek continuation in office.

"They can see that the economy ravaged by deficits, taxes, unemployment, and impending inflation is financially reliant on foreign lender governments.

"There are so many flaws in this clown's logic, I don't know where to begin."


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