Potomac Fever is the blog of the Hamilton College Semester in Washington Program.
I do give Boehner lots of credit for making the House more open. However, I would note that the WSJ article is misleading when it contrasts current Republican openness with Democrats control over the House. As we discussed in class, the culprits for how the House became so dictatorial can largely be laid at the feet of Republicans including Gingrich. Two wrongs don't make a right- but it is understandable that Democrats had no desire to give Republicans a voice after they had shut them out so forcefully for over a decade.
Oh, and don't worry Professor Eismeier- I'm not a rabid ideologue who violently disagrees with you. I enjoy the position of playing Devil’s Advocate, and I just hate when newspaper articles deliberately make statements designed to mislead. My personal experience is that the WSJ is a particularly bad example of this, even compared to similarly polarized conservative or liberal newssources. Or maybe it’s that the WSJ is more subtle? While other publications are more noticeable in their distortions, the WSJ masks itself as a sophisticated and technical paper which regularly spouts a polarized editorial position combined with a justification based on a radical simplification of economics (Hello Laffer Curve anyone!!!).
News v. opinion?
You are probably correct, the onus isn't on the WSJ to prevent her as an opinion contributor from saying factually incorrect statements that are structured to obfuscate the public discourse and civic understanding of her readers. Speaking more broadly however, shouldn’t a newspaper like the WSJ have an obligation to hold their editorials to some kind of standard? Asking myself the question explicitly, I guess I would conclude that newspapers don’t have a fiduciary obligation to their readers to provide an opinion section with a variety of complete and/or contrasting arguments that add to the public discourse. However, most readers act as if this obligation does exist for anything published in a newspaper that claims to be a respectable publication. Newspapers certainly exploit that perception to advance themselves as being more trustworthy than non-traditional media outlets. Once again, I’d hope that a sense of self-respect would encourage at least a minimal amount of internal policing which is so lacking in many of today’s newspapers (or if you just focus on their editorial pages, you would call them party rags written by idiotic hacks)
Comment deleted on grounds of sassiness.
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