June 14, 2005

KA-BOOM!:

Many Americans Call O'Reilly a Journalist (WILL LESTER, June 13, 2005, Associated Press)

About 40 percent of Americans say they consider talk show host Bill O'Reilly a journalist -- more than would define famed Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward the same way, according to a poll conducted this spring.

O'Reilly is on the Fox News Channel, offering his often tart conservative opinions, while Woodward has spent a career writing news stories and books.

Only 30 percent of those polled said Woodward was a journalist, while 53 percent said they didn't know, despite the fact that Woodward and Carl Bernstein broke the Watergate story that ultimately led to President Nixon's resignation in 1974.

More than a quarter said talk show host Rush Limbaugh was one, while one in five said they considered newspaper columnist George Will to be a journalist.


Either the National Press Club has fireworks for Flag Day or that's the sound of heads exploding.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 14, 2005 12:48 PM
Comments

The public is defining a journalist as someone who reads the news and offers his opinion on it, not necessarily someone who goes out and does reporting and research.

That's pretty much Dan Rather's definition of himself--just ask him. Why should the AP be surprised that the public agrees with that take--or that virtually everyone who doesn't work in a newsroom consider Watergate to be ancient history?

Posted by: Ed Driscoll at June 14, 2005 1:10 PM

There's no reason for heads to explode over this. After all the liberal media has done its best over the last 30 years to blur the boundaries between journalists, reporters, pundits, spin doctors, commentators, activists, and news anchors. Now the terms have no real significance.

Journalists should be most troubled that the article once again proves that Watergate and Woodward are not and have never been important to anyone born after 1960.

Posted by: Shelton at June 14, 2005 1:29 PM

This article makes it sound like George Will shouldn't be considered a journalist. Why not?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 14, 2005 2:27 PM

Heck, I am a journalist. I just don't make as much money from it as O'Reilly:-)

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 14, 2005 3:11 PM

In the past, good writers like Malcolm Muggeridge were considered "journalists", more so even than reporters on a deadline to some paper thousands of miles away. The fact that most of them were slovenly liberal didn't seem to matter.

Now that the worm has turned, and with the best 'opiners' on TV and radio being conservative, no one should be upset. In fact, the left should welcome the diversity and the fresh insights........but they don't.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 14, 2005 3:54 PM

In fairness, Muggeridge was a journalist first.

Posted by: oj at June 14, 2005 3:59 PM

OJ is a journalist too. He just doesn't make enough money from his journalism for his wife to be happy about it.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 14, 2005 4:07 PM

Journalists are a class of people too stupid, lazy and dishonorable to become lawyers, and that is frightening to behold. Why anyone should view being labelled a 'journalist' as something to be any prouder of than 'used car salesman' or to be as proud of as, for example, 'lap dancer' is beyond me.

The notion of media objectivity merely insulted the intelligence and singes the nose hairs of the rational. It doesn't exist and it cannot exist. So let's at least try to be slightly honest and admit that we do all bring our biases to the table when we look at events.

Posted by: bart at June 14, 2005 4:30 PM

OJ:

He was more of a journalist than Duranty, that's for sure.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 14, 2005 5:14 PM

OJ is not a lap dancer.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 14, 2005 5:27 PM

OJ is not a lap dancer.

That's comforting to know.

Posted by: Mike Morley at June 14, 2005 6:41 PM

Mike: he needs the money.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 14, 2005 6:46 PM

Robert:

Who would pay to see that?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 14, 2005 7:12 PM

Bart - Lap dancers deliver exactly what they promise to deliver; that makes them honest businesswomen; putting them on a much higher moral plane than journalists.

See Heinlein's quote about prostitutes versus scientists; it's the Notebooks of Lazurus Long.

Posted by: Tom at June 15, 2005 3:45 PM

Tom,

Precisely.

In the course of my long and varied life, I've had some fascinating experiences with women in the 'sex industry' in situations where no professional demands were made of them.

Posted by: bart at June 15, 2005 8:33 PM
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