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Media bias in the eye of beholder page 2
Whoa, Jesse--say what you want, but don't expect to earn any respect.

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RICHARD AMRHINE
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Date published: 2/16/2003

By RICHARD AMRHINE

continued

For the most part, the news is simply information reported for humans by humans who are striving to be fair and accurate. The collection of news is by nature subjective, translated by a reporter whose job is to be objective as possible. The reporter's work is reviewed by a series of editors, most of whom are arguably human.

Mistakes are made, just as an umpire honestly calls strike when the replay shows the ball clearly out of the strike zone. Maybe he needs better glasses. Maybe sometimes we need better glasses.

I admit that I cringe during breaking news situations, when reporters press authorities for information that is either unavailable or that they aren't about to divulge.

That happened with the loss of the space shuttle Columbia. Within minutes after the breakup was confirmed, reporters were asking how and why it happened.

It's one of those situations that demands the questions be asked, despite their prematurity. There wasn't one person on Earth who, upon hearing of the tragedy, didn't immediately wonder why it happened. Reporters often rephrase the same questions in hopes of getting just a tidbit of new information. Just ask Chief Charles Moose.

For Jesse Ventura to charge the media with having ulterior motives is actually a good thing. That's because you have to consider the source of such an argument, and the source in this case is less than reliable.

Speaking of Columbia

The loss of Columbia illustrates what I see as a numbing of America to its most compelling national events.

With the media's help, we are doing our best to paint ourselves as being overwrought by the loss of seven Columbia crew members.

Yes, their deaths are devastating to their families, the space program, and the world. But since the moment the tragedy was first reported, many people compartmentalized it. It's as though this generation has already experienced the worst that can happen: Thousands of people killed right here in America while going about their daily routines.

Sept. 11 was so horrific that it has inured us to calamity until something even worse comes along. Before that it was Oklahoma City. These are the things about which we still ask: How could this happen?


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