Anderson Cooper has been using the word “lie” a lot in recent days while describing statements made by Mubarak and his regime. Despite the fact that the statements he’s describing are “factually false,” his liberal use of the word “lie” has gotten Cooper mocked and questioned by fellow journalists, writes Glenn Greenwald on Salon. Those critics have ultimately acknowledged that the statements he’s calling “lies” are, in fact, lies—but even so, they question Cooper’s “opinion-making” and wonder whether or not he should be “taking sides.”
But “when a journalist accurately points out that a powerful political leader is lying,” that’s not taking sides—that’s doing his job, Greenwald writes. A “watchdog” press, by definition, points out when powerful political leaders don’t tell the truth; objectivity is only breached when the opposite occurs and lies aren’t reported or are treated as truth. But the “warped” belief that journalists shouldn’t point out lies from powerful politicians pervades the industry, and that “explains a large part of the failings of both America's media class and its political class.” Click for more, including why Greenwald wishes Cooper would do the same with American leaders.