Unbiased reporters

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on December 1, 2015

The release of Hillary Clinton's emails while she was Secretary of State along with those of her inner circle have taught us a few things.

  1. Yes, Hillary had classified information on her homebrew server.
  2. It's a wonder how Hillary Clinton would be able to go through life without her cadre of sycophants ready to act as her TV channel guide or get her some tea.
  3. Those "unbiased reporters" are lapdogs, not watchdogs.

Case in point is CNN reporter Elise Labott who was first suspended for a biased tweet that betrayed a little bit of her political worldview.

If that sounds a lot like President Obama's talking points, you're right. While she was serving her suspension (probably unpaid, since she's not a public employee) a batch of State Department emails came out that show Labott conversing with Hillary confidante Philippe Reines.

Do unbiased reporters tweet on command?
Watchdog or Parrot?

The tweet Reines suggested appears to be this one:

You can find more instances of Labott's efforts to comfort the comfortable here.

Labott does have her defenders. Politico hack Glenn Thrush is one of them.

If you'd have a hard time imagining any reporter having, or excusing as "tradecraft," a similar relationship with, say Scooter Libby, former Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, then you're not completely insane.

Is Labott an unbiased reporter or is she a stenographer, or, even worse, a publicist? Is there anyway you could tell by her work?

And she's not the only one.

Sacrificing your integrity for Chelsea Clinton?

An email from Politco's chief political correspondent, Mike Allen, also disclosed as part of the Clinton document dump, shows that he too was willing to act as a publicist for access to Chelsea Clinton.

This would be a way to send a message during inaugural week: No one besides me would ask her a question, and you and I would agree on them precisely in advance. This would be a relaxed conversation, and our innovative format (like a speedy Playbook Breakfast) always gets heavy social-media pickup. The interview would be “no-surprises”: I would work with you on topics, and would start with anything she wants to cover or make news on. Quicker than a network hit, and reaching an audience you care about with no risk.

Allen now says that this was a mistake and it never really would've happened because his journalistic ethics would've kicked in eventually. Trust him.

I don't trust him. There isn't a single national political reporter that anyone should trust by default. Trust needs to be earned.

The majority of unbiased reporters aren't.

Journalism. Wound. Self-inflicted.


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December 2015



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