The Miami Herald’s knickers are in a knot because of a little organization called Project Veritas.
James O’Keefe’s outfit has exposed some very biased shenanigans through its work, and the traditional press hates that because they fancy themselves to be the only ones smart enough and entitled enough to do that to other people.
Leonard Pitts Jr’s little rant is nothing short of amusing. He behaves as if the press is some sort of avatars for moral behaviour. They have lied, plagiarized, cut corners, and dirtied the journalism product so much, that it has become unusable.
I have written three books to back up my statements. This web site, for this leg of my journey, chronicles the sophistry and limited thinking that confines the vision of the profession, but this is only the beginning.
The news media is all gung-ho taking down people with their own undercover work (ABC’s What Would You Do? is a prime example of journalists playing Lucifer dangling forbidden fruit to the little people to humiliate them in front of America, for instance), but when they are the recipients of such behaviour, they throw diva fits like nobody’s business.
But let’s get back to Project Veritas.
As I have said before, it is a guerrilla outfit that has a very focussed mandate of showing the very real hypocrisy of the Left-leaning traditional press. O’Keefe cannot be dismissed outright, no matter what sort of PR campaign the media take against him. He has had real and direct hits, and much of what he has uncovered is devastating to the profession.
But there is a confirmation bias: it is not as if Right-leaning media outlets are getting journalism right by default. The Fox News Channel, which I wrote a book about, was no better than the dreck Veritas exposed at CNN.
When a group decides to take a side, we cannot assume that the linear divide created means anything at all. We get one half the picture, and it becomes too easy to assume that the other side must be superior by default.
Media, in general, whether it is Left or Right leaning, have the identical problems that manifest themselves in different ways, but if we went by the findings of Project Veritas alone, we’d get a skewed and inaccurate state of affairs.
So that is a real issue.
The other real issue is the same one that plagues Vice Media: the methods of gathering information are flawed. There is no science or checks and balances. None of those methods are defined or justified.
I liken this to one flawed psychology study I examined in my book Don’t Believe It!: How lies become news: one psychologist interview a group of children whose parents divorced over a twenty-five year period, and then published a book about this “landmark” study.
The press made a big deal about it, but one look at the methodology, and I knew the entire study was worthless because she looked at only children whose parents divorced. She had no comparison group; so we do not know if the other types of arrangements had better or worse scores for anxiety or depression. It didn’t matter how long the study was; what mattered was having a study that showed the different realities and then seeing how one reality squared with another.
Perhaps children of divorce are unhappy, but perhaps they are just as unhappy as children whose bickering and unfaithful parents were too chicken or cheap to get a divorce. Maybe people are always looking to blame someone for their own woes and kids of divorce have something easy to latch on their misery without looking within for the real cause.
We don’t know because the study had very limited scope — as in tunnel vision. All we know is this group of people seem to feel a certain way, but we have no context.
The same can be said of Project Veritas. Its scope is limited. Its methods are as poorly defined as the ones used by their targets. They cannot be dismissed outright, as the traditional press keep screaming in their self-serving narratives, but it is not one for academic journals, either.
So to the Miami Herald: enough of the temper tantrum and faux indignant righteousness. The news media is as fair game as the government and big business. Every institution must be scrutinized, including journalism.
And it should have been done decades ago because the press lost its way because there weren’t enough people standing up to their hypocrisy in an empirical manner before.