Having spent a fair amount of time around both members of the media and situations which warrant press coverage, I have noted plenty of inaccuracies in print. Some attribute these to ideological bias. In truth, bias in media comes as much from good old-fashioned laziness as from ideology.
Take the latest hubbub at the Washington Post for example. The paper recently ran a political cartoon which depicted the children of Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz as monkeys. Bipartisan condemnation followed, as the children of public figures are generally understood to be off limits to ridicule. The WaPo pulled the cartoon from their website. But check out this explanation reported by the Washington Examiner:
“It’s generally been the policy of our editorial section to leave children out of it,” Post editor Fred Hiatt said in a statement. “I failed to look at this cartoon before it was published. I understand why [cartoonist Ann Telnaes] thought an exception to the policy was warranted in this case, but I do not agree.”
Wait, what? He failed to look at it? Isn’t that his one job? Isn’t his bare minimum obligation as editor to take a peak at what will be published?
This warrants greater scandal than the cartoon itself. If the editor of the Washington Post doesn’t look at political cartoons before publishing them, how much are the details of print articles scrutinized?
Remember the good old days when blogs were “dangerous” because they lacked editorial oversight? I give you the Washington Post.