Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Washington Post
Iraq Order of Battle
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News

Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Digby's Blog
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Sunday, December 28, 2003

Time to take the gloves off

Time to take the gloves off

The media in America lives in a dual world, one where they want to hold people accountable, yet flip out when people do the same to them.

Atrios's reporting on the AP's Nedra Pickler, led to a nasty letter from the AP's legal counsel about harassment to one of the people who wrote to complain about her reporting, which promptly got a sneering reply. Journalists have amazingly thin skins when they are criticized in any way, shape or form. Anyone who writes media criticism can make a bunch of enemies really quickly by writing about their peers. There are people at Salon who still hate the fact that I looked at the 10Q's (quarterly financial reports) and showed them to be woefully managed.

I think it would be a really, really good idea to track reporters, word for word, broadcast for broadcast, and print the results online. Not just for any one campaign or cause, but to track people's reporting the way we track other services. If someone had bothered to question the reporting om Wen Ho Lee, he might not have been accused of espionage falsely by the New York Times. If someone had actually checked Jayson Blair's work, the Times might have fired his ass years earlier.

Keeping score of who's right and wrong, how many times they repeat cannards like Al Gore invented the Internet and make obvious errors. Not accusations of ideology, but actual data and facts.

Internal ombudsmen seem like a good idea until you realize that they get their money from the same company that they are criticising.

The media is the most important organziation in American life with no accountability to the public. Libel suits don't work, not only because they are expensive, but the law is designed to protect free speech. So even if you have someone dead to rights, like Sid Blumenthal did with Matt Drudge, suing and winning is incredibly difficult. And there is nothing you can do if reporters repeat a theme like Howard Dean is pessimistic or farts after burritos.

The Dean Defense Force is a great idea, but it has one limit, it is the support network for one candidate. Which means some reporters will ignore it as partisan blathering, no matter how valid their points. It would be a very sound idea for a 527 to fund such an effort, independent of campaigns. Imagine an ad in the Sunday Times saying "Sue Schimdt wrote that Al Gore "invented" the Internet. Al Gore said no such thing and this has been public knowledge for years, so why is she repeating it."

The lawyers for the WaPo will be looking to sue before the end of the day. If you ran a campaign, naming individual reporters and their mistake of facts, along with correspondence with their editors, after they stopped freaking out and realize that they couldn't sue, they would ignore it. The only problem is that no one trust the media. Right, left, most people consider them abject liars. C-span would be amusing, however, as reporters would have their own work quoted back to them verbatim.

Let's face it, Washington journalism is corrupt. They screw each other, do favors for each other and frankly, understand very little about campaigns. This isn't received wisdom, but the things I learned first hand. Most reporters never learn how manipulated they are by campaigns. I've seen more than one campaign derailed over an issue, which if placed in perspective, would not have turned that campaign. But there is a frenzy to scoop each other and relive the days of Watergate, so oppo research and spin comes to define a race as a race and not about an election of the most powerful person on the planet, one hated by many around the world.

It's all inside baseball to them, who's up and who's down. The Kool Kids Klub is pissing away our democracy like drunks at strip club handing out $1's. It's all about style to them. No one is going to place Maureen Dowd on workfare if she loses her job. They all protect each other. Well, that's a luxury that we can no longer afford. If they will no longer do their job on their own, it's time to make them.

posted by Steve @ 10:56:00 AM

10:56:00 AM

The News Blog home page


Editorial Staff

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans