An element of hypocrisy

Thereā€™s a message on my home answering machine from the local McCain campaign office essentially begging me to come down and run a telephone for them sometime in the next eighteen days. More than likely, I will not return that phone call or help the campaign.


Because I believe my position as a writer creates a conflict of interest for me that I cannot overcome. It is not just writing her on this weblog that creates a problem, but also the fact that I work as a reporter and an editor for my college newspaper where my beat is, among other things, politics.

Certainly, I make no secret of the fact that I support McCain, but that support has always been that of a third party observer. I support McCain because that is the conclusion I came to, not because the campaign tells me I have to. From my point of view, that position as a third party allows me to observe the facts critically.

I long ago rejected the idea of journalistic objectivity from the perspective that journalists should somehow tell the story with some mythical lack of bias and even-handedness. I believe it is that myth of objectivity that has caused most of the problems modern journalism currently faces.

However, in this situation, I have discovered a part of that objectivity I cannot reject: independence. Without independence, then there is no way for anyone to perceive the writer as being anything other than a proxy for the source of the information. By maintaining independence, I maintain authenticity, which I believe is far more important that traditional journalistic objectivity.

I knew something like this would eventually happen because of my writing, but I never suspected it would happen under these circumstances. I will continue to support and advocate for McCain because I believe he is right and that my advocacy is the right thing to do, but I must do so independent of the campaign in order for what I write to have the greatest impact.


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4 Responses to An element of hypocrisy

  1. Janson says:

    I agree with your stance. Keep it up. Maybe I’ll hit a nother phone bank or two for you šŸ™‚

    Matt J.

  2. dlhitzeman says:

    Thanks! I’m glad to see someone is out there doing what I’m not.

  3. keba says:

    I found it odd that they called so late in the game.

  4. dlhitzeman says:

    I think that it is a certain sign of desperation. The McCain campaign made a really bad move early no by deciding not to contest the city centers in places like Dayton and Columbus and Cleveland. I am almost certain that is why he is polling behind in Ohio right now and why he is polling behind nationally. A candidate cannot concede the largest concentrations of voters in a state and still win that state.

    Part of the problem is that I don’t think making calls is going to help. McCain needs to come here to Dayton and do a rally like Obama did at 5/3rd Field. The problem is exactly what I said it was before: Obama has three office presences in downtown Dayton. The Republican party headquarters downtown is only open on the weekends. McCain cannot win with that kind of competition and presence.

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