Did the reporter question the speaker's statements? Did the reporter think the claims being made were simply bold-faced political puffery? Why did the reporter not simply report what was said and move on? Considering the source for the alternate point of view, I really don't know the answer. The reporter consulted Joe Fontana, the present Mayor of London, Ontario, a man who needs no introduction, as they say.
In my original post, I called the balance obtained by contacting Fontana an example of faux balance. A more accurate label of what was done might be "she-said-he-said-journalism." How does this work?
- Take a public statement and create a dispute.
- Conflicts make news; The created dispute will be newsworthy.
- Make no attempt to assess validity of claims, claims which are the very essence of the story.
- The symmetry of two sides provides the necessary faux balance.
Balanced? I am left shaking my head in disbelief.