Particularly in this election cycle, it is possible to be impartial and it is possible to be objective, but it is not possible to be both.

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Comment by Maui Surfer on September 13, 2016 at 1:47pm

Imagine Huntley or Brinckley or Cronkite following the Trump campaign- it really makes today's bunch look like what they are 'news stars' seeking, and perhaps achieving, notoriety and profiteering, but at what cost?

Comment by koshersalaami on September 13, 2016 at 1:49pm
Exactly. Those guys were concerned with objectivity more than impartiality because they had ethics. If a standard is violated, call the guy on it. It's what Edward R. Murrow did with McCarthy. If you favor impartiality, whoever acts worse gets a free pass to the extent that they do act worse.
Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on September 13, 2016 at 2:41pm

All the more difficult for debate moderators.

Comment by nerd cred on September 13, 2016 at 3:08pm

Good distinction.

There's talk of an effort to get Joy Reid added as a moderator with Chris Wallace. Wallace has said it's not his job to fact check during the debate. Reid has faced down a number of Trump surrogates when she's filled in on MSNBC. She's the tokenish black anchor on MSNBC since Melissa Harris Perry got pushed out. Or pushed herself out. Or whatever. Left. Reid has a weekend morning show and fills in for the night anchors a lot. She's terrific. I'd love to see her moderate a debate though it might stretch the time it takes. She does know how to move on, though.

Comment by Ron Powell on September 13, 2016 at 3:46pm
It may not be possible to be both impartial and objective.
( However, the concepts are not mutually exclusive.)

But it is possible to be niether.

TV 'journalists' are not journalists. They are on air personalities who read the 'news' that is gathered , written, and edited by others.

In many respects, another basket of deplorables...

I taught Media Law and Ethics during the previous two election cycles. Part of the work for students was to identify and discuss the differences in 'slant'and 'spin' re the concepts of impartiality and objectivity as ethical principles in journalism.

I'm not sure that I would open that can of worms here....
Comment by Ron Powell on September 13, 2016 at 4:08pm

What TV journalism looks/sounds like:

Comment by Ron Powell on September 13, 2016 at 4:50pm

The famous Murrow speech on TV journalism, which is abbreviated  in the movie  ^Good Night, and Good Luck":

Comment by koshersalaami on September 13, 2016 at 5:19pm

That's why I used Murrow as an example in my first comment. 

As to impartiality and objectivity not being mutually exclusive, in this election the point of this post is the exact opposite: that at the moment, they are. If you are objective, you will go toward one candidate and against the other, as we have seen many prominent Republicans do, leaving their party's nominee because in the end they just couldn't suspend their objectivity any more without jettisoning their integrity completely. But in the media you are not punished for lack of objectivity, you are punished for lack of impartiality masquerading as objectivity. That saves reputations temporarily with people who haven't figured out this distinction but serves the country miserably. 

This is why I prefer sportscasters to newscasters or, better yet, guys who have been both, like Bryant Gumbel was on the Today Show. Newscasters are scorekeepers, but sportscasters believe in preserving the integrity of the game above all else. This game is more important, but there aren't enough people dedicated to preserving the integrity of this game like Murrow was. 

Comment by Zanelle on September 13, 2016 at 8:15pm

I vote for Trevor North from the Daily Show for moderator.  Love that guy!

Comment by koshersalaami on September 14, 2016 at 3:48am
Not American. You'd have to settle for Jon Stewart.


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