Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Blogging lashback from The Media

There's been a spate recently of people holding positions of power being knocked off by "bloggers". This includes Dan Rather, longtime anchor for the CBS Evening News, Eason Jordan, longtime bigwig at CNN, and some others. It seems there's something like a possee of people roaming about looking for heads to target.

e.g. this NY Times article:

Resignation at CNN Shows the Growing Influence of Blogs
(By KATHERINE Q. SEELYE; Published: February 14, 2005)

It starts with the story of Eason Jordan, a longtime bigwig with CNN as I said. For example, he was part of the team responsible for getting the live reporting from Baghdad during the first Gulf War (Peter Arnett and crew).

Speaking at a panel at the 2005 World Economic Forum (Davos) he was reported, by a blogger attending the conference, to have claimed the U.S. Military was killing journalists.

Mr. Jordan, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in late January, apparently said, according to various witnesses, that he believed the United States military had aimed at journalists and killed 12 of them. There is some uncertainty over his precise language and the forum, which videotaped the conference, has not released the tape. When he quit Friday night, Mr. Jordan said in a statement that, "I never meant to imply U.S. forces acted with ill intent when U.S. forces accidentally killed journalists."

This claim rocketed around the "blogosphere", especially among the "conservatives" who saw it as evidence of the "liberal media bias". They eventually got enough ruckus going that he had to resign.

The NY Times article has a weakness. They are taking the same brush, that bloggers are hunting for heads, and applying this to all blogging. Whoops, that's obviously bogus. Sorry NY Times, try to be more accurate next time.

In any case the more interesting point is the purpose pursued by blogging.

Mr. Abovitz, who started it all, said he hoped bloggers could develop loftier goals than destroying people's careers. "If you're going to do this open-source journalism, it should have a higher purpose," he said. "At times it did seem like an angry mob, and an angry mob using high technology, that's not good."

The MSM (Main Stream Media) has developed one method for having some certainty over truth. That's the use of editors, and the journalistic ethics. It works fairly well, but we also see many instances where this system failed. e.g. that since September 11, 2001 journalists have generally given the Bush administration free reign to lie and cheat the system without putting the full light of impartial examination onto those lies.

If the main stream media had been doing its job, would this ridiculous war in Iraq have happened? This war in Iraq is without proper legal justification, nor was it rationally the best move to have taken (the enemy was in Afghanistan, not Iraq).

They, the main stream media, are supposed to be the fact checkers, but they fell down horribly on the job. Thank goodness that the progress of technology has given the people a tool with which to exercise their voice on the world stage.