Thursday, March 30, 2006

Relativism in Iraq

The STR blog has a post on Hugh Hewitt's interview with a Time reporter with some interesting insights into the amoral approach that they attempt to take.

"Ware argues for a journalistic objectivity that requires moral neutrality, thus he can't
discern or won't admit to a moral difference between the Iraqi and Coalition troops and the
terrorists blowing up innocent Iraqis. They are just two sides of a war he must report on."

It seems that "objectivity" has become such a key word in the media's approach to such things that the whole debate about right and wrong is a side note for someone else to argue. If you consider the approach of Fox News' "Fair and Balanced" to be an objective look at news (I'm not necessarily arguing that it is), then what do you call such an approach that essentially draws no lines whatsoever? Warm Jello maybe. Relativism, certainly.

If Words Mean Things
One of the Webster's (1960)definitions of "objective" reads: determined by and emphasizing the features and characteristics of the object, or thing dealt with, rather than the thoughts, feelings, etc. of the artist, writer, or speaker.

Misplaced Objectivity
Misplaced objectivity seems to be the culprit. Even such a concept as objectivity can be applied illogically and ridiculously. The act of reporting events has risen to its own enterprise, one that exceeds the very subject that it is supposed to convey to the people watching. The backlash against subjective and ethnocentric reporting seems to have birthed a style that has no framework whatsoever for morality, motivations, or the ability to judge right from wrong.

Logical Conclusions
If we applied similar reporting to our local nightly news, we might discover that no one was to blame for the recent rash of burglaries in our neighborhood, or that the high murder rate of our town is simply a fact, neither good nor bad. With such a lack of any framework for reporting in Iraq, what makes a roadside bombing any more important as news than 3 year-old Johnny's birthday party where he put his whole hand in the cake?

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