Friday, May 04, 2007

In The Interest of Improving Employee Relations at Time

I thought it'd be useful to re-run this. It's good to have all this stuff out in the open.

Apologies for my absence yesterday, I was up in Boston, pretending I know something about politics. Also there: Mark Halperin, late of the Note, who gave a brown bag talk at Harvard's Institute of Politics about the "problems" present in modern political journalism, as observed by him and from his talks with actual campaign professionals.

Shockingly, "absurdly kowtowing to whoever happens to be in power" was not on the list. He did lay into bloggers, who apparently sometimes "taint" their analysis by "engaging in ad hominem attacks." Also, the blogs of "mainstream" publications are not up to Halperin-approved journalistic grade. Did you know, for instance, that the "New York Times regularly puts stories on its website that don't make it into the next day's paper"? Halperin suggested that this disparity stems from the online stories not living up to the printed edition's rigorous standards.

Halperin also told the group that the MSM does a disservice to its readers when they ascribe "only political motives" to politicians. He cited coverage of Bush's border policy as an example, saying "all you hear is that Bush is trying to appeal to Hispanic voters," rather than, for instance, that Bush does care deeply about border protection as a national security issue. Said Halperin, "I guarantee you most of these politicians take these positions because they believe it's for the good of the country."