It’s no secret that newspapers in this country are in trouble. Last December, Tribune Company, publishers of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, among other things, filed for bankruptcy. Two weeks ago, Denver’s Rocky Mountain News ceased to exist. By the end of this week, Seattle’s Post-Intelligencer will print it’s last issue. There are even grumblings that a major US city will be without a newspaper.
In today’s Washington Post, Kathleen Parker indicts what she calls “drive-by pundits,” a play off of Rush Limbaugh’s phrase, “drive-by media.” She blames years of “non-journalists,” like Limbaugh, who have been screaming about media bias for years. Enough people have listened to decide that they’re right, the media is biased, and the only truth is whatever the bloviator is spewing. Facts become an annoyance, and besides, who has time to check them anyway. They could go read a paper, but let’s be honest, reading is a pain in the ass and it’s so much easier to listen to the angry, faceless man in the talking box or watch the two angry people yelling at each other, right?
Full disclosure requires me to admit that I am a bloviator too. I am not a journalist and just about everything I write is an opinion, which by definition makes me a pundit. So, faithful readers, I make the following pledge. I promise to always tell the truth and back up my statements with sources. It may be my opinion, but I will do everything I can to back it up with facts.
In the meantime, I am going to buy a newspaper and find said truth.