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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

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rosedog

Really important stuff, Marc. Damn, I wish I'd been there.

"'The Bush administration has taken a very radical step toward the press,' says Rosen. 'It does not accept the value of the Fourth Estate'"

No friggin' kidding! Yo! Conservatives in the room! You have no idea how excruciating it has been to those of us who do this for a living to find that any criticism of the current administration is viewed as "liberalism"---in other words, partisanship. Guys---IT IS THE FUCKING JOB of the journalist to afflict the comfortable, and to keep those in power in check---whether those in power be on the right or the left of center. All of our freedom depends on it. Please FUCKING understand this.

(This week I'm swearing a LOT more, and am a LOT less sorry about it than I'm sure I should be.)

BTW, Marc, I followed your link to Tim Porter's essay, to Rosen's blog, then through to Froomkin's too. I recommend everyone captured by this subject, read all three as well.

Rosen's completely got it right. We're all combatants now.

Tom Grey

No decent newspaper or magazine should be without a Registered Republican who attends church weekly, or more.

I'm serious.

Marc, is there at least one at LA Weekly -- or do your folks discriminate too much against diversity?

Eric Blair

Yo, flowerpuppy, the JOB of a JOURNALIST is to write a journal, which is always a personal view point.

The JOB of a REPORTER is to report the known facts of what happened, not to push a point of view.

Figure out what you actually are, and what you are actually doing.

Oh, and its NOT your "FUCKING JOB" to afflict anybody. I saw Cooper's crack about that earlier, and my first thought was:

"Gee, Marc looks pretty fucking comfortable to me. Doesn't look like many missed meals there."

But I thought that unkind and snarky at the time, so I didn't post it. You have now changed my mind.

And to make something else absolutely clear, You, flowerpuppy, not a combatant of any sort. The Marines fighting in Fallujah right now are combatants. You post comments on a weblog. There is a slight difference.

Woody

Jay Rosen addressed the question of “how can people in the press preserve their power.”

To me, this reflects a bigger problem. Should gaining or preserving power be a goal of the press?

Here's one reason that I think this could be a problem. My grandfather once told me, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." To me, the mainstream press has become corrupt and unreliable.

Power can be obtained through earning trust. The mainstream press has failed to earn trust because it seeks to manipulate rather than inform. This is nothing new, but it has become more apparent because of the checks offered by the bloggers and other internet services. The exposing of CBS's excesses come to mind.

Also, I know that most people of the left are not interested in this, but I find that the information offered by the Media Research Center ( http://www.mrc.org ) to be helpful in exposing problems of the media.

Rosen has been living "Goundhog Day" for 18 years. Rosen says he tries “to repeat the same sentence every day: Journalism is dot dot dot.” I think that he could start by building on words like integrity and objectivity. It makes no sense when a profession cannot even define itself so as to provide a stable base for its future and the public.

Marc Cooper

Eric.. your opinikon are welcomed. Your insults (unfounded to boot) will earn you exclusion. Be civil. Futher, I\'ll match my training on an AK-47 aginst yours on any day.
That said, your obvious scorn for intellectual life is exactly what Rosen is talking about. A country without aoldiers to defend it or journalists to maintain its public discourse is equally doomed. Save your bullying for somewhere it might work. Here it hits a brack wall, flowerpuppy.

To Woody... we dont chek voter reg cards at the Weekly as matter of employment. I do know that one of our most powerful editors is a devout Christian and says he voted for Bus. But so what? The weekly is a journal with a DECLARED point of view. It has no more obligation to include conservatives than the Weekly Standard does in showcasing liberals. It's like asking how many liberals sit on the RNC.

Marc Cooper

Th press "manipulates" and the politicians do .... what?
For those uncomfortable with a robust press that nettles, pressures, and yes attempts to exert power and influence over the national debate might I suggest you consider taking a year off and moving to Cuba? I think there you will find the docile, defanged and dormant press you seem to yearn for. Fidel's got the perfect model for you.

Woody

Mark, you're getting Tom Grey mixed up with me. That's okay, but just making sure that credit for comments gets placed appropriately.

Marc Cooper

Credit to where it belongs. sorry.. on top of being cranky, we liberal pinko pansy traitorous journalists are often inaccurate as well!

Marc Cooper

Credit to where it belongs. sorry.. on top of being cranky, we liberal pinko pansy traitorous journalists are often inaccurate as well!

Woody

Marc wrote: "...For those uncomfortable with a robust press that nettles, pressures, and yes attempts to exert power ....consider...moving to Cuba? "

Wow, someone got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. It seems to me that it is the left-biased press that believes that Cuba is paradise (you excluded.) Laugh if you will, but FOX has sored in ratings because people see that it really is fair and objective. CBS, MSNBC, and others want the public to believe that they fit that profile--but, they don't.

Magazines such as "The Nation" or "The American Spectator" offer no pretenses or neutrality on political issues, so at least they are honest.

Maybe that's the main point, as I said earlier about integrity being lacking in the press. It's also one of the reasons that I like this site. It's okay to take sides, but just be honest about your political leanings and don't pretend to be a middle-of-the-roader when you're not. Journalism should take note.

Now, back to work for me.

Mike

"'The Bush administration has taken a very radical step toward the press,' says Rosen. 'It does not accept the value of the Fourth Estate'"

If you consider Bush's comments about the press in toto, I think it would be more accurate to conclude that the administration does not believe that a heavily liberal legacy press deserves the same special treatment the press itself thinks it deserves.

Reasonable people may disagree, but I think Rosen has misrepresented the administration's position -- and, as usual for him, misrepresented it in a way that flatters liberal preconceptions about Bush and his staff.

Mavis Beacon

At the heart of Woody (and other's) critique of the MSM is a sense that they have an "agenda" that has nothing to do with shareholders, the public, or a journalistic ethic. The decision makers at every "objective" newspaper are liberal as are the reporters and their goal-and this is the essential part-is to get Democrats in office. It's not accusation of a liberal bias that's so infuriating (hell, bias happens and most people can admit that), it's the insinuation that the press has a pro-Dem. agenda.

I think that accustation is untrue. Woody thinks it's correct. Therefore the MSM has no ability to influence/inform Woody. That's what Jay Rosen was talking about and I think he's right on.

Mike

"For those uncomfortable with a robust press that nettles, pressures, and yes attempts to exert power..."

Marc -- I think a lot of us would be entirely comfortable with an antagonistic, ideologically-motivated press if the pretense of impartiality were dropped. Individual legacy media organs aren't public utilities, and should quit pretending to provide a service to all points of view. They don't.

Pj

Perhaps posters are being unkind to rosedog because her understanding (and the left's) of the "comfortable" is so limited. For the last 30 years, the number of the comfortable that the press has afflicted remains at about...one: the US government. They are a reasonably transparent and non-lethal target. (In Holland last week, a right-wing party was outlawed while the radical Islamic party lives on. Is this our future?)

That is why many people today do not respect the press as the be-all and end-all oracle of truth. The press is free, hurrah, so are we. Bush won't sit for an interview with Rather, and you call him dumb?

If I want the leftist version of the truth, I pick up the LAT. For the other side, I tune in Brit Hume.

Josh Legere

Reason Magazine made a contribution to this debate in its October Issues...

http://www.reason.com/0410/co.mw.unbalanced.shtml

steve

"The exposing of CBS's excesses come to mind."

Did not CBS spread the myth of WMDs in Iraq to help the Bush administration Woody? Have you no sense of appreciation of the corporate media?

steve

"Laugh if you will, but FOX has sored in ratings because people see that it really is fair and objective. CBS, MSNBC, and others want the public to believe that they fit that profile--but, they don't."

Substantively was there any difference between CBS and FOX in the runup to the war? Think back to the silly speech by Powell that was roundly refuted only one day after the speech in the British media. FOX, CNN on the other hand roundly praised it as a 'brilliant' speech...How odd, I thought that CBS was 'leftwing'?

Eric Blair

Everybody posting on this weblog is "comfortable". The fact that you have access to the internet pretty much proves the point.

As PJ points out, the US Govt is an easy target. It actually listens once in a while.

Mavis's intrepretation of Rosen may be correct, but I'll spin differently: It's not that there is bias, its that the bias is being hidden under a label of "objectivity" that upsets people so.

Also, I don't think that the President is necessarily ignoring the 4th estate. Its that he's questioned whether the 4th estate "speaks for the people". I think Rosen discussed that on his blog at one point. And, like it or not, the President has a point.

Oh, and Marc, for the record, I'll match your AK-47 skill with my M16A2 skill, and up the ante my M249 skill, and my M60 skill, and my M2 skill, and even my LAW skill. Been there, done that, avoided the shrapnel.

steve

This is probably the best alternative to the liberal media on the liberation of Fallujah:

http://www.unconfirmedsources.com/headings/War%20In%20Iraq.php?subaction=showfull&id=1099941896&archive=&start_from=&ucat=5

steve

"Also, I don't think that the President is necessarily ignoring the 4th estate. Its that he's questioned whether the 4th estate "speaks for the people".

And he had a good point, look at the way the media rallied behind the invasion of and current US occupation of Iraq. Be it Aaron Brown, Bill Oreilly, Britt Hume or Wolf Blitzer...it was all about "WMD WMD WMD"...

John Moore (Useful Fools)

Somehow I don't believe that Powell's speech was refuted, since the information to do so was not available.

When everyone thinks there are WMD's, even the anti-Bush press will report it. After all, they had no contradictory information, and the basis of the report came from the CIA, British Intelligence and Italian intelligence.

So the fact that the MSM reported WMD's in no way makes them any less anti-Bush.

Think of what the world would be like if Saddam had not been playing his very closely held bluff.

The Bush administration was so confident about WMD's because all the evidence pointed that way. If they had had any doubts, they would have added caveats so as to not get egg on their faces should they be wrong. Even the Iraqi generals all believed it - dictators can get away with this sort of deception.

The MSM was anti-Bush and remains anti-Bush. There are many examples that I won't bore you with. But this year it was so blatant that lots of people saw through them. Because of that, it is harder to get a full picture. I have to look at the MSM (with skepticism) and the right wing internet outlets (with skepticism). This is where blogs can provide the missing details.

steve

"Somehow I don't believe that Powell's speech was refuted, since the information to do so was not available."

It was easily refuted by British journalists:

http://traprockpeace.org/firstresponse.html

http://traprockpeace.org/iraqweapons.html

Here's the irony, the American "leftwing" media agreed with John at the time!! And the appreciation they get is that they made life difficult for Bush!

Woody

Mavis Beacon wrote: "It's not accusation of a liberal bias that's so infuriating...it's the insinuation that the press has a pro-Dem. agenda. ... Therefore the MSM has no ability to influence/inform Woody. That's what Jay Rosen was talking about and I think he's right on."

Mavis gets it right. The only addition is that the bias goes beyond political division but carries into every area of life.

For instance, generally businessmen are reflected as being bad. The "person of the day" is never any hard-working slob who provides jobs to workers, provides services and products to the public, and pays taxes to boot. Instead, businessmen are reflected as greedy, tax-avoiding, sleazy, etc.

Religion is treated the same way. Conservative Christians are bashed (exp. Fallwell & Robertson) while leftist political preachers (exp. Sharpton, Farrakhan, Tutu) are given credence and praise.

Military is shown as destructive and evil rather than heroic and liberating.

Western civilization is bad. Heck, it isn't even taught any more. Multiculturalism is good, even when it's not.

The list goes as far as the liberal imagination. It's not just politics but every philosophical, social, or religious area we encounter.

Now, having said this and to go back to Mavis Beacon's conclusion, I think the conclusion is correct in that the major mass media has lost all credibility with so many people that they have lost their power to influence me except in a negative way. (Exp. NY times endorses candidate, so I vote against that person.)

So, again it comes down to the point that pretending to be objective, when you're not, is not honest, and people who are not honest don't get my respect and don't influence me to their side.

Thanks, Mavis, for extending my thoughts to what Jay Rosen meant and clarifying it in my own mind.

Woody

I'm sorry. I overlooked one comment.

Eric Blair wrote: "Mavis's intrepretation of Rosen may be correct, but I'll spin differently: It's not that there is bias, its that the bias is being hidden under a label of "objectivity" that upsets people so.

I think this tails with my conclusion above and expanded that of Mavis. Good observation, Eric.

steve

"For instance, generally businessmen are reflected as being bad. The "person of the day" is never any hard-working slob who provides jobs to workers, provides services and products to the public, and pays taxes to boot. Instead, businessmen are reflected as greedy, tax-avoiding, sleazy, etc."

Really? How do you explain the prominence of business schools on campus? Have you visited one recently? When you do, tell me which department is better rewarded by the administration, Finance or Sociology. Marketing or Political Science? Engineering or Anthropology?

"while leftist political preachers (exp. Sharpton, Farrakhan, Tutu) are given credence and praise."

They're leftists? really? Farrakhan a leftist? He's got a funny 'leftist' ideology, it's called black self-reliance through black owned capitalist enterprises. Is that what you get when you read Capital Volume 1? I sure don't.
Tutu left, eh? Interesting, how do you explain the orientation toward privatization on the part of the ANC? Are you sure you're clear on what being 'left' is? Next we're going to hear that Chirac is left (!).

"Western civilization is bad. Heck, it isn't even taught any more. Multiculturalism is good, even when it's not."

You plainly have not been to many university history departments. I'm afraid empirical observation doesn't conform with your visions.

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