Monday, February 17, 2003

Peter Bronson's Good Old Boy Network
In today's Enquirer Peter Bronson is off attacking Miami University and the Miami Student, the campus newspaper, for firing Aaron Sanders after he wrote a column for the newspaper. The column criticized a teacher and a film shown in a class at Miami. Peter is really not being honest with who this student is. This student is the chairman of the College Republicans of Miami University. Peter wrote a column using Sanders as the main source last fall in a campaign to get FOX News included in the campus cable system. Peter and this student obviously are working “in cahoots.” Peter wants to help out a fellow right-winger, and at the same time put forth his ideological agenda.

Peter obviously cares nothing for promoting good journalism, especially when it conflicts with his chance make a fellow paleo-conservative into a victim in the faux war with academia. Peter illustrates his agenda with this quote from his column:
They said he did not see the movie before writing about it. But that's true for most reporting. Sanders didn't claim he saw it - he indirectly quoted students who did.
Has Peter given up journalism? Peter says that most reporters would not see a film before they reported it, which is true, when talking about reporters. They can report that a film was shown. It would be very subjective to report that “some” people were offended by the film. That point could be made in a column as this student did, but would it be good journalism without seeing the film first? A column is at its core an opinion, not an unbiased news story, but good columnists generally do not report false or misleading facts. If this student columnist did not see the film, how good a columnist would he be if reported someone else’s opinion of the film instead of his own? I would say he would be a bad columnist who is making grossly biased argument that is not worthy of a college student. It was a political tactic made by a political party. This student is not a journalist, he is a politician, all be it a junior one. I have no doubt he will be a paid staffer for a conservative politician as soon as he graduates, and Peter cries for him because his editors have chosen to edit him out of the newspaper. Well, Peter was concerned about this being a learning tool. I would argue Mr. Sanders has learned a lesson. That lesson clearly is don’t abuse your position. Write an honest story, don’t write a bad column to put forth your agenda. Instead, write a good column, and hope it puts forth your agenda. Playing fair in writing and politics is something I advocate to all, but I guess the ends matter more to Peter than the means. If Peter can “save our souls” by establishing a theocratic state, I would think he would be happy as a clam.

UPDATE 02/18/2003: Miami's newspaper currently does not have a website, but I think the Sanders column can be read here.

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