Sourcing? We don’t need no steenking sourcing!

As I turned on the Today show this morning,  I was struck by the poor journalistic standards their producer used in presenting a story about "Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day".   Apart from allowing people on the show that are paid to hawk technology goods, "Today" thinks that journalism involves presenting two sides of any issue without a lot of thought as to what obligation they owe the viewers.

In today’s story the head of the Ms. Foundation, the founders of the
event, were pitching the upcoming event, and why you should take our
kids to work.  Then, for the requisite opposing side no matter how
idiotic, was a gentleman named "Tom Horne" who opposes "Take Our
Daughters and Sons To Work Day".   In fact, that’s exactly what was put
under his name for most of the interview, "Opposes Take Our Daughters
and Sons To Work Day".  Not only was this inaccurate, since he simply
recommends they reschedule it for the summer, instead of the spring,
but throughout most of the interview, they don’t identify him.

I literally said, out loud, "What kind of idiot opposes ‘Take Our
Daughters and Sons To Work Day’?!".  Several minutes passed while Tom
Horne ranted about his own opinions on education in America today that
had little to do with the topic at hand while pretend journalist Katie Couric showed that practicing journalism means asking an interviewee one question at a time in turn.

Finally, several minutes into the interview, it was revelead that Tom
Horne works for the Arizona Superintendent of Schools.  However he
obviously has more of a personal agenda on this topic than anything
else.  The knowledge of where he is from is pretty damn important, and
it’s disappointing that it wasn’t revealed to us until late in the

But then, that’s what we expect from a fake news show that’s more
interested in flattering celebrities than actually practicing
journalism.  My only comfort is that Today’s ratings are sliding, while
Katie Couric costs "Today" more and more every year.


  1. Joe Grossberg on April 26, 2005 at 10:44 am

    This “both sides of an issue” approach was recently, and ignominiously, demonstrated by C-SPAN’s Book TV, who had invited an author who wrote about the free/hate speech trial of a British Holocaust denier.

    Who was their balance? The Holocaust denier himself:

    A C-SPAN exec claimed, “You know how important fairness and balance is at C-SPAN… We work very, very hard at this. We ask ourselves, ‘Is there an opposing view of this?”

    So, as absurd as it sounds, the cargo cult of objectiveness leads them to give equal footing to opponents of historical fact.

    I wish I was kidding.