Via NPR’s Talk of the Nation:
After MSNBC host Keith Olbermann was suspended for making political contributions, journalist Ted Koppel criticized the lack of objectivity in the news, and looked backward toward the halcyon days of Murrow. But media critic Jeff Jarvis believes the old model is outdated.
Hosted by Neal Conan with Ted Koppel and Jeff Jarvis as guests.
Run Time: 30 minutes.
The commercial success of both MSNBC and Fox News is a source of nonpartisan sadness for me. While I can appreciate the financial logic of drowning television viewers in a flood of opinions designed to confirm their own biases, the trend is not good for the republic…
…And so, among the many benefits we have come to believe the founding fathers intended for us, the latest is news we can choose. Beginning, perhaps, from the reasonable perspective that absolute objectivity is unattainable, Fox News and MSNBC no longer even attempt it. They show us the world not as it is, but as partisans (and loyal viewers) at either end of the political spectrum would like it to be. This is to journalism what Bernie Madoff was to investment: He told his customers what they wanted to hear, and by the time they learned the truth, their money was gone.
It’s not a stupid rule, here or anywhere else. [There] just needs to be a debate about it; it needs to be adapted to the realities of 21st-century journalism. And to wrap this up, I’ll say something utterly contrarian about this: I think we saw where the political contribution system is working for transparency in democracy, and where it is failing transparency in democracy. I made a legal, political contribution as a U.S. citizen, near midnight Eastern on October 28th. By 10 pm on Thursday night, November 4th, those contributions were public knowledge, and that’s the point: I gave, and you found out, and you judged me for good or for ill, as you felt appropriate.
If I had given the money through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, you would have never… ever… known.
KEITH OLBERMANN on MSNBC enforcing its standards prohibiting contributions to political candidates.