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Message-board Dialogue – Honing your writing skills

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Reprinted courtesy of Education Forensics

Dialogue With a Journalist

Russ Baker, on his site whowhatwhy.com, ran an article on the dirty tricks being used by the Romney campaign to defeat Pres. Obama.  Mr. Baker is a rare breed these days – a journalist without fear.  His book, Family of Secrets, is a masterpiece of history, current affairs and government malfeasance.  The chapters on the JFK assassination are thoroughly researched and some of the most groundbreaking material on the topic this past decade.  I found it odd on the day I visited his site, the seemingly partisan slant to the Organized Establishment Left.  I noted this and our dialogue went as follows.
Me: Coming here the last two days is disappointing. I can read about how Mitt’s advisors have no clue about foreign policy, how he cheated during the debates, and how a video might be able to dive bomb Obama’s chances.
This, combined with the absurd stance on guns, seen in the “Oakland Paradox” article, does not sound like a site dedicated to dispassionate journalism. What’s Obama’s foreign policy? Blow people up with drones? Augment the ‘war’ in Afghanistan? It seems like the leftist roots are hard to shed. The ‘Obama good, Mitt bad’ meme is tired, as is its converse. You mean there’ll be a ‘difference’ if Obama is elected, as opposed to Mitt? Please walk me through the Obama vs. W differences because I don’t see them.
Family of Secrets is a towering masterpiece – odd that this site has devolved into partisan team play. The Rockwell interviews with you got me here in the first place – I’m not sure I’ll stick around.

Russ Baker: You sound like you’re looking for a place that confirms how right you are about your pre-existing beliefs. That being the case, you probably will not want to stick around.
This site is a journalistic one–we research, we think, we come to conclusions. It is full of tough reports about Obama. You’d have to be willfully blind not to see that. But, we’re not interested in creating false equivalencies, because that’s not journalism.
There are many similarities between Obama and Romney, as noted repeatedly here, principally on foreign policy and finance, but also many differences–which we’ve reported on here. For one thing, many of Obama’s domestic appointments, his approach to the basic mission of departments like EPA, the kinds of court appointments that appeal to him–he’s strikingly different. He also has a very different attitude toward income equality, consumer protection, and other areas. Just ask Romney. Generalizing about there being no difference at all would not not be non-partisanship. It would be journalistic malpractice.
Me: Thank you for your reply – you have integrity and this sets you apart. You, however artfully, dodge the issue of the appearance of the site. My point was how slanted things seemed to be here. It is criticism. I am not looking to justify how “right” I am – I am simply trying to provide criticism that could possibly help. It wasn’t until I started doing my own research and backing away from the Mainstream Opinion Creators (FoS was a large part of this as I was a “conservative” at the time) that I realized how wrong I had been most of my life.
I think you show the slant about which I spoke with this: “He also has a very different attitude toward income equality, consumer protection, and other areas. Just ask Romney.” First of all – “approach” and “attitude” are superficial to the core. I am not swayed by that low level rhetoric. Income equality? Is that a goal? Should the gov’t have a role in making incomes equal? That is as repellent as Romney trying to further line the Eastern Banking Establishment’s pockets – which seems to be his main purpose. Consumer protection? Where? The FDA is run primarily by Monsanto – one of the most rapacious corporations on the planet. The SEC and the Obama justice department have gone after none of the big banks. Zero bankers are in jail. And you know what? People don’t need an Overlord seeing to it that incomes are ‘more equal’ or that they are ‘protected’. Folks are capable enough. We are people, not domesticated animals. What they need is a forceful 4th estate populated by people like you and Chris Hedges to hold their feet to the fire.
Thank you as always for the forum.
——————
Notice how Mr. Baker replied to my comment in a serious and professional matter.  I disagree with him.  I think he has a bias, and it bothers me that this shows on his site.  However, it is his site, which he runs well as it is current and provides a forum for discussion.  Find sources of information on the web that have people with integrity and allow dissent and discussion.  The web is the greatest information superhighway in the history of the human race, and you should do your research and reading at the highest level possible.  Find out the Russ Bakers and Chris Hedges of the world, and get what you can out of their experiences – even if you disagree with some of their philosophies.  As a libertarian / anarchist type, Baker and Hedges are too trusting of government for my taste, but their journalistic skills are beyond reproach, and burgeoning journalists should check them out.
Here is Russ Baker – eliminating inconsistencies and using reasoning to counterpoint his book vs. former Pres. Bush’s book:
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