The Fine Line

by Roger Pynn

The line between reporting and commentary has gotten so fine that even journalists can’t see it.

James Rainey of The Los Angeles Times took New York Times Columnist Thomas Friedman to task today for accepting $75,000 for a speaking engagement from a San Francisco Bay area government agency and proudly reported how he had confronted The New York Times about what he saw as an ethical breach.

Here’s the trouble: Rainey refers to Friedman as a reporter. He is not. He hasn’t been for a long, long time. He is a commentator … just like Rainey, who writes a “column,” not news, for the LA Times.

Just because you work for a newspaper doesn’t make you a reporter. Reporters deal with facts.

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