gotcha equalizing, continued

Two reporters bit the dust this week in response to blogstorms. Jeff Gannon was outed because he was suspected of being a White House plant at press conferences. Eason Jordan decided the fallout from his remarks at the World Economic Forum, which just highlighted an historic trend, were too much for his employer, CNN.

But this respondent raises one more important point: There is a rhetorical trick in the air with people taking one perceived sin from one side and putting it against a perceived sin from the other side and thinking that is both equivalent and balanced. Are Gannon and Jordan equivalent and does reporting both of them make the reporter balanced? Ditto Bush’s and Kerry’s service records? It not only makes for fake column-a/column-b cable-news balance, it even motivates the press to go after somebody from one side when they start reporting on a scandal from the other side so it can seem balanced. [Jeff Jarvis, Buzz Machine, 11Fb05]

It doesn’t look like it is going to end there, either.

Nancy Rabinowitz, director of the Kirkland Project for the Study of Gender, Society and Culture at Hamilton College, who invited Ward “Little Eichmanns” Churchill to speak and ignited a media firestorm, has resigned. (Hat tip: mommydoc.) [2/11/2005: Night of the Resignations. Little Green Footballs. 11Fb05]

I wonder what is going to be created to ‘balance’ the Churchill fallout? Perhaps silence? That tactic doesn’t seem to go very far these days.

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