Biased facts, objective opinions

The conventional thinking about newspapers is, or used to be, that news stories should be reported in a reasonably objective manner, with the paper’s biases reserved for the editorial page. The Washington Post, however, stands this thinking on its head. These days, its news stories relentlessly promote the liberal Democratic line, and even its sports pages are predictably PC. The op- ed page, which not long ago reflected a balance of liberal and conservative views, is now predominantly liberal. The only part of the Post that I read where one can find a modicum of objectivity and balance is the editorial page.
Here, the Post presents a lengthy editorial on whether, in retrospect, the war in Iraq was a good idea, and what our course should be going forward. The Post concludes that our military intervention was warranted because, without it, Saddam would eventually have shaken off the U.N. inspectors and sanctions and followed through on his intention to produce biological, chemical, and perhaps nuclear weapons. “In acting to enforce the U.N. resolution,” says the Post, “the United States eliminated a real, if not ‘imminent’ threat, while ensuring that future Security Council ultimatums carry some weight.” That threat, coupled with Saddam’s collaboration with some terrorist organizations, though perhaps not Al Qaeda, meant that Iraq was a proper front in the war on terrorism. As to the future, the Post states that “because we continue to believe that U.S. security is at stake, we also believe that the United States must be prepared to dedicate troops and financial resources [to Iraq] until our goal is achieved, even if it takes years.”
As one would expect, the editorial takes a few unfair shots at the Bush administration. Overall, though, it represents a fair and balanced assessment of the situation. It’s too bad that the paper’s news staff cannot live up to the standard of objectivity set by the editorial department.


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