It’s not happening. They’re doing their best to normalize racists while calling it “journalism”. Read this NPR interview with Breitbart editor Joel Pollak, in which he fawns over Steve Bannon to a ludicrous degree, and the interviewer fails to call him out.
INSKEEP: I mean, let me just stop you there because I do want to ask about something that you said. You were talking about facts and data and how he ran Breitbart. Why did he make Breitbart the platform for the alt-right?
POLLAK:You know, all I can speak to is the content on the website. And the only alt-right content we have is a single article out of tens of thousands of articles, which is a journalistic article about the alt-right by Milo Yiannopoulos and Allum Bokhari, which basically went into this movement and tried to figure out what it was about. That’s not racist. That’s journalism.
Inskeep presumably thinks of himself as a journalist. Pollak has just maligned all of journalism, and has also outright lied in this interview (Bannon:
We’re the platform for the alt-right.), and what does Innskeep do? He let’s it slide and he changes the subject.
No. That’s not how you do it. You do your homework ahead of time, and when you ask why Bannon made Breitbart the platform for the alt-right, you’ve got sources and quotes to back up your assertion, so that when a liar like Pollak makes such a ludicrous and patently false claim, you use that information to fucking pound him into the ground. You don’t change the subject. The interviewee has just exposed his fundamental wrongness, and you tear into that. Shove it in his face and make him address it, don’t let him dodge it. Your job is not to provide a pleasant, soothing environment for the guest, it is to probe down into the guts of the topic to extract some germ of insight, which might be very uncomfortable for him.
Inskeep seems to have an abstract notion of what journalism should mean as he later says:
INSKEEP: I want to mention, you know, actually putting controversial opinions out there is a perfectly fine idea. We’ve had David Duke on this program, but we fact-check, we try to question, we put in context.
Right. So where’s the instant fact-check on Pollak’s lie? Innskeep goes on to try and address a Breitbart article that praises the Confederacy, but then Pollak uses that as a springboard for more bullshit.
POLLAK: I think that we can talk about individual articles out of the tens of thousands at Breitbart, but, you know, NPR is taxpayer-funded and has an entire section of its programming, a regular feature called “Code Switch,” which, from my perspective, is a racist program. I’m looking here at the latest article, which aired on NPR, calling the election results “nostalgia for a whiter America.” So NPR has racial and racist programming that I am required to, I’m required to pay for as a taxpayer.
So that’s our story. NPR, which has just in this segment demonstrated a complete lack of any kind of teeth, is the racist news source, while Breitbart, which is an unremitting stream of hate endorsed by the KKK and the Daily Stormer, is
journalism. Who cares about facts? Not modern journalism, it seems.
Here’s a quote to keep in mind:
For those covering Trump, the lesson is that adversarial journalism, not access journalism, will better serve the public interest.
Adversarial journalism? What’s that? I don’t think I’ve seen much of that in the wild lately. Maybe it’s gone extinct.