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Good American v. Good Reporter

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Brad
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0 posted 09-28-2005 04:47 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

My first title for this thread was "I don't get it."

Cavuto

quote:
COLMES: Neil, listen, I love your commentaries, many of which are in their book. They're witty. But you can love America -- You have Iraq and patriotism, you have a piece on that. You can be against the war and still be a patriot.

CAVUTO: Absolutely.

COLMES: We're not all flag-burners because we don't agree with this particular mission. And you use the word "flag-burning," for example, in one of your commentaries, right?

CAVUTO: Yes, I do.

COLMES: I mean, we're not flag burners -- we're haters if we disagree.

CAVUTO: No, because my view, guys is very -- and I'll tell you, Alan, my view is very simple. A lot of people make fun and they're like, "Oh, you know, you're a Yankee doodle dandy, the flag pin." As [Fox News chairman and CEO] Roger Ailes has indicated, I'm pro-choice on flag pins. If you don't want to wear them, that's fine. I am saying this, though, that I would much sooner go down as a pretty good American when I try to be versus a good journalist. The good journalist thing is not nearly as important.

HANNITY: Well, I think you're a great American.


I still don't get it.

Examples:

I am saying this, though, that I would much sooner go down as a pretty good American when I try to be versus a good teacher.

I am saying this, though, that I would much sooner go down as a pretty good American when I try to be versus a good father.

I am saying this, though, that I would much sooner go down as a pretty good American when I try to be versus a good doctor.

I am saying this, though, that I would much sooner go down as a pretty good American when I try to be versus a good mother.

Isn't Cavuto conflating two uses of the word 'good'?

You're a good person. (moral, ethical etc.)

You're a good baseball player. (results oriented, quality etc.)

If we change 'good' to, say, 'responsible':

I am saying this, though, that I would much sooner go down as a pretty responsible American when I try to be versus a responsible journalist.

Is there much of a difference?

Isn't being a responsible journalist (or father,mother, doctor, teacher) the same thing as being a responsible American?

Christopher
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1 posted 09-28-2005 07:39 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

that was my first thought on reading the above.

the two shouldn't create an either/or situation... i would think, with the responsibilities a reporter has to the public, they would be in direct proportion to each other, rather than inversely connected.
Michael
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2 posted 09-28-2005 07:47 PM       View Profile for Michael   Email Michael   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Michael


I would have to dismiss the mother and father parts of the comparison by virtue of those not being vocational, as journalism is his chosen profession.  As for the other two, can someone be a good teacher and not a good American?  Absolutely, I even know a few who qualify.  I can say the same about the doctor part.

quote:


Isn't Cavuto conflating two uses of the word 'good'?




Possibly, though journalist are far more suspect by nature than most doctors or teachers when it comes to say, morality, and probably more challenged in the sometimes-conflicting duties to job and country.  At the very least, their work is more in the public eye and subject to scrutinyas such.  I think it is the suspicions often thrown at the profession as a whole he is addressing here, stating he holds his country over and above his job.

quote:


Isn't being a responsible journalist (or father,mother, doctor, teacher) the same thing as being a responsible American?




No.
Capricious
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3 posted 09-28-2005 07:48 PM       View Profile for Capricious   Email Capricious   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Capricious

You've answered your own question. Yes, he's conflating two uses of 'good,' and in the context of the quote it's not confusing (or damning) at all.

"Good American" is a pretty self-explanatory phrase ... it can be used quite a few ways by different people and in different situations, but it can be summed up as "with the best interest of the United States in mind."  In the context of journalism, I think it's pretty obvious that the speaker means he doesn't go out of his way to criticise every little thing our 'country' - and by this I mean the current administration, from the President down to the local government - does, says, or involves itself in.  Accountability is one thing, but the world has enough critics, and less than half of them have the credentials to give an informed opinion on what they're critiquing, anyway.

In a perfect world, journalists would report the facts and nothing else ... but in our world, there's always a spin on it.  This journalist (and I have no idea who he is, honestly, not that it matters) prefers to spin his reporting to reflect the US in a positive light.

Moreover, I don't think your mother, father and teacher analogies are very appropriate.  If being a good journalist was as important as being a good father, mother, doctor or teacher, we'd have passed legislation to stomp out publications like the Enquirer long ago, don't you think?  

You don't really have to be a patriot to be good at your job ... heck, even a US soldier can do his job for a paycheck, although having some love for his country would make it a bit more fulfilling, I would suspect.
Brad
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4 posted 09-28-2005 08:48 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

"Good American" isn't self-explanatory at all.

A patriot?

Whatever happened to loyal opposition?

My point in bringing mother and father into the picture was to show that being a good American, I think, isn't about agreeing or disagreeing with the administration, past or present, but about doing your job, any job, well so that you contribute to society as a whole.

Regardless of one's political beliefs.

The only exception would be in contributing to the violent overthrow of the government, or aiding the enemy in a time of war.

The advantage to this is that we can get away from arguing that someone is a good or bad American because you disagree with them.
Michael
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5 posted 09-28-2005 10:08 PM       View Profile for Michael   Email Michael   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Michael

quote:


My point in bringing mother and father into the picture was to show that being a good American, I think, isn't about agreeing or disagreeing with the administration, past or present, but about doing your job, any job, well so that you contribute to society as a whole.




I do my job well, get paid and contribute to society. That hardly qualifies me as a “good American,” even by my standards.  Nor does doing their job well stop many people from going home and beating their children.  Nor does it stop a drug dealer with a prison record from being a good parent.  Mother/ father vs. journalist/ teacher etc. is comparing apples to oranges.

quote:


The advantage to this is that we can get away from arguing that someone is a good or bad American because you disagree with them.




It’s funny the way I read this, because it seems to me that this is exactly what you are doing.  I am not familiar enough with Cavuto to be sure, (I rarely get involved with anything political), but I was hoping that having a prejudiced opinion was not a disqualifier from the answering of your first question:

quote:


Isn't being a responsible journalist (or father,mother, doctor, teacher) the same thing as being a responsible American?




which is still “no” by the way.
Not A Poet
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6 posted 09-28-2005 10:27 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Isn't responsible journalist an oxymoron, much like honest politician?

Capricious
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7 posted 09-28-2005 11:01 PM       View Profile for Capricious   Email Capricious   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Capricious

I don't recall anywhere in the quote where the speaker claimed he wasn't doing his job well, or wasn't contributing to society - he only remarked on what he'd prefer to be remembered for.

To change your example somewhat, I can scrub a toilet like nobody's business, but I'd prefer to go down as a pretty good mother when I try to be versus a good toilet scrubber.  They're about as related as journalism and patriotism; a dirty toilet can make your kids sick, and not cleaning it can set a bad example for your child's future housekeeping skills, but the one's a little more close to my heart than the other, yanno?

quote:
My point in bringing mother and father into the picture was to show that being a good American, I think, isn't about agreeing or disagreeing with the administration, past or present, but about doing your job, any job, well so that you contribute to society as a whole.

Regardless of one's political beliefs.


You know as well as I do that journalism is a cesspool of political maneuverings - heck, some would argue that certain news agencies are actual tools of the government, or those opposed to it.  It's nearly impossible to find a blurb these days that doesn't have some political overtone, implication, or more often, blatant propaganda one way or another.

In short, I think you are nitpicking, and I suspect from the tone of your post that you disapprove of this journalist - or perhaps his political beliefs - and would not be so concerned with such a harmless conflation were he more in line with your own personal views.  

Most people have jobs to pay bills - just like most people follow the laws to stay out of jail - this doesn't make them "good Americans" or even good people, it just means that they think they'd dislike being homeless, or a prisoner, more than being a "productive" member of society.  

If you'll re-read my previous post, you'll see I didn't say that being a good American meant agreeing with the administration - I said that in the context of journalism, it probably meant that he wasn't a loudmouth critic of the administration _ I am going out on a limb and assuming he's a political commentator because of the content of the excerpt you provided.  

In fact, doesn't Cavuto agree with Colmes on that exact point, that you can be against the war and still be a patriot?

quote:
The only exception would be in contributing to the violent overthrow of the government, or aiding the enemy in a time of war.


If you don't think that journalism can contribute to either of these things, you're kidding yourself.  There's a reason many countries have government-run televsion and radio networks.  "Freedom of the press" may be something we take for granted, but it is no less powerful for the fact.

quote:
The advantage to this is that we can get away from arguing that someone is a good or bad American because you disagree with them.


I didn't see Cavuto call anyone a bad American, and only hoped to be remembered as a good one himself.  Without seeing the context of the "flag burner" statement he's supposed to have made, I can't comment on that either.  Regardless, I don't see what any of it has to do with his capability as a journalist; the only thing it has any bearing on at all is his personal priorities, which are none of our concern so long as he's doing his job.

This is sort of like picking on Bush because he said most of our imports come from other countries.  Good for a chuckle maybe, but otherwise an inconsequential observation.
Brad
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8 posted 09-28-2005 11:51 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

If you think it is nonsense, a moment of misspeak, okay.

  
quote:
I do my job well, get paid and contribute to society. That hardly qualifies me as a “good American,?even by my standards.


Why not?

Unless of course you're not an American.  

quote:
Nor does doing their job well stop many people from going home and beating their children. Nor does it stop a drug dealer with a prison record from being a good parent.  Mother/ father vs. journalist/ teacher etc. is comparing apples to oranges.


I'm confused here. Maybe I didn't make myself clear. I meant the comparison between a good American and a good journalist (or anything along those lines). I did not mean to compare teachers to journalists, politicians to mothers or whatever.

What is a good American?

Does it depend on a job description?


[This message has been edited by Brad (09-29-2005 06:56 AM).]

Huan Yi
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9 posted 09-29-2005 12:50 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

A tangent.

An American reporter is afforded the opportunity
by a Jihadist cell in Iraq to go on a mission.   Should he?
If yes, let’s now say that he finds himself accompanying
them as they set up ambush and wait for an American patrol
which comes into view.  He can easily,
without risk to himself, give warning
from his position but that would change the story
and possibly deny  him acceptance into future
opportunities as an embedded reporter with said cell.
Should he warn the American patrol?

  
Ron
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10 posted 09-29-2005 11:54 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Ignoring John's free-from-his-own-opinion tangent, I see two important themes running through this thread.

First, I find it remarkable how little respect is accorded the field of journalism. In a way, I think this relates to the central theme here, because I believe that lack of respect is a reflection of disagreeing viewpoints. If someone writes something with which we disagree, we label them propagandists. If someone writes something we think shouldn't be emphasized, we label them partisans. What our pipTalk writers seem to be forgetting, something writers of all people should never forget, is that ANY expression of substance is inevitably going to be biased. Yea, journalists, and certainly the media structures they inhabit, are biased. So, too, are poets, painters, actors, musicians and dancers.

The surprise to me isn't that people think journalists they dislike are biased. The surprise, rather, is that they appear to think the ones they do like are any less biased.

The second theme, the more direct one, of course, is a definition of what constitutes a good American.

George Washington was a traitor and terrorist, but was arguably a good American. Some would argue, quite persuasively I think, that Robert E. Lee was also a good American. Then and now, I think the context of the adjective gives meaning.

I think Brad's point centers on short-term "good" versus long-term "good." If one vocally disagrees with current policies, that might well be labeled "not good." Of course, that means Washington was not a good American. Lee, however, might still qualify as he and countless others tried to maintain the State's Rights foundation upon which the Constitution was founded, even as Lincoln and others followed a new path towards increased Federal power and influence. Gee, maybe that makes John Wilkes Booth a good American?

My point, of course, is that we can't define "good" by short-term values. Bringing tears to your child's eyes is a short-term effect and doesn't define your value as a parent, especially if you're telling them they can't do something important to them because they didn't do their chores. It's called discipline, and in the long-term, we all know it's a good thing for parents to do. Similarly, trying to change American policies through non-violent means can't define your value as an American.

The most significant difference between Susan B. Anthony and Jane Fonda, after all, certainly wasn't how vocal and disagreeable they could be.
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11 posted 09-29-2005 01:46 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, Ron, I'm one who has little respect for mainstream journalists. Yes, i consider them very biased and i will concede that I find those with opposing viewpoints biased, also. Rush Limbaugh, who I enjoy listening to, is certainly biased. There's no question. My major complaint is the manipulation of the news more than anything else. There seems to be little attempt by the mainstream media to give balanced coverage. If something supports their intentions or point of view, it gets major coverage. Whatever contradicts it doesn't. Where is Gitmo? It was a daily front page item while Democrats were screaming abuse. Where is it now? Kennedy went down on an inspection tour and found nothing wrong. You had to look on page 23 to find it....and, now, it has just disappeared from the pages. Media will blow up into major headlines whatever they can latch onto to get coverage. If nothing is there, they have been known to create it. With New Orleans everything was keyed to Bush, little to the Louisiana government. Now, on DeLay, everybody keys on him and the the prosecutor, who has an incredibly poor record of doing these things before to get the publicity and then dropping the charges just before going to court. Were it a democratic senator up on charges, I assure you the focus would be on the prosecutor. The media giants are nothing more than manipulators, doing it so badly as of late, that they have allowed, and even made a certainty, the re-election of Bush and also the loss of respect by the average American.

The difference between Susan B. Anthony and Jane Fonda? About 98 cents.....
Ron
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12 posted 09-29-2005 02:43 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
... and, now, it has just disappeared from the pages.

Florida is not experiencing a hurricane today, either, Mike, but I doubt you'll find many headlines to that effect. It's important, especially if you happen to live there, but it's NOT news.

quote:
Media will blow up into major headlines whatever they can latch onto to get coverage.

When a serviceman dies in Iraq, my local TV station tries to link him to Michigan. If the man lived here, they report his death. If his parents once lived here, they report his death. If the man went to school here for a few years, they report his death. If he once caught a connection in Detroit and talked to more than three people at the airport, they'll report that, too. However, if they can find no link to Michigan, no matter how tenuous or silly, they leave that particular story for someone else -- perhaps in Florida or Texas -- to report.

Just about every reporter at that station was born and raised elsewhere, coming to Michigan only because that was where the job was found. Next year, some will probably move to a new job in a new state. In short, they are not personally biased towards Michigan. What they're doing, what I think almost all news outlets try to do, is give the people what the people want. From the New York Times to the National Enquirer, that's how they stay in business.

If you honestly believe, Mike, that the majority of news outlets have an agenda with which you disagree, I think that suggests most of America has shown an interest in that agenda. Businesses run as personal causes don't stay in business very long.
Brad
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13 posted 09-29-2005 05:12 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
Lee, however, might still qualify as he and countless others tried to maintain the State's Rights foundation upon which the Constitution was founded, even as Lincoln and others followed a new path towards increased Federal power and influence.


That has always been the debate (Hamilton v. Jefferson?). The constitution has and always will be a compromise document.

But, and this no doubt deserves another thread, what exactly have we got if certain aspects of the constitution can now be deemed irrelevant?

(A reference to John's earlier comment concerning Congress's Right to declare war.)

quote:
Where is Gitmo? It was a daily front page item while Democrats were screaming abuse. Where is it now?


Surely, you must be joking, Mr. Balladeer.

Answer: Who is Fishback?

quote:
Media will blow up into major headlines whatever they can latch onto to get coverage.


Here we agree, this is irresponsible journalism. I'm simply not convinced that bias is the issue.

Timidity and laziness are the real culprits here.

And, yes, I still think that has something to do with being a good American.

Balladeer
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14 posted 09-29-2005 06:51 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

What they're doing, what I think almost all news outlets try to do, is give the people what the people want. From the New York Times to the National Enquirer, that's how they stay in business.


That's always been the question, Ron. Do they give the public what it wants or do they create that want by manipulation and then fill it? Hollywood has used the same argument to justify their movies...just giving the public what it wants. Harrison Ford won the National Haberdashers Award for the incredible amount of "Indiana Jones" hats that were sold after the movie came out. Clark Gable almost wrecked the underwear industry. Who does that sound like is influencing who? If you throw a topic up on the front pages constantly, create the need for the public to want to hear more of what they previously not even been interested in, and then continue to push it to "appease" the public's desire to know more about it, who is influencing who?

Iraq is an excellent point. Many good things have happened there, along with the bad. Yet easily 90% of the news you will get focuses on the bad and very little on any good...this is by media selection.

Businesses run as personal causes don't stay in business very long.

Seems to me Randolph Hearst did pretty well using those tactics. The head simply passes on the view he wants the paper to support and, in a Tooheyesque manner, they get it done. I'm sure it happens a lot. You are right in one degree, though. They are being hurt. I'm sure I've read that many more people rely on cable news than broadcast and that newspaper sales are way down, percentage-wise.
Michael
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15 posted 09-29-2005 07:26 PM       View Profile for Michael   Email Michael   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Michael

quote:

Why not?



Brad, the reasons I say doing my job well does not qualify me as a good American are simple.  First off, doing my job affords me a paycheck.  In my opinion, what I am doing with that money would be a much stronger indicator of whether or not I am a good American than how I earned it.  

Secondly, In testing electronics for a rather large corporation, one with global interests held far above U.S. Interests, I don’t see the U.S. benefiting a whole lot from my efforts.  Am I making the U.S. a better place?  Am I making the U.S. a safer place?  Am I solidifying the foundations of the country for future generations?  No!

Though I am not wholly sure what I feel constitutes a title of “good American”  I am sure that being good at what I do does not, nor does selling out on personal dreams just to be able to afford to live in the over inflated state we live in today.  The only America I see benefiting from my efforts is Corporate America.

quote:

Unless of course you're not an American.



Native American, actually.

quote:

I'm confused here. Maybe I didn't make myself clear. I meant the comparison between a good American and a good journalist (or anything along those lines). I did not mean to compare teachers to journalists, politicians to mothers or whatever.

What is a good American?

Does it depend on a job description?



Nor was I comparing politicians to mothers, teachers to journalists etc.  You basically were saying in your opening thread, (when you qualified "responsible" as being the equivalent of good), that if one was a good teacher, he was a good American.  If he was a good father, he was a good American, etc. or at least that was how I read it.  I was in kind trying to point out that the best teacher can be the worst father – so what kind of an American would he be now?  The vice versa also being true that a die-hard criminal can still be a great father, what kind of American would he then be?  

To try to make it clearer for you, I think you have a much narrower perspective on what being a good American implies than I do and my perspective goes much deeper than a job description and/or job performance.
Brad
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16 posted 09-30-2005 08:10 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Okay, you're not a good American.



Can we at least agree that wearing a flag pin doesn't make you a good one either?
Michael
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17 posted 09-30-2005 08:28 PM       View Profile for Michael   Email Michael   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Michael

aye that
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18 posted 10-01-2005 02:52 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

LosAngeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-rumors27sep 27,0,5492806,full.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Katrina Takes a Toll on Truth, News Accuracy
# Rumors supplanted accurate information and media magnified the problem. Rapes, violence and estimates of the dead were wrong.

By Susannah Rosenblatt and James Rainey, Times Staff Writers

BATON ROUGE, La. — Maj. Ed Bush recalled how he stood in the bed of a pickup truck in the days after Hurricane Katrina, struggling to help the crowd outside the Louisiana Superdome separate fact from fiction. Armed only with a megaphone and scant information, he might have been shouting into, well, a hurricane.

The National Guard spokesman's accounts about rescue efforts, water supplies and first aid all but disappeared amid the roar of a 24-hour rumor mill at New Orleans' main evacuation shelter. Then a frenzied media recycled and amplified many of the unverified reports.

"It just morphed into this mythical place where the most unthinkable deeds were being done," Bush said Monday of the Superdome.

His assessment is one of several in recent days to conclude that newspapers and television exaggerated criminal behavior in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, particularly at the overcrowded Superdome and Convention Center.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune on Monday described inflated body counts, unverified "rapes," and unconfirmed sniper attacks as among examples of "scores of myths about the dome and Convention Center treated as fact by evacuees, the media and even some of New Orleans' top officials."

Indeed, Mayor C. Ray Nagin told a national television audience on "Oprah" three weeks ago of people "in that frickin' Superdome for five days watching dead bodies, watching hooligans killing people, raping people."

Journalists and officials who have reviewed the Katrina disaster blamed the inaccurate reporting in large measure on the breakdown of telephone service, which prevented dissemination of accurate reports to those most in need of the information. Race may have also played a factor.

The wild rumors filled the vacuum and seemed to gain credence with each retelling — that an infant's body had been found in a trash can, that sharks from Lake Pontchartrain were swimming through the business district, that hundreds of bodies had been stacked in the Superdome basement.

"It doesn't take anything to start a rumor around here," Louisiana National Guard 2nd Lt. Lance Cagnolatti said at the height of the Superdome relief effort. "There's 20,000 people in here. Think when you were in high school. You whisper something in someone's ear. By the end of the day, everyone in school knows the rumor — and the rumor isn't the same thing it was when you started it."

Follow-up reporting has discredited reports of a 7-year-old being raped and murdered at the Superdome, roving bands of armed gang members attacking the helpless, and dozens of bodies being shoved into a freezer at the Convention Center.

Hyperbolic reporting spread through much of the media.



This morning I listened to an interview on the local (not cable) news station with the Professor of Journalism at one of the Ivy League universities who basically stated that it's the world we live in, that journalism is very cut-throat these days and the motto is ' Go with what you have and do it NOW'. The only way they cover themselves is mentioning somewhere in the articles that the reports were from "unverified sources". He stated it would be ideal to verify facts before publishing them but, if one were to do that, they would be "scooped" by others who didn't. Unfortunately, by the time the truth becomes known, the untruth has already been broadcast around the world.

That is the state of the news media today. Truth in journalism? Nothing more than a casualty of the ratings war,,,,,,,
Ron
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19 posted 10-01-2005 06:07 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
The only way they cover themselves is mentioning somewhere in the articles that the reports were from "unverified sources".

It sounds, Mike, like you want to absolve the reader of all responsibility? If a news outlet shouldn't print reports from unverified sources, which essentially is what I think you're suggesting, then why is it acceptable for readers to believe them if they are printed?
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20 posted 10-01-2005 07:59 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Ron, you are giving the impression that you know nothing about human nature, which I know to be incredibly false

When you put in bold headlines " MURDER, RAPES AND LAWLESSNESS PLAGUE SHELTERS!" and then go on to speak of reports claiming that armed gangs are terrorizing innocent victims....and the, at the bottom, put down 'these reports come from unverified sources', what do you think the reader is going to key on? You say the reader is responsible for giving the disclaimer the same importance as the headlines and gory details? How many times have you heard someone say, "THEY SAY that...." and then go into some story? Who is  THEY? They don't know - they just repeat it. Someone in one of these threads spoke about the European headlines bellowing out the stories of the murders, rapes and robberies which happened in the shelters. Apparently the newspapers there didn't pay a lot of attention to the disclaimer, either....or they equally ignored it.

Surely uou don't think that newspapers don't embellish to sell more papers? Do you feel that's right, especially when that is the impression that goes around the world?

What would i like to see? I would like to see the news agencies actually cover the news so they have some idea what they are writing about. Is that so unreasonable? Were there reporters sent to the shelters while what was not going on was going on? Obviously not. They preferred to use unnamed and unverifiable sources....much easier that way and it gave them poetic justice to embellish to their heart's content to snag readers.

They spoke of hundreds of bodies floating in the streets - which has been exposed as incorrect. Surely they could have looked at the streets or checked with helicopter pilots who were flying the area and they would have discovered that it was false. They didn't and you don't need to be a brain surgeon to figure out why. Bodies floating in the streets (from unverifiable sources) sells a lot better than no bodies in the streets.

I consider their actions despicable and I think to point to the readers with equal blame is extremely unfair and to excuse or condone the actions of the press unreasonable.  
Brad
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Jejudo, South Korea


21 posted 10-01-2005 09:09 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

The press is the victim of the free market.

So, what do you want to do about it?
Balladeer
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22 posted 10-01-2005 09:31 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

There are many resemblences I can relate to the press....victim is not one of them.

There is nothing I can do about it, Brad, with the exception of not buying newspapers, which I don't. It is what it is.....
Ron
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23 posted 10-01-2005 10:22 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Surely uou don't think that newspapers don't embellish to sell more papers?

Mike, you are giving the impression that you know nothing about human nature, which I know to be incredibly false. Human nature, after all, is necessarily at work on both sides of the equation, don't you think?

In truth, I agree there are irresponsible newsmen, just as I had hoped you would agree there are irresponsible readers. You clearly don't believe everything you read, Mike. So why should we conclude that you are alone? And more importantly, I think, if we can't throw all the readers into the same pot, why should we try to do so with all the news sources?

Having been a part of the industry for a short time, and gotten to know a few people in it, I believe most journalists adhere to a well codified system of ethics that does not include knowingly deceiving their readers. Unfortunately, ethical behavior is a bit like dieting. You can starve yourself for 23.75 hours and still ruin the whole day by pigging out for the remaining 15 minutes. Similarly, it takes only one news source to break a questionable story, after which everyone else is obligated to at least report that the story was reported. More than thirty years ago, as one example, no one could corroborate a story published in the Washington Post by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein -- but everyone had to repeat the story. It was news. In 1998, the Post broke a similarly unverifiable story about Bill Clinton, Linda Trip, and ten secret tapes. Again, everyone repeated the story.

The Post turned out to be right both times (and rigorously applied the code of ethics they had been taught to follow), but obviously not every sensationalistic story that breaks has such a sound foundation. I think it is dangerous for readers to believe everything they read, and I think we all need to drive that home as much as we can.

On the other hand, I think it is even MORE dangerous to try to convince America that our Fifth Estate can never be trusted and should be routinely ignored. That kind of attitude simply plays into the hands of the Nixons and the Clintons, and yea, the Nagins, the Blancos, and the Bushes, too.

A watch dog that barks for no reason can be supremely irritating. If the owner refuses to investigate the barking, though, he no longer has a watch dog. He just has a noisy dog.
Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


24 posted 10-01-2005 10:27 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

So, ignorance is bliss?

I'm jus playen' with ya.

What about the other way around? Instead of not buying papers (I don't either by the way --  except to work on my Korean). Why not read as much as you can given your time constraints?

Seriously, when we blame the press in general, aren't we, unintentionally no doubt, blaming the first amendment?
 
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