Who'd the Press Corps Vote For?

Media criticism.
Nov. 9 2000 5:49 PM

Who'd the Press Corps Vote For?

The next time I poll a bunch of journalists, remind me to conduct it in a bar.


On Monday of this week, I announced the death of journalistic objectivity. It's no secret, I wrote, that most reporters are opinionated cusses, and most of them are Democrats. And, I wrote, the sooner they own up to their opinions, the better--the better for them, for journalism, and for our readers. Having opinions doesn't necessarily disqualify reporters from doing good journalism. In fact, I wrote, it's almost impossible to do journalism of any kind--short of stenography--without having an informed point of view. And making a full disclosure of who we vote for could provide our readers with a valuable data point from which to judge the fairness and accuracy of our coverage.

That's the short form of the argument. Having buried objectivity, I disclosed who got my vote for president (Harry Browne) as did my Slate colleagues. Then, in an effort to expand the circle of self-disclosure, I queried 33 prominent political journalists to see who they voted for.

Only eight journalists responded to the poll, and none gave up the name of their man for president as you'll see in their comments below. I thank them for their participation, but I'm certain that had I conducted my survey in a bar and spiritually lubricated them, the outcome would have been much more candid.

As other members of the great 33 respond to my survey, I'll post their comments here.


Walter Isaacson, Time

I voted in Yonkers, N.Y., this morning and cast votes for such things as local judgeships and bond issues. However, I did not cast a vote in the presidential race (or for that matter the Senate race). In races that Time has to cover, I felt it made sense to remain neutral and nonpartisan by not forcing myself to decide, even in my own mind, whom I favored. I don't proclaim this to be a grand matter of principle, merely an approach that I felt personally most comfortable with.

Joe Klein, The New Yorker

I've read your argument. But my vote is my business. Sorry.



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