One of the best things that RealClearPolitics has done is show just how “all over the map” the media can be. Before the time of Internet news aggregations, no one probably realized that you can write anything as a journalist and it’s likely that some other journalist is writing exactly the opposite at the same time. For example, take this example from this afternoon:
First, notice both of those organizations printing the stories about Obama and race are based in the United Kingdom. For whatever reason, RealClearPolitics is including international news reporting. Second, think about how completely opposite the conclusions shown in the story titles are. Lift the Curse of Race vs. Postpone Post-Racial US. What if it’s neither? What if it’s both?
I’ve become more convinced that, taken as a whole, journalism uses a shotgun approach. If you write about every conceivable conclusion, then somewhere, someone’s right. That’s probably inescapable. But more journalists should be willing to admit that they really don’t know what the heck they’re talking about, anymore than Joe Bob down the street does.