Monday, September 26, 2011

Objectivity and Disclosure

Objectivity is something many strive to offer and many others hope to find. Columnists are supposed to be biased; they express an opinion, but "reporters," well, they're objective, right? describes being objective as "not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased."  But objectivity in almost any circumstance is virtually impossible. Why? Because everything we observe is influenced by our personal feelings, our prejudices, our impressions of the facts, our experiences and world-view.

Ask any police officer who had to interview three witnesses to a traffic accident, let's say a bystander and the two drivers who were in the accident. ("Just the facts, ma'am.") You know you will hear three different versions of "the facts."

I write a newsletter called Core Principles. It sort of a companion to this blog of the same name. I sometimes try to be objective; other times I intend to express my opinion. But either way, it is nearly impossible for me to be totally objective.

Take the U.S. Senate race, for example. My objectivity is colored by my personal support for one of the candidates. When you see stories I post about the race, be forewarned, I may not be totally objective. But, I promise you this, I will try to be truthful.

It is appropriate that I disclose a couple of things. First, I am supporting Peter Hoekstra for U.S. Senate. However, contrary to rumors that have circulated, I am not on the campaign payroll. In fact, I have not been compensated at all, in any form, by the Hoekstra campaign. Any campaign activity I have involved myself in has been as a volunteer.

Secondly, I am an ardent supporter of the Michigan Freedom to Work effort. While I am not currently being compensated by MI-FTW, I have raised funds independently to financially support myself while working on making Michigan a Freedom to Work state.

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