Hysteria and Truth in the Politically Correct Organization: The Case of the Burkett Memo Debacle at CBS News
Posted: June 16, 2005
Baltimore, MD 22nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations ISPSO
Political correctness represents hysteria, a psychological dynamic that is inconsistent with and destructive toward organization. This is shown in the case of CBS News, as illustrated by the Burkett memo debacle. News organizations can do good journalism even though they are biased, as long as they operate under the assumption that there is an external world which their reporting can get wrong. Political correctness undermines that assumption, and in fact undermines the whole idea that there is an external world. In the politically correct organization, truth refers to correspondence with a fantasy, rather than correspondence with facts in an external world. Politically correct news organizations are not in the journalism business anymore. They are in the business of political correctness, which has become an end in its own right.