Last year, in her combination defense and apology for her newspaper cooking the books to help nudge Barack Obama over the presidential finish line, Deborah Howell, the Washington Post’s then-ombudswoman wrote:
I’ll bet that most Post journalists voted for Obama. I did. There are centrists at The Post as well. But the conservatives I know here feel so outnumbered that they don’t even want to be quoted by name in a memo.
Gosh, can’t imagine why:
At Accuracy In Media, a formula that often eludes the Post, Danny Glover notes:
Ed Morrissey of Hot Air calls it “almost literally the picture of media bias in reporting. … That’s an objective caption? It should read, ‘Rep. Larry Kissell explains his position on health-care reforms to his North Carolina constituents,’ since that appears to be what the picture depicts.”
He is absolutely right. I spent 14 combined years of my career at both National Journal and Congressional Quarterly, where this kind of sniper journalism was not tolerated.
We weren’t even allowed to use the word “reform” at CQ when I covered the health-care debate in 1993-94 because the word implies that something is bad and needs changed. It gives credence to one viewpoint in the debate. We used phrases like “health-care overhaul” or the even more generic “health-care legislation.”
Of course, creating an atmosphere that reduces the odds of it happening in the first place would be too much to ask, as Howell tacitly noted last year.