Beliefnet
Everyday Ethics

Nar-cis-sism??[nahr-suh-siz-em] 

-noun
1. inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive
self-love; vanity.

2. Psychoanalysis. erotic gratification derived from
admiration of one’s own physical or mental attributes, being a normal condition
at the infantile level of personality development.



Is it unethical for the news to become about personality
over perspicuity, or simply inevitable?

I’ll admit I search the Google Hot Trends frequently in my quest to find fresh topics for this blog. When narcissism came up today, I said, “Hey, wait a sec, hold on there, I didn’t do an
ego search‘” (ie, Googling my own name). Instead, what I did find when I researched why
the term was trending high was a blog post on Buzz Machine (actually quoting Andrew Sullivan at the The Atlantic.com’ Daily Dish) talking about how journalism has become too much about the journalists.

No kidding! I
think Jon Stewart’s been pointing that out for quite some time now. And one has only to watch the
24-hour cable news networks or sign up for some of these talking heads’ tweets to see they enjoy the fame
at least as much as they feel the gravity of the work they do. Even my beloved local news anchor Pat Kiernan is a twittering fiend who seems to adore the instant feedback he gets. And when it comes to
print journalists, well, those guys are having a tough enough time that they have to be self-aggrandizing, just to stay
employed.

Is that wrong? Are they merely being human, or are these
journalists falling down on the job? Is Edward R. Murrow rolling in his grave, or did he, too, enjoy a bit of the limelight?

Or–wait–maybe today’s hot trend is really about Sarah Palin? I hear some people are claiming she’s got narcissistic personality disorder. Check out the symptoms and see if you agree. Who’s throwing out these charges, by the way… could it be some of those same narcissistic newscasters?

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