Since that I tweet more often about work-related things more readers are following me on Twitter. And, of course, because we’re still buried neck-deep in the era of bitter partisanship, some are outraged over perceived biased.
Now I’m not getting defensive nor am I concerned that I’m actually biased. This is because I probably can’t be biased both ways. Democrats say I’m the evil Corporate Media protecting the interests of my 1% overlords, Republicans say I’m the evil Liberal Media advancing the interests of George Soros or something. Everyone wants to be the underdog.
I do, however, want to clear some things up about how I roll.
First and most importantly: While I do hold political and social views, as does anyone, I can guarantee that it doesn’t affect my job performance. Why am I so sure? Because above all else I do not like being lied to.
My job as a data journalist is to get to the unvarnished truth with cold, unfeeling, objective numbers. I don’t get my orders from a political party or corporation, I get my orders from the data. I make the data tell the story to me then I show it to you in as close to its original form as possible. No rhetoric, no spin, all my work shown.
But what if the data tells a story contrary to my political views? That’s where my aversion to being lied to comes in. Numbers don’t lie, so if the numbers conflict with politicians it’s pretty obvious who’s been feeding me a line and abusing my trust. And it is not in my nature to let that stand.
Second: So what are my political and social views anyway? It’s pretty simple actually.
Socially, people should be allowed to do whatever they want to do so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else physically or financially. So, for example, gay marriage? Don’t care. Marry whoever you want, it’s none of my business. You have strong religious views? I couldn’t care less if you paid me to, worship whatever you want however you want, just don’t hassle me to join you. Want to drink, smoke or do drugs? Don’t care, none of my business, with the caveat that you should be paying drastically higher health insurance rates so I don’t have to pick up the tab for it, and if you get behind the wheel and put others at risk they should throw away the key.
Politically, all power should ultimately rest with the electorate. We’re in a representative republic so we do place trust in others to speak for us in government, but they should remember who they’re ultimately beholden to.
For example, Chris Dodd. In case you missed his now-infamous interview he actually said the following, in public, on purpose:
“Those who count on quote ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake.”
At that point his party is irrelevant. I am opposed to him and anyone in Congress who sides with him for his group’s money in opposition to what appears to be a majority of their constituents. A real representative would find another way to protect copyright holders while addressing the community’s concerns, not bow to an industry’s will for cash.
I’m also opposed to anyone in Congress who votes straight-ticket lockstep with their party. The reddest district in the country also contains Democrats, the bluest district contains Republicans. To essentially disenfranchise any percentage of your constituents because they’re unfortunate enough to live in an area where they’re the minority is disgusting. They should, in a perfect world, hear out the views of their constituents across the political spectrum, consider their positions and come to a fair weighted stance that addresses as many of their concerns as possible.
Unfortunately that means I’m opposed to the vast majority of Congress.
And that’s the core of my opinions and views, if I have a bias that’s it. And if being biased toward truth, fairness, honor and respect is wrong, I don’t want to be right.