From our 'no comment' department

But you know what my comment would be, anyway.

Here's the double-stack headline on a new Stuart Taylor "Open Argument" commentary at National Journal.

Campaign Lies, Media Double Standards

I no longer trust the major newspapers or television networks to provide consistently accurate and fair reporting and analysis of all the charges and countercharges.

Let me stress that this is, at times, a "plague on both their houses" essay. This is not a matter of bashing Sen. Barack Obama or Sen. John McCain and their operations. Taylor does, however, come down on the side who think that many, or even most, mainstream reporters are leaning left. Thus, he concludes:

We still have many great journalists, but I no longer trust the major newspapers or television networks to provide consistently accurate and fair reporting and analysis of all the charges and countercharges. This in an era when the noise produced by highly partisan TV hosts and blogs creates a crying need for at least one newspaper that we can count on to play it straight.

Indeed, one reason that candidates get away with dishonest campaign ads and speeches may be that it is so hard for undecided voters like me to discern which charges are true, which are exaggerated, and which are false.

And what, pray tell, is his first example of this nasty situation?

You know this was coming, didn't you?

* In Sarah Palin's first big media interview, on September 11, Charlie Gibson of ABC News asked: "You said recently, in your old church, 'Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God.' Are we fighting a holy war?" Palin responded: "You know, I don't know if that was my exact quote." Gibson pressed: "Exact words."

Viewers had no way of knowing that, in fact, Gibson was distorting Palin's meaning by leaving out critical context and thus making an unremarkable exhortation to prayer sound like a declaration of holy war. Palin had not said that the war was a task from God. She had urged her listeners to "pray" that it was a task from God. A September 3 Associated Press report by Gene Johnson distorted Palin's meaning in exactly the same way.

And all the people said: "Amen."

We still need corrections at AP, ABC News and, also, the Washington Post (for starters).

Please read all of Taylor's essay. He's a pro, at this.

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