Missing the Point

Check out this NBC coverage of the ACORN scandal:

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That’s just bad journalism. The whole frame for the story is the ideological battle between conservatives and liberals. Look, ACORN is a target of some conservatives, and beloved of some liberals. This sting is the product of an ideologically motivated effort, and aired on a right-leaning Web site. These facts should be reported.

But it’s astonishingly myopic for a news organization to frame the story as though its effect on partisan politics is the primary matter of interest. Think of a typical American turning on the evening news. Is he or she primarily concerned with the ongoing contest between conservative and liberal activists? Or is the more interesting, relevant news that a taxpayer funded organization got caught on hidden video abetting what its employees believed to be a brothel for underage girls? The partisan stuff is useful context — not the core of the story itself. Once again The Daily Show grasped what a mainstream news organization benefitting from many more resources either missed or ignored.