Here’s a tried-and-true creed, straight from Journalism 101: Journalists should never take sides. But how do you not take sides when one of those sides is so clearly wrong?
Another: Journalists should not characterize political candidates as liars. But what happens when political candidates base their entire campaigns on very persuasive lies?
A third: Journalists should go to unfathomable lengths to avoid the appearance of bias, especially because their viewers, readers and listeners already mistrust their motives. But how do you avoid conveying the impression that you’re rooting for one candidate (Clinton) when you try to cover the other candidate (Trump) in a way that reflects a shared, reality-based sensibility about the world?
Journalists are supposed to bend over backwards to treat unpopular points of view with respect. But at what point does that somersault confer legitimacy onto something that does not deserve it?