While in line to attend a fundraiser for President Obama, the president of CBS reportedly said that “partisanship is very much a part of journalism now.” Considering the definitions of journalism and partisanship, we see that Les Moonves has openly admitted that his industry has abandoned its true mission and instead is pushing an agenda.
According to Merriam Webster, a partisan is “one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning alliance” to a “party, faction, cause, or person.”
Journalism is “a direct presentation of facts or description of events without interpretation.”
Obviously, the two cannot coexist.
All humans are biased to a degree, but professional journalists are supposed to set aside their biases and simply present facts. Facts aren’t liberal or conservative – they are just facts. But when you have blind allegiance to an agenda, then you twist the facts to fit your agenda.
There is no way that CBS can present facts, free of interpretation, while having a blind and unreasoning allegiance to a party.
Of course, CBS and their counterparts do present facts, but those facts are filtered. Media will not give Obama the same degree of scrutiny as his opponent, Mitt Romney. Media will selectively present information that could weaken their agenda on issues like gun control or abortion. Media will go to biased sources that will further the narrative.
So if Moonves’ employees are no longer journalists, what are they?
Again, from Merriam Webster: propaganda is “ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause.” Both journalism and propaganda deal in “facts,” but what sets the two apart is whether or not the selection and presentation of the facts is deliberately intended to further or damage a cause.
And when Moonves admitted that journalism is partisan, he admitted that journalism today is propaganda.
To be clear, journalism is not to be confused with commentary, like Rush Limbaugh, or editorials, like Thomas Sowell (or this post, for that matter). They are not reporting facts, but interpreting them – providing their opinions.
If Moonves wanted to further his agenda the right way, political commentary would be the proper place to do it. Not on the evening news.
For millions of Americans, the only exposure they have to “facts” is what CBS and other major media outlets disseminate. With Moonves’ announcement, it becomes clear how our country ended up with Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi at the helm.
True objective journalism is dead. Americans deserve better than what Moonves and his fellow travelers at other media outlets are selling. Our republic cannot survive when those presenting the “facts” have a blind allegiance to an agenda.