Bluster == Journalism

According to an Annenberg poll conducted this spring, about 40 percent of Americans consider Fox News talk show host Bill O’Reilly a “journalist” — while only 30 percent of the people surveyed said they considered famed Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward to be one. … Meanwhile, more than a quarter surveyed said that another champion of judicious reportage, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, was a journalist.

So when you see reports about the sinking credibility ratings of journalists, keep in mind who the “journalists” being rated really are.

3 Replies to “Bluster == Journalism”

  1. Bill O’Reilly is a journalist as long as there are official op-ed pieces in print and video journalism. If someone expressing their opinion in the New York Times while on the payroll of the New York Times gets to have that effort called journalism, IMO, so does O’Reilly.

    But it’s not reporting, it’s op-ed.

  2. mneptok, I don’t think any journalist would call an editorial piece on the op-ed page “journalism.” Opinions expressed there may be informed by years of having done journalism, but the definition of “journalism” as held by journalists isn’t quite that loose.

    Of course there are gray areas, where you have an op-ed piece that draws on original research and reporting, but even then, an op-ed is kind of in a special class.

    Over and above that, it’s also hard to compare O’Reilly’s fist-pounding to a reasoned argument (that’s not a statement about partisan comparisons, more a comment on how O’Reilly’s rhetorical style differs dramatically from that of most op-ed pieces in newspapers).

  3. People don’t want to have to think hard anymore, they just wanna hear some fist-pounding blowhard trumpet a position they already agree with over and over.

    “Atlantic Monthly” and NPR don’t rule, Fox (Faux) “News” and “People” magazine do. (sigh)

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