Stop blaming journalists for doing their jobs
By Serena Tartaglia
Every journalism student can tell you the importance of questioning what your source tells you. Be skeptical. And yet, a phenomenal journalist was dragged on Twitter last week for doing just that.
45 years ago, when journalists were not seen as “the enemy of the people”, journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward became national heroes. In 1974, Woodward and Bernstein uncovered the revelation that then-President Nixon ordered the White House Chief of Staff to break into the Watergate hotel, the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at the time. President Nixon resigned on August 8, 1974 before he could be impeached.
Fast forward to October 3, 2019. Bob Woodward is now seen as a legendary journalist. He participated in a discussion with the two female journalists Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor who uncovered Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct allegations. A social media firestorm followed when Woodward had the audacity to ask the women if they thought their sources were telling the truth and accused them of dodging questions. The audience booed and heckled him, and some audience members even walked out of the event.
Hilary Rosen, a pundit on CNN, tweeted “It concerns me that@realBobWoodwardis so clueless to the reaction of his push for@mega2eand@jodikantorto speculate on#HarveyWeinsteinsdesire for “sex”. He isn’t hearing them say this is about power, not sex. The audience is over him.”
How dare they attack a veteran journalist and winner of two Pulitizers, asking questions every journalist needs to ask themselves while interviewing. It is a journalist’s job to be skeptical.
People need to realize that a journalist’s job is to keep their feelings out of the facts. Therefore, journalists put their own beliefs about the #MeToo movement aside, whether they #BelieveWomen or not, in order to be objective and professional. Journalism ceases to be journalism when the conversation becomes about political correctness rather than speaking truth to power.
In the era of cancel culture, a slip of the tongue is unforgivable, and anyone who is not the epitome of #woke is a victim. You can’t cancel the truth.