From time to time since February 2008, when my long article on journalism and the news media first appeared in the online version of Skeptic * , people have asked me for more specifics on what I regard as the building blocks of valid, serious-minded news coverage. This is going to be a lengthy post, so I'll dive right in without further preamble. The News must be apolitical. This line of thought reached critical mass in 2001 with the controversy over Bernie Goldberg and his muck-raking book, Bias ** , which savaged the mainstream media for its strong (and unapologetic) left ward tilt. It's a familiar argument by now and there's no need to go into it at any great length. I think we'd get a fairly universal buy-in—at least in principle—on the idea that the News should never have a specific political agenda, Left or Right. That consensus is likely to crumble a bit when you g et to a more pointed discussion of implementation. For example, we'd have no trouble finding
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