Hm. And I thought that the role of the journalist was to report facts.

That's not what Marc Cooper, a faculty member at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism thinks. Reacting to a piddling controversy over NPR commercial spots (more on that in a sec) here's Cooper's reaction.

“The Role of The Journalist: To afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. And to cower in one's own shadow.”

I guess all that "who what when where why and how" stuff is just for the bloggers. Or perhaps the professor meant to describe the role of the JournoList. It's nearly impossible to tell the two apart.

Anyway, as to the controversy, an NPR station in LA pulled some Planned Parenthood spots -- spots is the word they used -- because of the budget fight. There's lots of interesting information in this little tempest. NPR now blatantly calls their sponsorship underwriting announcements "spots." That's commercial broadcast lingo for commercials. And isn't it interesting that one far left advocacy industry is advertising, sorry underwriting, on another? Don't the rich, who are overwhelmingly NPR's audience, have their own health insurance?