David Shuster and John Ziegler, who interviewed Gov. Sarah Palin in his latest documentary, got into a shouting match over Palin's qualifications for vice president during a segment on MSNBC this afternoon.
Shuster attack on Ziegler was way out of bounds here. After Zeigler said that MSNBC has been pushing a pro-Obama agenda, Shuster, in a defensive posture, retorts: "Right, as opposed to the agenda of people like you, to boost Sarah Palin, who is clearly unqualified. Most Americans, 65 percent, say she's unqualified. You and your colleagues are trying to circle back and get her ready for 2012."
What Shuster failed to understand was that most documentary filmmakers today do have an agenda. Al Gore won a Nobel Prize for pushing an agenda. Michael Moore has won numerous prizes for pushing his agenda. The difference is that news organizations are not supposed to have agendas. And here Shuster, and the rest of MSNBC falls flat. They are being called on their left-leaning presentation, and being accused of being bias doesn't set well with them. Can you imagine Shuster uttering something like this in an interview with Al Gore:
"Right, as opposed to the agenda of people like you, to boost the global warming theory, which is clearly contested. Half of America says it either doesn't exist or is not a product of manmade interventions. You and your colleagues are trying to circle back and get on the agenda for 2012."
He'd be fired that afternoon. Heck, he wouldn't be able to get a job at FOX, which struggles with the same issues, only on the other end of the spectrum.
The trouble with the mainstream media's reputation with the public is that its leaders do not believe their biases exist. News organizations that are built around one political philosophy often hire executives, reporters and editors who see life through the same prism. They sit in news meetings, discuss stories, come up with the same conclusions, validate each others' political beliefs and run with stories that support their viewpoints while patting themselves on the back to congratulate each other on a job well done. All because they often went to the same universities and have the same political views. Often they do not realize they missed an opposing point. And when they are criticized for it, their defenses go up, just as Shuster's did today, and that's when they look like fools in the viewer's eyes.
Here is Ziegler's clip on Palin that caused the stir. In it, she makes an excellent point on the media's treatment of her family. When Sen. Barack Obama told reporters to stay away from his family, they obliged, no questions asked. To this day, reporters are hounding Palin's family and their troubles with no restraint.