Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Slate: We overwhelmingly support Kerry, but we're not trying to help him win

Here's the vote among the Slate staff:
  • Kerry: 45 (88.2%)
  • Bush: 4 (7.8%)
  • Michael Badnarik (Libertarian): 1 (2.0%)
  • David Cobb (Green): 1 (2.0%)
This transparency is good. It signals readers not to take Slate editor Jacob Weisberg too seriously when he concludes his very readable piece on the case for journalistic disclosure with this:
As evidenced by this survey, the vast majority at Slate wants John Kerry to win the election on Nov. 2. But don't get the wrong idea. We're not trying to help him do it.
I take this analysis from the same piece more seriously:
The case most commonly made against fuller disclosure of opinion at "straight" news organizations like CBS—as opposed to journals of opinion like Slate—is that the information would be misused by media critics on the right. Movement conservatives would seize on the revelation that most journalists vote Democratic to discredit professionals who are doing their conscientious best to be fair. But wait—conservatives already dismiss the press as biased against them, on the well-supported assumption that most journalists at national news organizations are liberal. Is denying a cheap shot to critics really a good enough reason to withhold information that many news consumers would deem not only interesting, but useful and relevant?
(Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan.)