Accuracy in Media

Lauren Wolfe, who was fired by the New York Times after tweeting that “I have chills,” describing the arrival of then-President-elect Joe Biden’s arrival at Joint Base Andrews just before his inauguration has now penned an op-ed admitting that she is biased and that she doesn’t see it as a “bad thing.”

Wolfe vented against the view that journalists should be unbiased in their reporting in the Washington Monthly on Friday.

“Ever since I was fired from The New York Times at the end of January, no matter what I publish or say about journalism online, angry people come out of their hidey-holes to yell at me. They say that I’m biased (usually “a biased piece of crap”), that journalists are all crooked, and that I’m a perfect example of why no one can believe anything we in the media say.”

“So, I’d like to talk a little about this idea of bias—and its implied opposite, objectivity—in journalism. They are inextricably linked.”

Wolfe thinks that it’s “absurd” to pretend that journalists can be objective and said at least for her that it’s better to be open about her views on the issues she covers, admitting that she often has an agenda in her writing.

“Having a point of view does not mean that you don’t follow the facts where they lead. It just means that you are upfront about the perspective you are bringing to the story—it means you can tell a story subjectively, which both brings emotion into a piece and draws a reader in. Sometimes you may even want to use your own experience as part of the narrative.”

“So yes, I am biased, and consciously so when it comes to certain subjects—especially when I’m reporting on criminality. But I don’t see that as a bad thing.”

As for her firing, she said that the Times was well aware of her decade of political tweets and they weren’t concerned as she stopped immediately.  She explained her “chills” tweet by saying that she said after the January 6 insurrection and subsequent lies about a stolen election it was good to see democracy functioning again. None of which she mentioned in her tweet.

Despite her feelings about her firing, she defended her profession against charges of bias.

“I’m not saying there is no implicit bias at The Times or at other newspapers, but most journalists at the top of their field are damn good at keeping it out of their news reporting. Of course, some will always seep in, but that’s not necessarily going to make the coverage misleading or inaccurate.”

If you see things through a liberal lens and only read liberal publications bias ceases to exist.

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