New Year’s resolutions aren’t meant to be made by third parties. But since the mainstream media continues to act against its core principles, an exception is in order.
That’s not to say these annual resolutions always last. How many people vow to lose 15 pounds and end up gaining a couple by the time swimsuit season arrives? The smoking industry would collapse if every smoker kept to his Jan. 1 quit date.
But a few hearty souls do stick to their resolutions, and perhaps some journalists will take the following to heart and really change in 2011.
1. Stop using terms like “unexpectedly” to describe economic downturns: It’s embarrassing to see journalists fall back on the adverb while detailing the flailing Obama economy. The experts consulted for these pieces seem a little less … expert … every time a new report confounds their predictions. Just report the latest figures and let readers decide if it’s “unexpected.”
2. Take global warming skeptics seriously: Just consider — if only as a wacky thought experiment — that the global warming movement isn’t based on rock-solid science. It’s not as if there are global warming activists admitting their wealth redistribution agendas, or emails pointing to scientists hiding temperature declines, or even leaders in the movement admitting there’s been no measurable warming over the past decade.
Now, use those high falutin’ journalistic instincts and be the first MSM outlet in town to crack the biggest story in ages. Sure, the conservative blogosphere beat you to it, but for your audience it’ll seem like a breaking news bombshell.
3. Don’t take Media Matters memos at face value: The liberal watchdog group routinely takes conservatives out of context to smear them. So when the group’s next email blast hits your inbox, do your due diligence and find the full quotes — and context — before rushing to judgment.
4. Read the Drudge Report: Reporters are often buried in assignments, so one can understand they don’t have enough time to read all the helpful articles scattered across the Web. That’s where Matt Drudge comes in. He links to some of the most intriguing new stories you’ll find online, many of which don’t take the standard liberal line. It only takes 30-odd seconds to scan his site. One less Facebook update and you’ve got all the time you need.
5. Get angry when you get beat: Once upon a time reporters would lose their cool if they got beat on a big story. Today, that’s not the case if the story in question puts Democrats in an unflattering light. Van Jones?