(Readers: The blog centers around the author’s prediction that the US will experience a 5th revolution by 2020-2025.  Some early vignettes precede the revolution; later vignettes follow the revolution.  Many characters appear regularly.  More about the blog and the author.)

Scene: Jordan having coffee with former business colleague, who is in Washington to testify about oil and drilling.  Conversation about difference between reporting and editorials continues.  (Part 1 is entry #121.)

Jordan:  “Well, Sandy, feel better now that you have more coffee?”

Shunterandy:  “Yes, but those northeast liberals are still screwed up.”

Jordan:  “Sometimes you are like a dog on a bone.  I thought this conversation was about the difference between reporting the news and writing editorials.”

Sandy:  “OK, back to that Krugman guy.  You’re telling me he is not really a reporter for the NYT?”

Jordan:  “Yes, he is not.”

Sandy:  “Yes, he is not.  What kind of statement is that?  Can’t you say ‘yes’ or ‘no’?”

JTurtleneckordan:  “If I answered ‘no’ to your question, which is what I think you expected, then he would be a reporter for the NYT.  That’s why I answered ‘yes’ he is not.”

Sandy:  “No wonder I can’t stand Washington.  At one time, Jordan, I could understand you.  Now you speak in Beltway gibberish.”

Jordan:  “I’m not trying to be a smartass…”

Sandy:  “…for once…”

Jordan:  “…but the way you asked the question was backwards.  Just trying to make sure I answered the question properly.”

Sandy:  “OK, pardon me for my limited English skills.  Hey, I’m a science guy, not some pointed-headed liberal arts major.”

Jordan:  “Back to the topic.”

Sandy:  “You’re telling me Krugman and guys like him who write those articles…”

Jordan:  “…opinion pieces…”

Sandy:  “…opinion pieces…those guys are not really reporters.”

Jreporter on typewriter clipartordan:  “Reporters report the news without editorializing.”

Sandy:  “But doesn’t the NYT have a liberal bias.  My sources call it part of the drive-by media.”

Jordan:  “I’ll ignore the drive-by media comment.  Look, everyone and every organization has some bias.”

Sandy:  “I knew I was right.”

Jordan:  “Sandy, put on your grown-up pants and think about this.  Everyone has some bias but good media organizations work very hard to minimize the bias.”

Sthe-new-york-times1andy:  “How do you know the NYT is not overly biased?”

Jordan:  “Here’s a way to answer that question.  Pick a few topics you know something about.  And I’m talking about topics you really know and not topics where you got some information off the internet.”

Sandy:  “I’ve got a couple of topics.  Then what?”

Jordan:  “Then read some articles about those topics.  Articles published by the NYT and articles published by other sources, including some of your internet sources.  Then compare the objectivity of the articles.”

Sandy:  “Mmmm, that’s an approach I never thought about.”

Jordan:  “Spend some time and dig into the articles.  Are the key facts correct?  Are the articles objective?  One caution.”

Sandy:  “Of course.  What?  Some excuse for your liberal sources?”

Jordan:  “You don’t quit do you?  If you choose topics that you really know…like some Fact checkof what you studied…then don’t get upset when the reporter doesn’t get all the facts exactly right.  Getting key facts correct is critical but being perfect on all the nits and gnats is not so critical.”

Sandy:  “I hear you.  It’s taken me a long time to really understand this stuff.  The reporter can’t be an expert at everything.”

Jordan:  “Now, may we take another break?  I need to make a quick phone call.  Then we can talk about the Federal budget and the money supply.”

Sandy:  “OK.  But don’t be gone too long.”