Monday, June 28, 2010

"Dumbness"

Kudos and loud applause for the "journalists" who thought it was a good idea to mock Sarah Palin. It turns out their verbal harangue was caught on tape, including one saying that "dumbness doesn't just come in sound bites."

Congratulate the on a splendid display of professionalism.

You and I, and everyone else, including journalists, can hold whatever personal opinion we want about Ms. Palin or any other politician. However, unless we can leave that opinion at the door when we cover that individual, then we don't deserve to call ourselves journalists.

In fact, that very "leave your opinion at the door" message is the one I deliver when speaking to high school journalists or incoming college freshmen. I remind them that journalists are not robots; it is natural to have feelings of empathy, support, dislike and a host of other emotions for the people they cover. But I also tell them that if they cannot leave their personal biases out of their work, then they owe it to their employer and their audience (and not in that order) to step aside and let someone who can, do that job.

If those brilliant souls who thought it was wise to rip Ms. Palin while on the job get fired, then they've brought their professional misery upon themselves. I have no tolerance for their "dumbness."

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