Eventually I got around to reading the Reason take on Charlo Greene's "F--- it. I quit" skit and even scanned a few dozen reader comments. Disheartening.
Of course television journalists aren't. They get paid to draw audiences to commercials for gunk to make your underarms smell better. That makes them shills. But they pretend to be journalists, and most of the public goes along with the gag. They have contracts with their stations to maintain that pretense. Part of the ruse is to appear objective. A big part is promising not to say
"f--k" on camera.
Charlo broke her contract and became an instant "libertarian" hero -- if the bulk of the Reason comments is any guide -- because she vulgarly pimped a personal political opinion on her employer's time, employer' property, employer's spectrum, and likely as not wearing her employer's clothing.
It was about pot, of course, and it's irrelevant that her personal opinion and (most of) ours are identical. The war on some drugs is illogical, expensive, stupidly waged, and very often downright cruel and immoral. (Hey, toss a grenade trew that there door Rambo; there probably ain't no little girl sleeping in da crib.)
The remnants of journalistic integrity need to be preserved. When a reporter outs a crooked or stupid or venal politician, we should be moved to an initial presumption of accuracy. When she reports a failed policy we should be able to assume that something needs quite a little more thought.
That happens only when the profession creates its own reputation for reportorial virtue, and that is the opposite of attention-whoring.
Why yes, Charlo, I do mean you.