January 22, 2007

Citizen-Journalism: Threat or Menace? [Karl]

Jeff’s engagement with today’s football games—and his invitation to guest-bloggers—brought to mind James McCormick’s post last week at ChicagoBoyz, “As Serious As Football,” which compares MSM coverage of current events to sports journalism:

Yet something still distinguishes sports media from the “current events” media — the MSM — that I usually read. Most of the sports media actually recognize that there are things that the coaches and players will not tell them. Never have. Never will. That the media do not require, and will not get, a briefing on all the details of a game plan, and certainly don’t need ongoing espionage operations to do a good job for their employers and readers.

***

Thus my broader view for the day — America will get the MSM it wants when America takes its national security as seriously as its football.

We don’t need “happy hacks” (to quote Mickey Kaus) but we do need media who recognize that they’ve got some skin in this game. That there are things that they do not need to know, immediately, under a system of representative government. That their role in life is not to undermine the effectiveness of the local team. Yes, we want to know the strengths and weaknesses. But winning the game … not exposing how the game is to be won … is what ultimately counts to the fans.

McCormick, at root, is asking for citizen journalists. Given the recent track record of the mass media in exposing top-secret anti-terrorism programs, even without evidence of governmental abuses, it should be clear that this is not the mass media we have.

The MSM we have is one evolved from progressivism. The professionalization of journalism and its idealization of “objectivity” mirror the efforts of the progressives and the Mugwumps at the turn of the last century. As such it contains an inherent tension between the drive to make government more responsive to the people and the drive to centralize power in the hands of supposed professionals at the expense of those elected by the people.

By the end of Vietnam and Watergate, journalists had fully embraced the model of the adversarial press, and the Fourth Estate model, where the press is an essential check on government, a modern addition to the balance of powers. It did so even though the interests and purposes of the First Amendment are not identical with the interests and purposes of the mass institutional press.

Jay Rosen went even further in an essay titled JOURNALISM IS ITSELF A RELIGION. Yet, as Rosen notes, even within the faith, those advocating civic journalism (eek!) demonstrated that journalism is a religion based on a number of highly questionable beliefs:

Journalists don’t get involved. (Well, they are involved, so what now?)

We have to remain detached. (But how do you detach yourself from a public culture that responds to your every move?)

Whether people join in democracy or do not is their business, not ours. (Do you really believe that an inert and atomized audience, a demoralized and disaffected citizenry, can provide “your business” with any meaningful future? Can that ever be a matter of indifference?)

Our job is to tell the truth, not report things the way we would like them to be. (Journalism itself stands for the way things should be. Its implicit belief—call it faith—is that people can make a difference when they know what is happening in their world.)

Rosen then discussed the bankruptcy of the current approach with an example most will remember:

Dan Rather on being a patriot and journalist after September 11th:

What I want to do, I want to fulfill my role as a decent human member of the community and a decent and patriotic American. And therefore, I am willing to give the government, the President and the military the benefit of any doubt here in the beginning. I’m going to fulfill my role as a journalist, and that is ask the questions, when necessary ask the tough questions.

Here is a journalist, prominent in the priesthood, a visible figure in the extreme; here is Dan Rather trying to explain what attaches Dan Rather to the fate of the American people, nation and government. But his religion doesn’t really go there. It has tough stuff in it about detachment, but about attachment to the republic little is said. Rather, the journalist, is also attempting to explain what he is for, in the end. But the language is too thin, the politics timid and confused, the belief system sounds exhausted.

This was confirmed for me when I watched his exclusive interview (Feb. 24, 2003) with Saddam before the war in Iraq began. It was the work of a man who did not know what he was ultimately for, or why he was taken in blindfold to the Palace that day. He did know, however, that no one else in the press had succeeded in landing an interview with Saddam since his inclusion in the American President’s “axis of evil.” No one had done it, so Rather did.

And in the room where his encounter with evil (so declared) took place, Dan Rather, it seemed to me, had come armed with nothing stronger than “ask the questions, when necessary ask the tough questions” of Saddam Hussein — the mass murderer and tyrant who ruled in terror over a closed society, a republic of dense fear, where question-asking got you killed. “I’m here for my interview.”

That was a situation where journalism, the religion, failed the believer. It was the wisdom of the news tribe, and the moral sense it had developed about its methods, but also the questions it never asked itself and had no answers for… all that sent Rather to Baghdad and gave him no better—alas, no deeper—instruction than, “Bring ‘Face the Nation’ to Saddam Hussein.” The anchor man looked lost. Saddam looked happy. I still don’t know what Rather thought he was going to accomplish.

The only surprise here is that Rosen was shocked by this episode. After all, journo icons like Mike Wallace and Peter Jennings were already on record as saying they would not attempt to warn US troops of an enemy ambush in wartime. Support the troops? No, that would not be fair and balanced.

Defenders of the mass media will argue that they are ultimately acting in the public interest by behaving in this manner. What they cannot argue is that the prevailing ethos of professional journalism is apolitical. It never has been. At the turn of this century, however, the rise of the Internet and the blogosphere exposes the tension between a mass media that considers itself an unassailable, professional conduit of information to the people and the voices of the people who would dare to question it.

Although I should not be obliged to state it, I do not think the media bears a primary responsibility for the current state of the war (even though information warfare may be as central to an Information Age war as mechanized warfare was to Industrial Age wars). But a mass media that insists on not appearing to take sides in the war—despite the fact that our side believes and a free press and the enemy does not—should not be surprised when people who want the US to win are upset with reporting they believe damages the war effort, particularly in cases where there appears to be no benefit justifying it, and especially in cases where the reporting is later discovered to be of questionable veracity. And if the mass media is truly committed to freedom of speech, they should accept that they are and should be no more immune from criticism than the government of which they claim to be a Fourth Branch.

Update: Prof. Jay Rosen replies in the comments, as do I.

Posted by Karl @ 2:21am
37 comments | Trackback

Comments (37)

  1. How much farther must the MSM go, with faked photographs and non-existant “sources”, before they are in fact responsible for the state of our war on terror?

  2. How much farther must the MSM go, with faked photographs and non-existant “sources”, before they are in fact responsible for the state of our war on terror?

    And leaked programs, as well as hyped scandals.

  3. Robin, ask a drive-by media denizen that question, and the response will be, “What do you mean our war on terror?”

  4. From my experience in college, the journalism majors were the stupidest, most credulous and least curious people I ever met.

    They became journalists not to report events, but to “make a difference”.  They all believed that was their annointed and God-given role.

    Dimwits….

  5. For example:

    Did any jornalista bother to ask, research, or find out why there were flowers blooming and green trees out the window in the middle of the fucking winter in fucking Chapp-a-squaw, NY when fucking Hillary Rodman announced her surprise run for president?

    Doesn’t anyone want to know when it was actually filmed?

    It seems kinda interesting to me–I’d watch that news show!

    Sadly, No!  They are credulous, dimwitted, slowfooted and incurious.

  6. Journalists don’t get involved. (Well, they are involved, so what now?)

    We have to remain detached. (But how do you detach yourself from a public culture that responds to your every move?)

    Which would most likely lead to less violence in Iraq:  removing the US military presence or a total press blackout?

  7. Which would most likely lead to less violence in Iraq:  removing the US military presence or a total press blackout?

    That’s a trick question:  There’d be temporarily much more violence followed by much less violence permanently.

  8. I was just wondering the percentage of the “insurgency” that are genuinely aggravated and motivated by our military versus the number that are strictly playing for the cameras.  If the moonbats are going to argue that removing the military would lessen the violence, couldn’t the same argument be made for removing the press?

  9. If the moonbats are going to argue that removing the military would lessen the violence, couldn’t the same argument be made for removing the press?

    It’s a good point, but I think the new factor here is that the insurgents have their own cameras and media distribution networks now.  They spent a lot of time playing to their own cameras.

    It’s the narrative that differs.

    It’s not going to be a level playing field until our kids are trading mini-cd’s of terrorists being killed instead of YuGiOh cards.

    Of course the media would never stand for that….

  10. The only surprise here is that Rosen was shocked by this episode.

    Who said I was shocked?  I didn’t.  In fact, I said Rather’s interview with Saddam confirmed some things for me, which is the opposite of being shocked.  So you just made that part up.  Shouldn’t do that.

    One more thing: I know thousands of journalists..  I don’t know one who thinks the press should be immune from criticism.  I don’t know where you got that.

    Pretty good post, though.  I agree that the press is not an “apolitical” institution.  I don’t agree with you on what its politics are.

    Here’s something else I wrote along the same lines a while back.  It’s called “When I’m Reporting, I am a Citizen of the World.”

  11. Something that merits clarifying.  In the post above, it states:

    After all, journo icons like Mike Wallace and Peter Jennings were already on record as saying they would not attempt to warn US troops of an enemy ambush in wartime. Support the troops? No, that would not be fair and balanced.

    I have watched the session referenced in that link many times, as I think it is a critical examination of the role of ethics in warfare, and have found it to be a very thought provoking session.  I would submit that the interpretation implied by the above quoted text may be an incomplete accounting of the dialog that did occur with Mr. Jennings.

    From the above link:

    With Jennings in their midst, the northern soldiers set up a perfect ambush, which will let them gun down the Americans and Southerners, every one. What does Jennings do? Ogletree asks. Would he tell his cameramen to “Roll tape!” as the North Kosanese opened fire? What would go through his mind as he watched the North Kosanese prepare to ambush the Americans? Jennings sat silent for about fifteen seconds after Ogletree asked this question. “Well, I guess I wouldn’t,” he finally said. “I am going to tell you now what I am feeling, rather than the hypothesis I drew for myself. If I were with a North Kosanese unit that came upon Americans, I think that I personally would do what I could to warn the Americans.” Even if it means losing the story? Ogletree asked.  “Even though it would almost certainly mean losing my life”, Jennings replied. “But I do not think that I could bring myself to participate in that act. That’s purely personal, and other reporters might have a different reaction.”

    Jennings was Canadian, although I do not know if, for the purpose of this role-playing exercise if he was to be considered American or Canadian.  Or if that was a strong influencing factor.

    While one may argue about whether or not Jennings in particular was a man of character or what to think about the media, it is worth noting that while Wallace got on his case immediately after the above quote, Jennings still expressed a willingness to die than to watch his fellow countrymen gunned down in front of him.

    In any case, I would highly recommend watching the entire show – I found it to be quite interesting and think that the nation as a whole would have been well served by not allowing these types of discussions to go by the wayside.  Part I, Part II

  12. Similarly, if someone presses any particularistic ID upon you (“You are American, Bob”) you immediately deny it, for purposes of your reporting, and revert upward to the more “general” category (“citizen of the world.”) Anytime you are accused of taking the view from somewhere, your faith requires you to say no, not true. You then re-assert the view from nowhere, the correspondent’s lonely burden.

    That’s a well-written analysis!

    You say that you disagree with what the press’politics are.

    I maintain that such ‘citizen of the world’ rhetoric is Internationalist and thus, leftist by definition.  Not US Democrat left, but old school “proles of the world unite” red left.

    But really, such institutions are skewed by the boomer cultural hegemony–which is itself hard left:

    Watching a dinosaur-media newscast crapping on the military with a retirement-fund commercial playing Steppenwolf gives me hives.

    TW:  Born to be wild indeed78

  13. Which would most likely lead to less violence in Iraq:  removing the US military presence or a total press blackout?

    How about if we strap a reporter to the front of each Humvee and Bradley?

  14. I thank Prof. Rosen for stopping by.

    Who said I was shocked?  I didn’t.  In fact, I said Rather’s interview with Saddam confirmed some things for me, which is the opposite of being shocked.  So you just made that part up.  Shouldn’t do that.

    And I quoted the portion using the word confirmed.  I tend to use the word “shocked” in the way Capt. Renault uses it in Casablanca, but I apologize for not making that clear in the original post.  I do think it fair to say that Prof. Rosen found it notable enough to write about at length.

    One more thing: I know thousands of journalists.  I don’t know one who thinks the press should be immune from criticism.  I don’t know where you got that.

    I really would be surprised if journalists actually said that sort of thing publicly.  But as someone who knows thousands of consumers of journalism, I know many who find that the overweening arrogance of many in the profession reflects that attitude.

    We could start with Jonathan Klein’s blithe dismissal of bloggers as “a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas,” even as they were demonstrating that CBS relied on likely forgeries in a story about Pres. Bush.

    More recently, when bloggers questioned the veracity (and in some cases, the existence) of a Capt. Jamil Hussein after the so-called “Burning Six” story in Baghdad, AP Exec. Editor Kathleen Carroll said she “never quite understood why people chose to disbelieve us about this particular man on this particular story.” Indeed, when former CNN exec. Eason Jordan—no member of the VRWC, as Prof. Rosen well knows—joined in the critique, Carroll told E&P that she had not read it, and likely would not.  It now appears that “Jamil X” used a pseudonym (an issue the AP has yet to address) and his claim that militiamen “burned and blew up four mosques and torched several homes” appears to be false.

    I could note that The New York Times is considering doing away with its public editor.  And that said consideration may be due in part to the public editor’s criticism of The Times’ SWIFT banking surveillance story.

    I could quote Michael Schudson:

    If anyone had asked me 10 or 15 years ago what would happen if a serious effort were made to tell news institutions and journalists that they were not doing their job right and that they were capable of collectively doing something about it, my answer would have been simple. I would have said that any professional group is hard to reform, any group. But one that’s insecure about its own professionalism would be even harder.

    I would have said any organization is hard to reform. But if there’s a First Amendment that takes government pressure out of play, change will be even harder.

    I would have said that journalists are as capable as any professional group of self-criticism and even self-flagellation, but they are the nation’s most toothless group when it comes to making institutional change a serious priority.

    In short, I would have said – if anyone had asked – to Buzz Merritt or Jim Batten or Jay Rosen or Ed Fouhy or others, I would have said “Go home.” I would have told The Pew Charitable Trusts to spend their money doing something more useful.

    And I would have been wrong.

    And the only part of that to which many would object is the last sentence.

    Prof. Rosen also wrote:

    I agree that the press is not an “apolitical” institution.  I don’t agree with you on what its politics are.

    The point of the post was to note that, as a matter of history, the idea of professionalized and “objective” journalism is a reflection of a particular political view.  In the original heyday of progressivism it was certainly not limited to one particar political party (though there was a Progressive Party).  That governing philosophy has played out in particular ways, as I demonstrated with specific examples.  Indeed, I am in accord with much of what Prof. Rosen wrote in the piece he linked.

    I would add that Bob Franken’s hysterical response to Prof. Rosen’s question in that linked piece suggests that Franken—and to be fair, I suspect most journos—have not thought about the tenets of their faith as much as Prof. Rosen has.  But it is the treatment of journalism as a faith (and hysterical replies to questioning it) that tends to lead me to conclude that journos functionally believe they are immune from criticism.  In our society, it is generally considered at least rude, perhaps intolerant and bigoted, to question someone else’s faith, let alone suggest that it harms others.

    Prof. Rosen’s linked piece also has a bit about embedded reporters—a topic I deleted from the first draft of my post.  Suffice it to say that the ethical debate about embedded reporters becoming to cozy with their protectors tended to come from within the field of journalism when the the embeds were with the US, and from bloggers when the embeds are with insurgents (e.g., Michael Ware, Bilal Hussein).

  15. I should clarify that, in addition to misspelling the word “too” in “too cozy,” the last paragrpah reflects my view, not Prof. Rosen’s.

  16. As for BRD’s suggestion that I was unfair to Peter Jennings, he stopped quoting too soon:

    Even though it would almost certainly mean losing my life, Jennings replied. “But I do not think that I could bring myself to participate in that act. That’s purely personal, and other reporters might have a different reaction.” Immediately Mike Wallace spoke up. “I think some other reporters would have a different reaction,” he said, obviously referring to himself. “They would regard it simply as a story they were there to cover.” “I am astonished, really,” at Jennings’s answer, Wallace saida moment later. He turned toward Jennings and began to lecture him: “You’re a reporter. Granted you’re an American”-at least for purposes of the fictional example; Jennings has actually retained Canadian citizenship. “I’m a little bit at a loss to understand why, because you’re an American, you would not have covered that story.” Ogletree pushed Wallace. Didn’t Jennings have some higher duty, either patriotic or human, to do something other than just roll film as soldiers from his own country were being shot? “No,” Wallace said flatly and immediately. “You don’t have a higher duty. No. No. You’re a reporter!” Jennings backtracked fast. Wallace was right, he said. “I chickened out.” Jennings said that he had gotten so wrapped up in the hypothetical questions that he had lost sight of his journalistic duty to remain detached. As Jennings said he agreed with Wallace, everyone else in the room seemed to regard the two of them with horror. Retired Air Force general Brent Scowcroft, who had been Gerald Ford’s national security advisor and would soon serve in the same job for George Bush, said it was simply wrong to stand and watch as your side was slaughtered. “What’s it worth?” he asked Wallace bitterly. “It’s worth thirty seconds on the evening news, as opposed to saving a platoon.” Ogletree turned to Wallace. What about that? Shouldn’t the reporter have said something? Wallace gave his most disarming grin, shrugged his shoulders and spread his palms wide in a “Don’t ask me!” gesture, and said, “I don’t know.” He was mugging to the crowd in such a way that he got a big laugh-the first such moment of the discussion. Wallace paused to enjoy the crowd’s reaction. Jennings, however, was all business, and was still concerned about the first answer he had given. “I wish I had made another decision,” Jennings said, as if asking permission to live the last five minutes over again. “I would like to have made his decision”-that is, Wallace’s decision to keep on filming. (Emphases added.)

    I doubt that James Fallows would get that wrong.

  17. Jay Rosen:

    One more thing: I know thousands of journalists..  I don’t know one who thinks the press should be immune from criticism.  I don’t know where you got that.

    Really?  When the comment section of this thread criticized the media for bias Rosen shut it down.  Some of the comments were hyperbolic, but many were not.  One of Rosen’s comments from that thread:

    An expression of rage? Yes, I suppose so. But if you rage at a pathetic lie (the press is a fifth column, the press desires a U.S. defeat, the press supports the enemy, the press will do absolutely anything to “get” Bush, the press=the left, and on and on and on…) what is the meaning of your rage? I submit that it is meaningless, but also a form of self-infantalization.

    Another comment from Steve Lovelady, managing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review:

    As Crisp says, most reporters are, if anything, dismayingly apolitical. (Most I know don’t even bother to vote.)

    If they had really wanted to be political operatives, they would have become political operatives.

    So there you have it.  The apolitical media is picked upon by a pack of pathetic liars.  Get over it.

    Neuro-Conservative and Neo-NeoCon followed the exchange in their own blogs.

  18. Not US Democrat left, but old school “proles of the world unite” red left.

    Those quotes aren’t ironic enough.

    Circa Lenin, an authoritarian intersection of (false) rhetorical populism and (real) aristocratic conservatism that’s usually called “vanguardism” became the only Actually Existing Leftism–the “US Democrat left,” and the whole range of major media opinion, West-wide, included.  Yeah, even Fox.

    No prole is, or even believes in such a thing as, a “citizen of the world.” That’s Whitey talk. Even Rosen, when he says

    I don’t know one who thinks the press should be immune from criticism. I don’t know where you got that.

    sounds like a pissy aristocrat, not just because, as an academic, he is one, but because any prole who’s dared criticize any journalist (or academic) would tell you precisely the opposite–that there’s not one who regards criticism from outside, which is below, as anything but lumpen effrontery. His disconnect from everyday life is shocking to anyone actually in it–but typical, and certainly not of the “old school ‘proles of the world unite’ red left.”

    The only popular news outlet I can think of that nearly embodies the spirit of the “old school ‘proles of the world unite’” left is Little Green Footballs. (Not kidding.)

  19. A football team is a dictatorship.

    America is a democracy.

    Subtle difference.

  20. alphie-

    Who gets more deferential treatment from the US press: our democratically-elected president, or dictators?

    Not so subtle difference.

  21. The “serious” journalists who I know are very hip and a lot of fun to hang with, but at bottom, belong on the diva bus with J-Lo.

    One of my high school pals is now a somewhat noted film critic. He was and is THE biggest asshole I have known in my whole life.

    Another friend has worked for National Geographic, Omni, Time, and on and on. Another fucking J-Lo idiot, who looks at all of us proles as bumwad. He is fun to be with, and he certainly can drink a ton. But it’s easy to detect that he believes that the rest of us are just what Prof. Rosen denies we are – unenlightened dumbasses..

    I mean what kind of person is attracted to a professional field that will “change the world”? As a musician (reformed), I think I know the answer. It’s called total insecurity.

    Lately I have begun to think of journalists as like those crabs that build their shells out of stones and detrius, and look out the same little opening day after day. In fact, I think all journalists should be powerwashed before they are allowed to publish. 3,000 PPSI should wash off just about any bullshit.

  22. Lately I have begun to think of journalists as like those crabs that build their shells out of stones and detrius, and look out the same little opening day after day.

    Very well said.

  23. A football team is a dictatorship.

    America is a democracy.

    Subtle difference.

    And not really on point.  What would happen if an intrepid reporter for your home town paper published detailed secrets and game plans of the home town football team the week before the game with your most hated rival?  How would the outrage compare with that against the NYT?

  24. Journalists don’t get involved. (Well, they are involved, so what now?)

    We have to remain detached. (But how do you detach yourself from a public culture that responds to your every move?)

    How do you live in the world, perform a job that requires you to contact and provide information to the most people possible, yet detatch yourself from the world?  Hermits are detatched, yet I don’t think ‘hermit’ is quite the word to describe a reporter. 

    Saying you’re detatched doesn’t make you detatched; wishing doesn’t make it so; and denial is an ineffective way of dealing with reality.

  25. And the ‘citizen of the world’ statement is true denial.  No one is a citizen of the whole world.  They are a citizen of a place on the world. 

    Why are you physically in this location as opposed to being physically in another?  Why do you cover certain types of stories as opposed to other types.  Why do you report these events as opposed to those?

    That is because you come from someplace specific, your views are of someplace specific, and you are writing or reading for an audience in someplace specific.

    The sooner they remember that they are from, and reporting for, a specific place, the sooner their profession will function better.

  26. And not really on point.  What would happen if an intrepid reporter for your home town paper published detailed secrets and game plans of the home town football team the week before the game with your most hated rival?  How would the outrage compare with that against the NYT?

    Yeah but the NYT is just messing with issues of life and death.  Messing with the town football team’s playbook is like really fucking uncool.

  27. Of course the citizen of the world mentality which is given a veneer of nobility above, is total crap, a self delusion which allows the adhereant to forget that some parts of the world would see him shot in the face for any attempt at reporting the truth, and some parts would grant him extra layers of judicial protections.  If he can’t be loyal to the part that allows him the ability to create his delusions, and live safely within them, then who cares why he lies to himself as he does?

  28. Let me weigh in with my own grandiloquence necessary for this subject: I hate the fucking press with passion of a hundred white hot suns.

  29. I have to admit to not knowing the word grandiloquence.  Hatred, fucking and press I understand, so not a total loss.

  30. Tip top thread.

    Jay said, “One more thing: I know thousands of journalists..  I don’t know one who thinks the press should be immune from criticism.  I don’t know where you got that.”

    I’m sure he knows lots.  He is, after all, a journalism professor.  But the fact that none of them will cop to or acknowledge the notion that the press should not be flogged is certainly no surprise.  Their behaviour, however, bespeaks a rather different atmosphere.  Whenever under siege they attempt, with their bully pulpit, to frame the argument strictly in terms that they can prevail in.  Red herrings and straw men are the mark of this.  Just as a simple and flagrant example, my hometown paper, the NY Times, keeps calling the NSA program they ruined “domestic spying” when it quite clearly involves only international phone calls.  The AP did the same with their Jamil X waffle.  Reuters likewise with their fauxtography.  Whenever under assault they circle the wagons tighter and tighter and try harder and harder to steer the debate away from their actual transgressions.

    And he may actually be correct about what they “feel”.  But the problem does not seem to me to be a conscious decision by most to skew the news (I said “most”)but rather an underlying desire to make the easy scoop slamming the top dog.  After all, it’s no big deal when the dog bites the man or the low life commits another in a long series of violations against regular people.  These are not front page material.  The best stories are when “the Man” gets his comeuppance or the emperor is revealed to be a flasher.  I understand this.  I also understand that there has been a complete and total “Kill Bush” effort by the more prominent (I eschew “elite”) in the media since 2000.

    It is no surprise whatsoever that none of Jay’s journalists will admit to being immune to criticism but the behavior of Rather and his ilk, as well as the seemingly common notion among them that they are the 4th branch of government, illustrates a disconnect between what they say and what they do.  Just who the hell do they think elected them?  The admissions department?  Tenure committee?

    And alphie go back to your wii, adults are talking here.  That’s a good boy

  31. You might find Rosen’s Pressthink blog interesting.

    In my opinion–I am not a journalist–the arrogance is on full display on several of the threads.

    There were a couple in which the NYT in particular and the press in general were taken to task by veterans for screwing up the simplest of military matters.  Presumably, had the objectors been, say, nuclear power engineers, or pharmaceutical researchers complaining about howlers in covering their own fields, the response would have been the same.

    Such as, what’s the big deal, Purple Heart, Purple Star. How are ordinary people supposed to know the difference?  Boot camp to combat, ditto.

    Squad automatic, the heaviest machine gun in the military (this in a piece about file footage where Zarquawi, then alive, had trouble firing a supposedly captured US weapon and the journos were making excuses for the poor guy)when it is not, by far.

    There was precious little evidence of “we could and should do a better job”. Precious little and a great deal of contempt for those who know the subject and objected to the screwups.

  32. Hey… I picked that gun up once and it was so heavy I went back to the green zone and ordered a Heineken…. and they were out and only had Bud. like no one’s heard of a Sam Adams in the whole country. In NYC they’d know what to do, why when I was at band camp…

  33. The press is very open to critisim.

    The approved critism that is.

    Spelled your Dads name wrong in the obits…perfectly legitimate complaint.

    Questions regarding CNNs, reporting practices in Iraq pre-9/11…HEY, You know who died yesterday?! Next question.

    It’s easy to be open to critism, when you control the narritive.

  34. Pingback: Gawker Stalker [Karl]

  35. Pingback: Will the media's herd mentality be unbroken? [Karl]

  36. Hi boys!146af657cfb9c074a6a1bd71a86c12fc

Leave a Reply