I have been harshly critical of Glenn Beck, but in the spirit of
fairness today I give Beck high praise for his professionalism in
revealing the full story of the anti-NPR video and exposing how its
partial presentation, repeated ad nauseam and unfairly throughout the
media, misrepresented the facts and slandered NPR.
I never thought I would write this, but I encourage every reader to go to Beck's website, the Blaze, and study for themselves the full video, and the whole truth, without the selective editing of the anti-NPR faction or the lazy misreporting that swept across the major media.
Why did this exercise in professional journalism come from Glenn Beck and not from MSNBC, CNN, other players at Fox News who I normally consider serious journalists, NBC, CBS and ABC?
And, since I am professionally indicting all of the above, why did it not come from me? At least I did not attack NPR over this falsely distorted video, or repeat the false attacks of others, as the media named above almost uniformly did, to their shame. But I could have done the research Beck and his staff did, and I did not.
If anyone at any other network did the reporting Beck did on that matter, let me know and I will sing their praises too. All I saw was the endless repetition of a false representation the same way that the same people at the same news organizations did during the Shirley Sherrod lynching party.
It is a hopeless cause to propose that the cable and national news networks do more reporting and fact-checking when anyone, left or right, is demeaned. It a hopeless cause to suggest the world would be a better place with more serious reporting and less shallow opining by the pundit and chattering classes who move from show to show parroting the latest polls, repeating the latest chatter, spewing ad nauseam and without fact-checking the latest slander of the day, thinking it is "good TV.”
Let me be crystal-clear. I support NPR, and public broadcasting generally. I support private and public funding, without which the quality of television for children would significantly decline. I believe NPR is highly professional and fair and is one of the finest news organizations in the nation. I am one of many taxpayers who wants my taxpayer money used this way.
It may be hopeless, but I propose from now on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, NBC, ABC and CBS adopt this ironclad standard of ethics before reporting on any video, watch the video in full and tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth before airing slanders without fact-checking.
No more Shirley Sherrods, OK? No more partial excerpts. No more falsehoods or slanders repeated as facts by "news organizations" too lazy and sloppy to do their jobs, unless they want to be labeled as second-tier entertainment instead of trusted high-quality news.
I never expected to write this, but in the spirit of fairness, on the matter of the anti-NPR video Glenn Beck, his staff and his site the Blaze deserve the thanks of those who believe in the highest standards of integrity and accuracy of journalism.
Whether we usually agree with Beck or not, he has earned high praise on this matter. As Walter Cronkite often said: That's the way it is, today.