Are you like me, do you just love the press criticism? (Of course you are; of course you do.) Well, I correspond today with news of the new location for Jack Shafer, who was laid off last month by Slate, where as editor at large he wrote the Press Box column (and other things). In fact, Shafer’s first column at Reuters is dated one week ago so I’m a couple of days late to the party, but there’s not as much to catch up on if you start right away.
If you’re new to Shafer’s brand of criticism, jump in with a look at the latest column: he’s arguing against self-described centrist journalism.
If not for media bias, I’m certain that my news diet would taste so strongly of sawdust and talc that I would abandon news consumption completely. As long as I’m eating news, give me the saffron smoothness of New York Times liberalism and the hallelujah hot sauce excitement of Fox News Channel conservatism. Anything but a menu of balance, moderation, and fairness!
Read the column—he’s not against “balance, moderation and fairness,” he’s against bland; he’s against lazy news consumers who are insufficiently critical of what they read, see and hear, and recommends we all expand our menu of news providers.
The recommendation comes from my prejudice that liberals are better at sniffing out corporate corruption and national security shenanigans and conservatives better at blowing the whistle on waste and overreach by governments. Centrist news outlets, or at least self-defined centrist journalists, don’t strike me as possessed or deranged enough to battle their way to the end of a good investigation.
I also call upon readers to learn how to hit both lefties and righties—and whatever ambidextrous centrist journalists take the mound. Media bias isn’t a journalistic problem. It’s a solution.
Shafer’s new spot at Reuters is now on my blogroll over there, for your future reference.