April 22, 2008
It boils down to this: as a journalist, do you feel you have a responsibility to dig into the claims made by your guests, seek out evidence and come to a professional judgment as to the real facts? Or do you feel if a charge is breathtaking enough, thoroughly checking it out isnt a necessity?
I know you might be concerned that asking these questions could restrict your ability to make sensational charges on the air, but dont you think you have a responsibility to provide even a shred of supporting evidence before sullying the journalistic reputations of MSNBC and NBC?
People used to believe journalists were searching for the truth. But your cable show increasingly seems to be focused on wishful thinking, hoping something is one way and diminishing the search for facts and evidence in favor of repeating your fondest desires. For example, while you do ask Siegelman what evidence he had to back up his charges, you did not press him when he said "We don't have the knife with Karl Rove's fingerprints all over it, but we've got the glove, and the glove fits."
The difficulty with your approach is you reduced yourself to the guy in the bar who repeats what the fellow next to him says The glove fits! The glove fits! - only louder, because it suits your pre-selected story line ("Bush Justice") and you dont want the facts to get in the way of a good fable. You have relinquished the central responsibility of an investigative reporter, namely to press everyone in order to get to the facts. You didnt subject the statements of others to skeptical and independent review. You have chosen instead to simply repeat something someone else says because it agrees with the theme line your producers slapped on your segment, created the nifty graphic for and promoted in the ads before your appearances.
Dan, I realize that you're an intellectually stunted, Democratic sycophant little ass-kisser, but even you should realize when you're punching out of your weight class. Tell you what, though: I'll match you up against my 5 year old son. And don't worry: I'll tell him to take it easy on you.
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