Saturday, June 29, 2013

Real Life Tao - Every Writer Has a Point of View

Trey Smith

All journalism is advocacy journalism. No matter how it's presented, every report by every reporter advances someone's point of view. The advocacy can be hidden, as it is in the monotone narration of a news anchor for a big network like CBS or NBC (where the biases of advertisers and corporate backers like GE are disguised in a thousand subtle ways), or it can be out in the open, as it proudly is with Greenwald, or graspingly with Sorkin, or institutionally with a company like Fox.

But to pretend there's such a thing as journalism without advocacy is just silly; nobody in this business really takes that concept seriously. "Objectivity" is a fairy tale invented purely for the consumption of the credulous public, sort of like the Santa Claus myth. Obviously, journalists can strive to be balanced and objective, but that's all it is, striving.
~ from Hey, MSM: All Journalism is Advocacy Journalism by Matt Taibbi ~
It's not just journalism either. Every blog and website advocates a point of view. In fact, I will go a step further. Every writer -- whatever age or level of ability -- is advocating something. We are all subjective creatures and our subjectivity is almost impossible to mask.

What a writer chooses to include or exclude underlines their point of view. This is as true for journalists as it is for speechwriters, songwriters and poets!

It drives me crazy when people admonish others for not being "objective," like there is an untethered truth out there waiting to be grasped. Even if such a thing existed -- I personally don't think it does -- not a one of us could see it because we would approach it with our own set of prejudices and preferences. As soon as we tried to grasp hold of an objective truth with a subjective mind, that truth would evaporate before our eyes!

That's why Laozi wrote, "The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao." He understood that whatever we may say about the Grand Mystery is filtered through our own subjectiveness. Of course, that was his subjective opinion! ;-)

This post is part of a series. For an introduction, go here.

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