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Why tech journalists have no place in politics

Don Reisinger is fed up with technology pundits trying to influence the upcoming election. As Don points out, technology pundits should stick to the industry they cover.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
3 min read

Over the past few months, I've frequented a number of technology websites that have tried to sway public opinion by telling the world where the writer or the publication itself stands on an issue.

And while I have no problem when a technology publication informs its readers about a political issue relevant to the world of tech and subsequently tells those same readers where the politicians stand on the particular issue, I don't think it's a technology journalist's responsibility (or right) to opine on world affairs or the economy.

In fact, just as I don't talk to my readers about sports and politics because it's outside the parameters of my work, political and sports journalists shouldn't wax poetic about the world of technology.

To be quite honest, I think it's disgusting that journalists would use their pulpit as a vehicle to promote their own political views even though it has nothing to do with the industry they cover.

Let's be honest -- when you come to The Digital Home each day, do you really look for who I'm voting for in the upcoming election? Do you honestly care? I think you come here to see my perspective on things and you like to voice your own opinion with other people who do the same thing. In fact, I think it's a disservice to my readers to talk politics.

Do I have my own political beliefs? Sure. Do I know who I want to vote for in the upcoming primary? You bet. Do I think I should tell you why I will vote for this person in the hopes that I sway your opinion and get you to do the same? Absolutely not.

As far as I'm concerned, we're inundated with political news each night and the last thing you need when you want to relax and enjoy some tech talk is even more political crap. In my mind, there's a time and place for that sort of thing and it has no business showing its face in the tech world.

So why do journalists do it? I'm not quite sure. More than likely, these clowns are fanatical political pundit wannabes that figure they can influence a huge portion of their readers. Of course, what they fail to realize is the reason they have readers is because of what they cover -- technology.

Now, don't get me wrong. As you can very easily see from my columns here on The Digital Home, I embrace opinionated commentary and believe it's the truest form of journalism. That said, there are still some boundaries. And unless I'm talking about technology-related political issues, I (and the rest of the tech journalists) have no business telling you where you should stand on an issue.

Beyond that, I really don't care who you vote for. As far as I'm concerned, voting is a personal endeavor that shouldn't be influenced by some people who have access to an arena to influence opinions about things that don't concern them. If you want to vote for Hillary Clinton, then by all means, be my guest. If you're a Mitt Romney fan, fly his flag and vote for him. But if you want political advice on the economy or War in Iraq, move along, there's nothing to see here.

Technology pundits should learn to shut their mouths about political issues that have nothing to do with tech and start giving their readers what they want -- views on the industry they cover.

Just because it's a pivotal political year, it doesn't give any of us in the tech field the license to tell people who they should vote for. It's as simple as that.