Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Cry us a river

More retching about the altered terrain in journalism from erstwhile news icon Dan Rather, quoted in the Boston Herald:

"When it comes to blogging and some things on the Web, there's little or no accountability. This is the new American political coverage media. It's a wilderness, and when you go into the wilderness there's always some danger."

Rather, of course, has it bass-ackwards. What he's really bewailing is the passing of the days when, for media bigwigs like him, there really was "little or no accountability." Once upon a time the purported memo about President Bush's military record that Rather tried to pass off as genuine in a September 2004 CBS 60 Minutes report -- supposedly typed in 1973, but actually printed in a 21st-century Microsoft Word font -- would likely have passed muster and possibly altered the results of the 2004 election. In the new "wilderness," however, bloggers not only exposed the hoax but were able to get the word out -- and it was Rather, not his target, who ended up in disgrace. (Rather is suing his erstwhile employers and it appears that he will get his day in court. Whether he can get the egg off his face remains to be seen.)

1 comment:

John S. Bolton said...

The bloggers don't need to be accountable any more than individuals talking in public places do, they don't have regulated monopoly control over certain frequencies and relationships with government like what the big networks have. Newspaper publishing is now largely a way for rich men to lose money trying to buy influence. Among major publishers, it could be that only Regnery has the courage to take on the powerful. What if the Swift Boats book hadn't gotten into the chain bookstores at a million-copy+ rate, wouldn't Kerry be president? When the power-greedy spread their influence over major media, the suppressed information gets squeezed through alternate or smaller apertures. The flow of information on the right might be more like a potato ricer, while the left gets to just throw the potatoes across the counter. JSBolton