Bad journalism? You decide (part five)

Huffington Post keeps making sure that people read news articles few people would actually click on by posting their links on its Facebook page or on my AIM email newsfeeds page. I never comment on any of them on my blog or under their comments section but the following article prompted me to share my unbiased opinion with you here on my blog: Banker Leaves 1% Tip On $133 Lunch Bill In Defiance of ‘The 99%’ [UPDATED]. The entire reporting constitutes bad journalism, and in this article, I will explain why I think so.

Leaving at least a 15 percent tip is considered the norm in U.S. society. Unlike in other countries like Spain where neither the waiter, nor the employer expect patrons to leave tips, in the U.S. a lot of waiters rely on tips to make decent money. Leaving very small tips or no tip at all is considered rude and arrogant, and sometimes such patrons would even be chased down the street by the restaurant’s owner, security or some other employee to at least ask them why they didn’t leave enough tip. At the very least that patron will end up feeling ashamed or uncomfortable enough to visit that restaurant for a second time, and even if they do come a second time, their service is more unlikely to be as high-quality as other patrons will likely be enjoying.

Especially when the patron is a wealthy person, as that banker is assumed to be, a more benevolent tip is likely to be expected.

That is why this is news on Huffington Post. However, Arianna Huffington’s media did a comparatively poor job reporting it for because it failed to present the other side of the story.

What if the banker received poor service? I have been to restaurants where a waiter (or a waitress) would put down something different from what I ordered, or would serve it to me in a sulky way that would make me feel bad for being there and making him or her work. The Huffington Post have not presented that point of view but instead stuck it to the 1 percent by implying that they are the problem of the U.S. society – a notion I do not necessarily agree or disagree with. If that waiter/waitress had a bad day, I feel sorry for them but it doesn’t mean that I have to make them feel happy by feeling uncomfortable which is what their manner would make me feel. In this case, I am prompted to leave the very minimum of a tip at best. No waiter or waitress should feel entitled to the 15 percent minimum in tips.

Another reason why I would say that the Huffington Post did a poor job is that they took their time to write update II which says that the tip was even 1 cent shy of 1 percent of the bill – an apparent pettiness that shows agenda. I call this pettiness because I am sure that no one educated enough to use the internet and who reads that article is unable to calculate how much 1 percent of that bill is. Also, the Huffington Post merely mentions that the blog where the story was posted on – futureexbanker.wordpress.com – “is now offline” without adding the reason(s) for its being offline. Even if these reasons are not disclosed, the Huffington Post should have mentioned that, or at least that’s what I would do.

At least the Huffington Post censored the banker’s information though.

When I was covering Connecticut politics, I presented both sides’ arguments on an issue regardless of how much I agree or diasgree with them. That’s what good journalism is – opening people’s minds, uncovering mysteries (as obvious as one point of view might seem to person A, it could be inconceivable to person B), while also letting them decide for themselves. If they were crazy Liberals or crazy Conservatives, they would never change their minds anyway but fotunately our society is not subjected to either ideology – because thinking people are not that few, and they also look for answers by questioning everything.

My opinion on this story is that the banker – whoever that was – was not right. Instead of “get a real job,” they should have explained briefly why they tipped so low if it was because of poor service. If it was just because they thought they were considering themselves superior to Breanna (the server), then they deserve all the scorn that most people expressed on the internet, and even have their name disclosed for thinking they are so entitled to their job and immune to blunders that go viral.

However, this doesn’t change my opinion that the Huffington Post reported poorly on the story. What do you think?

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5 Comments

Filed under Books, Movies and Analyses, Life

5 responses to “Bad journalism? You decide (part five)

  1. Net Surfer No. 9

    The Huffington Post is crap. Why do you even read it? I do understand how it’s literally forced down our throats (I have AOL and have really developed the discipline to not click on their story links when retrieving my email), but we all need to stop supporting this rag of a paper (online). They write totally traffic driven stories and sensationalistic titles to get you to click. Huffpo makes itself and AOL a ton of money, but does not pay its writers. Don’t support them!
    If one of their headlines is too tempting, though, just put the headline in your Google (or any other) search and find the same story at another outlet. That’s what I now do. I won’t click on HuffPo links for sh*t.
    So, to make a long story short, I don’t care whether or not HuffPo was balanced and fair when they wrote about the waiter. I won’t even dignify that rag by speaking on them any further……

  2. You made your point, and I agree with your frustration. The only time I really read the Huffington Post is through my email. I don’t bother reading other stories or news there because I know I am not going to learn anything.

    Also, I “liked” their page on Facebook but I hardly, if ever, pay attention to it. Speaking of that, this is deceptive on Facebook. Liking a page there doesn’t necessarily mean you really like the organization. You might want to just follow it. I interpret this as an effort from Facebook to beat Twitter but in this case “like” is not the proper word.

  3. badnewswade

    Yeah, they should really be more fair and balanced. Seriously, get a grip. There is no “both sides”. There’s good and there’s evil, and rubbing the faces of underlings in your own wealth and power is a pretty crummy thing to do.

  4. I agree with you to a great extent but notice that I am not taking any side here. If person A is poor, it doesn’t mean that he or she is entitled to disrespectful behavior toward person who, for the sake of argument, is wealthy. That being said, a poor person is not immune to anger from a rich person.

  5. And now this story turned out to be a fake. Oh gosh!

    Read here:
    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/buster/photoshop/restaurant-receipt-photoshop-hoax-869032

    I am appalled by the person who made up the story.

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