Saturday, October 6, 2012

What a Reporter is Supposed to Do! It is BASIC

I'm not a fan of the professional wrestling version of journalism, that would be FOX & MSNBC.  But on Hardball, Chris Matthews did what every journalist is supposed to do:  ask for the evidence.

When former GE CEO Jack Welch tweeted that the "Chicago guys" did something to the "jobs numbers," Mathews asked Jack for evidence.   He had none.

What has happened to basic critical thinking?  A prominent CEO makes that kind of assertion with absolutely no evidence.   Applying Jack's standard, I could simply say I'm surprised to learn that Jack Welch is racist, that he made those comments because he doesn't like the fact that a black man is in the White House.   Welch can't fight the numbers with facts or evidence, so he just makes something up.   Obviously, I have no proof that Jack Welch is a racist, that he is opposing Barack Obama because he can't tolerate the fact that a black man is President of the United States.   But if I apply Jack Welch's own standards for intellectual rigor, I don't need any evidence.

Do you think Jack Welch would have tolerated that level of thinking from any of his executives at GE?  So why has he adopted such a miserably low standard for his own public statements?

Journalism requires verification.   It's a shame there's so little of it and way too much of he said/she said.   Being a human microphone stand is not journalism.   Chris Matthews didn't have to ask a hard question, just a simple direct one.   "Jack, do you have any evidence?"   No.

Then why would someone of Jack Welch's position make such a statement?   Oh that's right, he's a racist.   Again, I have no proof, no facts.   For this post, I'm just applying Jack's standards, standards no news organization should ever tolerate.

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