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.)