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Michael Moore teaches Peter Jennings some journalism skills

Did you catch the democratic debate in New Hampshire last night? I’ve never been big into politics, but my hatred for the evil people running our country right now has turned me into a poor man’s politics junkie. I missed the full debate, but I watched the replay later in the night.

My most infuriating moment was hearing Peter Jennings challenge Wesley Clark for being happy about the support of Michael Moore. Jennings basis for his questioning of the relationship was the fact that Moore had made a “reckless charge not supported by the facts” in calling President Bush a deserter. He didn’t actually mention what those facts are however, which I think is an example of very poor journalism. It’s fine for Peter Jennings to believe that the facts do not support Moore’s contention, but it’s irresponsible for him not to provide any information as to what those facts are and where we can look them up. Even a brief mention of an article or piece of evidence would have done the trick.

Contrast that with Michael Moore’s response to Peter Jennings statements. Notice how he includes links to the sources he’s discussing? That allows you to read various articles and draw your own conclusion.

Shouldn’t it be the objective journalist providing information about the sources he’s basing his statements on? Isn’t it much more irresponsible for a journalist to state something as fact without anything to back it up when challenging the character of a presidential candidate, than it is for a political satirist to make claims which he’s more than willing to back up with actual sources when challenging the president’s character?