C-SPAN loses its sense of balance and reality
Balance is a watchword in journalism. In reporting the news, the media's goal is to present competing views of contentious issues. In commenting about the news, editorial pages seek diverse viewpoints.
Sometimes, however, the commitment to achieve balance can conflict with an even greater obligation to report truthfully and keep commentary within the bounds of reasonably established facts.
The recent decision of C-SPAN to counterpose a world-renowned Holocaust historian with an internationally discredited crackpot demonstrates how a blind commitment to balance can lead to a gross distortion of reality.
The British Royal High Court ruled against Irving. In his verdict, Justice Charles Gray determined Irving had "for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence."
Nevertheless, C-SPAN — under the premise of presenting balance — decided to pair Lipstadt's Harvard lecture with one by Irving on March 12 at the Landmark Diner in Atlanta.
Lipstadt declined to participate in C-SPAN's balancing act gone mad. Her lecture will not appear on "Book TV."
Propaganda can no more balance history than lies can balance the truth. C-SPAN's mistaken sense of balance represents an outrageous endorsement of hate-filled drivel.
Friday, March 25, 2005
San Antonio Express-News weighs in on C-SPAN issue
Here are some excerpts from an excellent editorial in today's issue of the San Antonio Express-News: