Thursday, December 2, 2010

Historical Perspective

Rush to Judgment

“Nowhere are the differences between journalism and history more evident than in assessments of the presidency of the United States. If journalism is generally described as ‘history in a hurry,’ so is it shortsighted and sloppy as it lurches forward, gathering news in bits and pieces, coming to conclusions based on short-term accomplishments and the court of public opinion.

“There has hardly been an instance in U.S. history when the immediacy of the news did not bypass its larger truths, whether positive or negative. Washington and Lincoln suffered more than their share of bad press, as did Wilson and Truman. On the other hand, McKinley and Harding got enthusiastic appraisals, only to be downgraded later by historians. Journalists and their associates, the pollsters, treated Harry Truman with ridicule and contempt, while historians later judged him great or near-great.

“Thus, any review of the relationship between the presidency and the media’s court of public opinion is necessarily precarious.”

—Everette E. Dennis & Edward C. Pease, editors,
“The Presidency in the New Media Age,” Media Studies Journal, 1994.

Editorial Comment: Wait for the movie...

PeezPix: Snowbunnies

1 comment:

  1. Journalists and historians have completely different views when it comes to presidents. Journalists do not study the backgrounds of the presidents like historians do, nor do they care. They just want the story and since objectivity is hard to grasp, they'll put in their own biases into the story which is why, the views are different. But, they should not be judges, just men who are there to get the facts. Historians know the good and the bad of the presidents because they research their backgrounds and their life accomplishments for years. One mistake does not make a president terrible, just human. It's interesting to read what journalists say and what historians says. It makes you think about the truth and what really is the accurate truth.

    Romina Nedakovic