What is reality?
Simply defined, facts are facts, objectively absolute and verifiable, and independent of a person's feelings, wishes, hopes, or fears. Reality is composed of facts.
Ever heard the idea that perception is reality? That's actually a clever word game, and it's not true. I'm guilty of having said it, but no more. The perceptions of others are something we have to assess and consider, but perceptions - certainly false perceptions - are not reality. That I have perceptions is fact, but my perceptions are not necessarily factual.
Perception is not reality.
And while my feelings may be real, my feelings are not reality.
If I'm given ample platform, I could broadcast my unrealistic perceptions and my wishful thinking and feelings to others. Some do that today. They're called journalists. They're supposed to report facts and provide as complete a picture as they can. That's supposed to be what they went to college to learn to do. It's why society considers journalism a profession. The gross failure of journalists to do anything that looks like fact-based reporting to provide as complete a picture as possible is why so many shun the product of journalists today and look for other sources.
If I could define journalism in a sentence, it would be this:
Put all the facts on the table as concisely as possible.On my web site here, I'm not a journalist. beatcanvas.com is not an act of journalism. I'm not a professional, nor am I acting as one.
The same is true of the rest of the blogosphere - mostly. There are some blogs that work to be efforts in journalism. Just as there are some TV stations and newspapers and magazines that work to be efforts in journalism. But I'd say the percentage is about equal.
Here's where the rubber meets the road: I have no expectation of journalists to pay me for reporting my perceptions. beatcanvas.com is not my profession nor my trade. I don't make my living here. But journalists anticipate that I will pay them for reporting their perceptions. It is their profession and their trade, and they want to be paid for it to make their living. But if I perceive that journalists' perceptions to be not based in reality, I won't pay them, and they won't make a living.
People get mad when their expectations are dashed. Which is why we get people who suggest that journalism should be subsidized by taxpayers. Given the trend, will journalism seek its bailout?
I bet so, and with Democrats itching for government-mandated mechanisms, like the Fairness Doctrine, I bet that Michael Barone is right.