Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Allegedly Free Press...

...can be bought.

No surprise there, eh? I mean, Armstrong Williams sold out. And I think Judith Miller sold out, although probably not for money, just power, deflected or real. Her zeal in "protecting her source" in the Plame affair was as misguided as it was cynical, and the fact that the NY Times used her as a poster child for a Federal Shield Law for reporters was laughable. She wasn't protecting a whistleblower who wouldn't speak openly for fear of losing his or her job, she was protecting an administration who was using her to wreak vengeance on a recalcitrant truth speaker.

The NY Times is not laughing much right now as various Republican members of Congress and the Resident are calling for an investigation into the leaking of the illegal monitoring of American citizens' phone calls by the NSA (scroll down to "Absolutely Chilling") for a story the paper printed on Friday. This would have been the ideal case to push for a Shield Law, and the paper who gave us the Pentagon Papers could have made a good case for the new law. Even though the paper sat on the story for over a year, and even though the paper allowed the White House to "edit" the story, the news itself was sufficiently startling that it provoked a firestorm and caused the Resident to change his Saturday radio address to deal with the issue.

Unfortunately, it may be too late. The Times, like most of the press in this country, no longer has the credibility it once enjoyed. The press no longer emjoys the trust of the public. Too many reporters have become the news instead of reporting it. Judith Miller, Matt Cooper, Bob Novak, Viveca Novak, Tim Russert and a host of others have been reduced to panderers for the regime and they got caught.

They are no different than Armstrong Williams, or even the
latest journalist
to get caught selling out:

Also yesterday Copley News Service syndicated columnist Doug Bandow admitted accepting money from Abramoff for writing as many as 24 op-ed articles favorable to some of Abramoff's clients. Copley suspended the column pending a review and Bandow resigned as a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute.

I guess it's time for Atrios to call for another panel on bloggers' ethics.


Blogger Horatio said...

Good post. It just may be that we're the press. The MSM will do whatever makes them money. We on the other hand have an actual interest in making sure that the real story gets told.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Eli said...

And that's all well and good, but let's not fool ourselves: our audience is miniscule, and most of our readers are already on our side. The blogosphere is simply incapable of swinging public opinion the way the MSM can, except when the MSM grudgingly allows stories from the blogosphere to trickle up into its lofty realm.

11:49 AM  

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