What the hell are you talking about, Dean?
Meantime, John Cole says that those of us who are mad at the media should take it all back. Sorry John, none for me. The people in the war-coverage press appear to run a broad spectrum: from those who are not on America’s side to those who outright want us to fail. That impression did not occur in a vacuum. As much as some people would like to believe that impression is all the fault of the likes of Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, the truth is that the talk radio people are the symptom–not the disease.
I don’t know what thge hell you are talking about. Legitimate anger at the media is valid. Criticizing them for things they are pretty much getting right is idiotic, which was the point of the whole post below. While you may think it was wrong for the abuse stories to be published, a lot of other people don’t, and don’t think it was that big of a deal to publish that the FBI had confirmed that there were allegations of Koran flushing.
I understand there is a lot of pent up frustration at the media, but it would make more sense to me to attack them when they are actually out of line- like Eason Jordan, Linda Foley, and other egregious acts of abuse. But beating them up because you don’t like the report is dumb.
I am really beginning to think many of you guys out there don’t want an independent media- you want a damned public relations firm.
How wold you have reacted if the media put forth a more forceful story against the Bush administration prior to the war, claiming there were no WMD’s? Because, you know, there didn’t turn out to be any. How many of you can sit there and honestly you would avoided attacking them?
Exactly. Objective truth means nothing. If the media had stated, prior to the war, loudly and repeatedly that there are no WMD in Irq, the same people waging their jihad against Nesweek would have been screaming that the media is biased because they ignore the existence of WMD.
So enough, Dean. I don’t want you to take it all back- you have legitimate areas for anger, and I share them with you. I think, all to often, some in the media do launch petty, personal, and partisan attacks.
But does it really make sense to attack them when they are right, or when they are trying to get it right?
Martin Peretz of the New Republic went so far as to draw a general conclusion about the seamy character of all journalists from the Newsweek episode. “All of Newsweek’s penitential protestations notwithstanding,” he said, “what emerges from this episode is the image of a profession that is complacent, self-righteous, and hopelessly in love with itself.”
It’s funny. The only time anyone thinks to blast the use of “unnamed sources” is when the mistake occurs in that rarest of phenomena in mainstream journalism: the dissenting piece of investigative journalism.
The reality is that unnamed sources are used about 10,000 times a day by the more patriotic and upstanding members of our working press, only they’re not used to wonder about the goings-on at places like Guantanamo Bay. Instead, they’re used to kiss ass and make icons out of morons
The FBI never confirmed anything. What are you atlking about? The fact is that this rumor has never been substantiated and even the anonymous source says it must be wrong.
It was never confirmed anywhere by anyone except in the fevered imaginations of people like you who WANT to believe it.
The plausibility of a rumor does not make more or less true. Just because it is ‘beleivable’ does not make it true to anyone, except to you and Newsweek, and Newsweek has already admitted they were wrong to have run it. Why are you still defending them?
It is plausible that jihadists are next door to you plotting to blow up the electricity plant for your neighborhood. Does that make it true? According to you; absolutely.
And what is your standard for proof? Unsubstantiated claims, from people who refuse to attribute their own names, that sound like stories you wish were true? Interesting ‘standards’ you have there.
Why don’t you encourage more unsubstantiated claims from people who refuse to give their names that blacken the reputation of the US abroad?
Oh, wait… you do! My bad.
It is not that we should not talk about our failings; we should.
That does not mean we should give weight to unsubstantiated claims from people who refuse to give their own names or any evidence except that they wish it had really happened.
John: I expect the press to stop publishing anything from anonymous sources unless they’ve bent over backwards to verify the allegations the anonymous sources provide with strong independent proof. Even then, they should be urging their anonymous sources to go public if at all possible, and apologizing to their readers for quoting them.
I further want them to stop acting like people and events hundreds of miles and months and years apart are part of a “pattern” when there’s no evidence of same.
The rest of your questions strike me as non-sequiturs, since I never said the press shouldn’t publish things. But no more “allegations” from “anonymous sources.”
Oh, and to put a double underline on something: I do not want the press censored.
I want them to earn whatever reputation they deserve for honesty, decency, ethics, etc. Unnamed sources are and should be unethical to quote at least 98% of the time–and the other 2% you’d better have something both very big and for which you have strong independent corroboration. Otherwise you’re just a gossip columnist pretending to be a journalist.
Read Neo-Neocon’s Piece.
I understand there is a lot of pent up frustration at the media, but it would make more sense to me to attack them when they are actually out of line- like Eason Jordan, Linda Foley, and other egregious acts of abuse.
People did exactly that, remember?
The result has been that a few big names retired or resigned, and the MSM quickly went back to business as usual.
Who wouldn’t be frustrated?
What biography of Dean Acheson was this?