If you were able to read Paul Farhi’s recent whining in the Washington Post about the Heritage Foundation being given a seat in the White House press pool without laughing hysterically, you’re one up on me. In a piece hilariously (coming from the Post) titled, “What’s a legitimate news outlet?” Farhi condescendingly complains:
“The pool reporter covering Vice President Pence on Thursday [Fred Lucas] — that is, the reporter who supplied details about Pence’s daily activities as proxy for the rest of the press corps — was an employee of the Heritage Foundation, the conservative think tank.
In other words, the news that reporters received about the vice president came from a journalist employed by an organization with a vested interest in the direction of White House and federal policy.”
Let’s just say self-awareness is not one of Farhi’s strongest attributes.
How someone can write for the Washington Post and pretend that the way it shades and colors news reports is not representative of his own organization’s efforts to affect the direction of White House and federal policy is mind boggling.
Yet, undaunted and oblivious, Farhi trudges forward:
While there were no objections to Lucas’s pool reports on Pence, some journalists suggested the presence of the [Heritage Foundation’s Daily] Signal as a member of the pool crossed a symbolic line, into greater legitimacy for the partisan press.
The partisan press. I will have to consult the ancient scrolls, but I’m pretty sure someone from the Washington Post questioning the legitimacy and trustworthiness of “partisan press” is one of the signs of the end of days.
Farhi’s main complaint seems to involve Heritage Foundation’s open conservative agenda that includes things like repealing Obamacare, enacting a simplified tax system, and enforcing a sane immigration policy. Apparently he worries the policy goals of the parent company (Heritage) will affect the coverage of its news reporting entity, the Daily Signal.
That’s interesting given that the Washington Post is owned by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos who has contributed millions to causes like gay marriage and an internet sales tax. You know, two issues that the Washington Post has embraced in both its news reports and editorials. If Farhi is worried the Signal reporters are not capable of offering stories that contain credible and objective news, why should someone not be worried that Post reporters struggle to do the same?
If anything, there’s an element of skepticism that is applied to Daily Signal reports that should be, but is often not, tied to reports from equally partisan sources like the Washington Post. While the Post masquerades as objective while harboring an intensely left-wing bias, the Signal openly acknowledges its ties to the conservative think tank, transparently allowing readers to approach their work with an understanding of potential biases.
There’s a good reason why President Trump, a man who at times cavalierly boasts of things that are demonstrably untrue, is popularly regarded to be more honest and trustworthy than media outlets like the Post.
Perhaps Paul Farhi and his colleagues at that paper should concern themselves with correcting that reality rather than questioning the legitimacy of their peers.