Monday, March 26, 2007

"Some" Were as Annoyed by Katie Couric as I Was

Perfectly put, from Joseph Hughes' Blog:

Dear Katie,

Some people just saw you interview John and Elizabeth Edwards on "60 Minutes". Others did not. Even those who did see you interview the Edwardses are of two minds about it. Some people who did see the interview thought it was a moving profile of two courageous individuals. Others who saw it thought that, while the last statement is true, you, on the other hand, did a terrible job and did journalism a disservice. Some people will surely come away thinking you legitimized the shameful opinions of the far-right fringe by couching them in relative anonymity. Other people will come away thinking you did that because you agree with them. So, some people will think you're simply a hack, while others will think you're a partisan joke. A third group will think both. What would you say to those people?

Annoying, isn't it, Katie?

I'm not sure exactly how many people still, for some unknown reason, consider you a journalist. I suppose you can't really blame them if they do, seeing as you are indeed the host of a nightly news broadcast. The same one, in fact, Walter Cronkite once hosted. You, Katie, are no Walter Cronkite. And on the same network, in fact, for whom Edward R. Murrow once worked. You, Katie, are no Edward R. Murrow. But those who saw your interview of the Edwardses Sunday night witnessed firsthand not only how much the field of journalism has suffered of late, but also how poorly amateurs like you have treated it. In other words, calling you a journalist is like calling President Bush a sophisticate.

You see, in your attempt to conduct an even-handed conversation with the Edwardses, you committed, on myriad occasions, lazy journalism. Your repeated use of the "some say" construction - a FOX News staple - was both especially annoying and professionally irresponsible. Some people didn't say John Edwards's decision to stay in the race despite last week's news was political opportunism. Rush Limbaugh did. Twice. So, too, did the always offensive fringe elements at the Free Republic. But by shielding the Limbaughs of the world from responsibility for their ridiculous statements, you made it appear as though they are shared by many others.

Of course, by this morning, Katie's and Rush's imaginary "some people" had somehow magically grown in number and importance. They were now "critics" and "many." Here's how Today opened this morning:

You gotta love the echo chamber.