the important and the not-so-important, horribly conflated.

journalism

In politics on June 6, 2009 at 12:26 pm

Amidst the swirling abortion debates triggered by Tiller’s murder, Julian Sanchez calls for a new type of news analysis:

Not just a clash between two confident but opposed views—we get plenty of that all the time, and it’s part of the problem—but an examination (assuming good faith) of what’s keeping these smart jousters from reaching consensus. Not “the case for policy A” vs “the case for policy B” but “the epistemic problems that make it hard to choose between A and B,” as though (I know, it’s crazy) the search for truth were more than a punch-up between mutually exclusive, preestablished conclusions. The message is not (to coin a phrase) “we report, you decide” but “we report on why you’re not actually competent to decide, unless you’re prepared to devote a hell of a lot more time, energy, and thought to it.”

This is what the best bloggers out there right now–Sanchez, Sullivan, DeLong, Yglesias–are doing. They are open about their biases, and link more than they write, trying to capture the intricacy and complexity of the arguments out there. Not to make this too much of a grab-bag post, but you get the feeling–especially after the cairo speech–that Obama’s head works this way too.

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