Leigh Donaldson’s column offering his apologia for biased reporting on Feb. 15 (”More than ever, reporters must go beyond mere objectivity”) was breathtaking for its audacity.

Basically, Mr. Donaldson’s thesis is that unvarnished truth is irrelevant in reporting. The reporter must instead present every news item through their ”social justice” lens.

To back up his claim, Mr. Donaldson frequently quotes his hero, Chris Hedges, a reporter who is currently the senior fellow of The Nation, a weekly U.S. periodical devoted to politics and culture and self described as ”the flagship of the left.”

In a Dec. 29, 2008, column for Truthdig, Hedges identified himself as a ”socialist” in contrast to what he sees as ”ruthless totalitarian capitalism.” Objectivity is obviously not one of Mr. Hedges’ basic tenets.

Mr. Hedges has problems with the ”disease of American journalism” that reduces reporters to being neutral observers rather than people questing for justice in our society.

Of course there is a constant debate as to what constitutes ”justice” as daily news stories are presented. The varying views are what propel the news cycle.


Mr. Hedges and Mr. Donaldson have problems with corporations, advertisers and businesses ”who, by nature, are usually conservative in their approach to business.”

But they have no problems with ”radical debate about structures, laws, privilege, power and justice.”

Mr. Donaldson decries the ”one reason people are abandoning newspapers in droves. They don’t feel they are being told the entire truth.” That is the exact problem, Mr. Donaldson. They are tired of biased reporting that attempts to diminish their intelligence and interpret the news for these poor benighted readers.

Mr. Donaldson, people read newspapers to get the news, not to get the views of the reporter. You report; we will decide. We don’t need you to tell us how to think.


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