Newsweek has published a Web exclusive Q&A with CNN flavor of the month Lou Dobbs. Reporter Jonathan Darman quizzed Dobbs about his style of commentary:
|…Is it appropriate for a host to take position on any kind of issue? Or is there something specific about the topics you deal with that makes it OK?
The fact is that, I have been covering these issues for years. I know whereof I speak. Our staff is committed to the research and fact-gathering necessary to report on that nonpartisan, independent reality. It would be the worst kind of deceit and negligence to suggest that the he-says, she-says journalism that’s practiced by most new organizations would be anything approximating reality … Democrats and Republicans alike … are, as far as I’m concerned, both under the sway of corporate America and its political dominance over our political system. I truly believe that it’s incumbent upon all journalists — whether they call themselves objective journalists, yeomen, or whatever title they want — there’s never been a time in my career in which there’s a greater urgency and responsibility for us to root out the facts and to deal with what has become disinformation, dissemination, spin, if you will, and to take language seriously and to understand that these orthodoxies that have grown up in this country are something new and something that, in my opinion, are very dangerous to a free marketplace of ideas.
So if he-says, she-says doesn’t work, should all journalists give up the pretense of objectivity?
Listen, I’m not nearly smart enough to say what all journalists should do, and I don’t believe anyone else is either. But I am smart enough to know what I know, what I should do and what is right for me and my audience and what is reasonable and honest.