Biased or Just Plain Lazy?
A story in yesterday's Minneapolis Star Tribune illustrates the difficulties in distinguishing between genuine liberal bias in the paper's reporting and just blame sloppy journalism (unfortunately both are all too often evident). Here is reporter Randy Furst's description of the anti-war vigils held on Sunday:
On street corners and in church parking lots, in city parks and on lakefronts, opponents of war with Iraq gathered at dusk for the demonstrations. Most of the vigils had been set up in the past few days, with information spreading almost entirely by Internet and word of mouth.
A Web site called MoveOn.org announced the vigils last week and urged people to sign on.
Now I'm not a reporter and haven't studied journalism in college but might this not be a situation that calls for some background on the group that organizied the vigils? Would it have been too much to at least visit the MoveOn.org web site and learn:
1. MoveOn was started in 1998 to oppose the attempts to impeach President Clinton
2. In the past they have fought attempts to repeal the estate tax, have favored imposing price controls on energy, and supported further gun control restrictions
3. They are currently campaigning against the Estrada nomination in the Senate
4. After 9/11 they opposed any military response to the WTC attacks
5. They are now aligned with the umbrella group anti-war group 'Win Without War' as well as 'Musicians United to Win Without War'
If you spend two minutes on their site it's obvious that MoveOn is a partisan advocacy group. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Or with the positions they advocate for. But shouldn't the Strib reporter have at least made mention of the background and politics of MoveOn? I have a hard time imaging any similar group from the right not being labeled as "conservative" or "right wing" in the paper.
Biased or lazy? They report. We try to decide.