Is journalism dying?

By Tom Quiner

Do you trust the media?

If you’re like me, you’ll probably say: it depends who is doing the reporting.

Conservatives like Fox News, whose slogan is: “we report, you decide.”

Liberals like Katie Couric who says, “we go beyond the news, we tell you what it means.” Translation: we’re going to slant it.

Liberals also love the New York Times. Let’s look at how the Times approached one aspect of the alleged Arizona assassin, Jared Loughner.

They described him as a pro-life fanatic, quoting a student from one of Mr. Loughner’s classes as follows:

“After another student read a poem about getting an abortion, Mr. Loughner compared the young woman to a ‘terrorist for killing the baby.'”

The same story was covered by ABC News slightly differently:

“One Pima Community College student, who had a poetry class with Loughner later in his college career, said he would often act ‘wildly inappropriate.’

“‘One day (Loughner) started making comments about terrorism and laughing about killing the baby,’ classmate Don Coorough told ABC News, referring to a discussion about abortions. ‘The rest of us were looking at him in shock … I thought this young man was troubled.’

“Another classmate, Lydian Ali, recalled the incident as well.

“‘A girl had written a poem about an abortion. It was very emotional and she was teary eyed and he said something about strapping a bomb to the fetus and making a baby bomber,’ Ali said.”

ABC presents Mr. Loughner as a disturbed young man. The Times presents him as a disturbed pro-life whacko.

The same facts, an entirely different perspective.

Was the Times going out of their way to try to slant the news?

The Society of Professional Journalists subscribes to a Code of Ethics. The following is part of their Code:

— Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.

Do you think the mainstream media (MSM) is honoring their Code?