How Objectivity Breeds Extremism

Matt Welch has a theory about reporters forced to "submerge or even smother their political and philosophical views in the workplace":

Show me the world's most intractable problems–the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the inability to produce mass amounts of energy without negatively impacting the environment, the search for a beer that tastes great and is less filling–and I'll show you reporters in bars having conversations worthy of the Alex Jones show. It's not that they're all Helen Thomases–she is truly one of a kind–but that in the absence of subjecting their own beliefs to journalistic rigor, they are more likely than many would expect to quietly nurture beliefs that outsiders would find surprisingly slanted and even extreme. 

Yglesias nods:

When you get in the habit of arguing about politics professionally, you tend to learn something about what the other side’s counterarguments are and hopefully develop some better arguments of your own. If you just kind of sit around in the vicinity of important issues stewing in your own views but never working on articulating them or developing them, then you’ve set the stage to cut loose with some serious nonsense.

Any time people feel required to suppress their real views for whatever reason, untruths fester without the disinfectant of sunlight. That's why I've always tried to raise some difficult issues - racial differences in IQ, or the impact of testosterone on gender, or the sexual orientation of a possible Supreme Court Justice - as a way to get them on the table. In this, I'm a liberal and always have been. Which means I'm against the cult of journalistic objectivity - which often means simply never asking the questions that really do need to be talked about.