Objectivity Is A Myth Built To Maintain White Supremacy
Objectivity in journalism is a product of and plays in favor of the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.
By Anuhya Bobba
Journalistic objectivity is a myth that works to benefit white supremacy and white supremacists like Stephen Miller.
Take, for example, the New York Times article on his union with Katie Rose Waldman—also an official of the Trump Administration. The 250-word announcement does not mention Miller’s noted affinity for white supremacy. Instead, it dissolves his KKKesque ideology to mean an “aim to restrict the number of immigrants coming to the country.” That is the closest mention of both his racism and xenophobia.
The New York Times is but one example of the false belief in objectivity. When African Americans were subject to lynchings in the 1890s, the publication chose “objectivity” over reality, which “created a false balance on the issue and failed ‘to recognize a truth, that African-Americans were being terrorized across the nation.’”
Rarely, if ever, does this stringent adherence to objectivity benefit “the other side.”
Because whiteness and white supremacy are the norm, it becomes the basis from which “the other side” is constituted. Objectivity benefits white supremacy because it does not interrogate it.
Objectivity is also supposed to convey a “fairness.” But, this “fairness” is mainly directed at the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. “The other side” is neutralized until the evils of such as system appear as valid.
The New York Times also demonstrates the fallacy of objectivity in its coverage of Michael Bloomberg’s use of personal wealth in the Democratic Presidential Primary.
The article, “The Bloomberg Campaign Is a Waterfall of Cash,” provides hefty detail on the excesses of Bloomberg’s presidential run: from “honey-coated brie” at rallies to “furnished apartments on Manhattan’s East Side” for staffers.
However, it again dissolves the implications of such an exorbitant use of money to manipulate primary results to two words: “oddly lucrative.” There is zero contextualization of this wealth and what it may mean for the 2020 presidential election.
The only viable analysis of Bloomberg is one in which he is named as the oligarch that he is—an oligarch that aims to yet again subvert electoral politics to favor the white and the wealthy. Bloomberg himself mentioned that if Biden does fare well in comparison to candidate Elizabeth Warren, then he will “enter the race as one of the rare moderates” to counter proposals like the wealth tax (which Bloomberg deemed “unconstitutional” and compared to “Venezuela”).
This is not mentioned by the New York Times, in its fair, objective account of Bloomberg’s wealth.
A major pitfall of journalistic objectivity is that only two sides can exist. The first is that of the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, and the second is of the Other but an Other that is neutralized or rendered palatable for the white supremacy. Any side outside of the two is branded “as either unimportant or as ‘extreme’ and outside the realm of serious discussion.”
Calling Bloomberg an oligarch is not “extreme.” It is just not watered down in the manner that white “objective” journalism is accustomed to.
Objective journalism is a product of and plays in favor of the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. It will never truly benefit those in opposition to and most vulnerable to this oppressive system.
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