March 01, 2011
In other news, fish still don't live in trees:
Note that Goldsmith isn't merely pointing out that American journalists are "patriotic" or "jingoistic" as individuals. He's saying that these allegiances shape their editorial judgments. And "patriotism" to Goldsmith doesn't merely mean some vague type of "love of country," but much more: this "sense of attachment" creates a desire to advance "U.S. national security interests," however the reporter perceives of those.
Leave aside just for the moment the question of whether it's good or bad for American journalists to allow such nationalistic allegiances to mold their journalism. One key point is that allowing such loyalties to determine what one reports or conceals is a very clear case of bias and subjectivity: exactly what most reporters vehemently deny they possess. Many establishment journalists love to tout their own objectivity -- insisting that what distinguishes them from bloggers, opinionists and others is that they simply report the facts, free of any biases or policy preferences. But if Goldsmith is right -- and does anyone doubt that he is? -- then it means that "the American press" generally and "senior American national security journalists" in particular operate with a glaring, overwhelming bias that determines what they do and do not report: namely, the desire to advance U.S. interests.