As I watched the barrista prepare my large dry cap, a painfully slow process whether or not you are at that point seventh in line, I could not help but think of the latest flap over the state of journalism today, perhaps because I HAD walked off and left my botched (and paid for) “dry cap” to the next person in line earlier that week. The barrista didn’t understand what a dry cap was and I was not in a generous mood. My loss.
But to return to the latest media maelstrom, in what seems to me to be a stretch similar to the one that sees white folk making $50K/yr embarrassing themselves as tea party types, Ted Koppel appears to court teabaggery by suggesting that Olbermann was no more than a mirror image of Fox News.
Fox News is not regarded as evidencing journalistic values by virtually any independent source, yet Koppel did not focus on the litany of abuse of journalistic value that is Fox and in so doing he demonstrated how uninformed his argument is.
However one takes one’s java, a dry cap is subjective; the stiffness and quantity of the “froth”, the lightness of the cup, the interface between the light and dark. Objectivity is meaningful as a term only if it is supported by a full declaration of perspective, which is to say that facts are as real as unicorns and leprechauns. Whatever the menu says, those of us who favor a dry cap have a shared vantage that informs the act. Eschewing my beverage of choice without sharing that vantage simply doesn’t rise to the concept of informed choice.
I will admit that I find Olbermann to be one of the most eloquent and informed writers on the political scene today. I feel that way not because I share his political views, but because he is incisive, critical, analytical, rational and clearly identifies his perspective and the basis for same. His analysis is cogent, well-informed, well-grounded.
Frankly, I think he made a number of excellent points in his response to Koppel (URL below) not the least of which calls to task the notion of objectivity without context. Olbermann is no more a mirror image of O’Reilly than Moyers is Hannity through the looking glass, and Koppel’s argument to the contrary is much more an indictment of Koppel himself than anything else.
Like my barrista this morning, Kronkeit and Morrows were able to get it right. I think Moyers will be seen the same way, and I am hopeful that Olbermann will be seen to merit mention among that company as well….
Koppel just doesn’t get it….