This MSNBC story about political contributions from major media reporters has really been making the rounds today. On the one hand, it’s kind of funny, especially if you read all the stammering and backpedalling and lame excuses offered up by most of the reporters themselves. On the other hand, it’s dumb.
It’s dumb because as a few of the reporters interviewed note, there’s not a thing wrong with any of them making donations to political campaigns and/or organizations. As far as I’m concerned, they ought to be complimented on being civically involved enough to actually spend their own money–even though, as the article notes, the vast majority of that money went to causes and politicians that I personally find odious.
As I said back during the 2004 campaign, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with reporters or editors or copy boys (are they still called copy boys? Nah, they’d have to be copy persons by now) having political opinions. I do think there’s something wrong when somebody interested enough in politics to get a job writing about it denies that they have political opinions, or worse, makes the incredibly pompous pronouncement (as a few on today’s list have) that their opinions have absolutely no impact on their work.
It’s fine for these guys and gals to have given money to campaigns. Frankly, I prefer it this way. Far better that they give and disclose than not give and keep their leanings a secret, pretending all the while to be higher beings capable of rising above all us poor benighted folk who don’t work for newspapers or TV stations.
The latter, unfortunately, appears to be formal policy for most of the MSM. That fundamental lack of transparency is a shame, and it’s also one of the main reasons why the press is held in such low regard these days. Pity they can’t figure that out for themselves.