Dan Froomkin on “objective” journalism and dumb politicians’ tricks

Dan Froomkin of the WaPo thinks that “Is Sarah Palin qualified to be President?” is one of those questions that only seems to have two legitimately supportable answers if you’re trapped in the journalist’s view where “objectvity” means quoting one expert who says the world is round and another who says the world is flat.

I would add to that the political journalist’s tendency to “go meta” and treat the fact that some move might “work” politically as if it were a legitimate argument for that move, as if “Poorly educated low-information voters might possibly mistake Sarah Palin for someone ready to be President” were supporting evidence for the proposition “Sara Palin is ready to be President.”

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com