-By Warner Todd Huston
Fishbowl DC has a startling report that seriously brings into doubt the independence and veracity of the journalistic arts. It seems that the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein appeared as a speaker at a closed door session of a gathering of Senate Democrat Chiefs of Staff last week, a move that, as Betsy Rothstein correctly notes, “blurs the lines between being a journalist and trying to sway politics.”
No one knows what Klein briefed the Democrat staffers about, but the whole episode raises eyebrows. How is it that a purported journalist is the one doing the briefing instead of the one getting briefed? As Rothstein notes, it is all very untoward.
Briefings for journalists covering Capitol Hill are usually the reverse of what transpired here. Lawmakers brief reporters. Aides brief reporters. Think tanks brief reporters. Think tanks brief aides. But reporters briefing aides? This is unheard of.
There is no other way to look at this but to see it as a journalist that is not being a “reporter” but a participant with an ideological motivation. Especially since this was an address given by Klein only to Democrats as opposed to a bipartisan gathering of Senate staffers.
This reflects badly on the entirety of journalism. There are already enough people out there that don’t trust journalists as far as they could throw them. This makes matters worse. The Washington Post really should cut their ties with this guy. He really brings suspicion upon everything they do.
It should be remembered that Ezra Klein was the founder and proprietor of the notorious “Journolist,” a secretive website message board upon which well known journalists colluded to push a liberal agenda while sounding out ways to attack conservatives. One again making the lie that journalists are strictly interested in reporting the facts.
Klein shut down the Journolist soon after the Daily Caller’s exposées of its existence.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, RightPundits.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.
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