Saturday, October 22, 2005

Something About Junk Journalism 

Something about Judy:
Judy told The Times that she plans to write a book and intends to return to the newsroom, hoping to cover "the same thing I've always covered - threats to our country." If that were to happen, the institution most in danger would be the newspaper in your hands. ~ Woman of Mass Destruction, by Maureen Dowd (NYTimes) October 22, 2005


When Journalists Join the Cover-ups
By Robert Parry - October 18, 2005:
As embarrassing as the Judith Miller case is for the New York Times, the fiasco underscores a more troubling development that strikes near the heart of American democracy – the press corps’ gradual retreat from the principle of skepticism on national security issues to career-boosting "patriotism."

Miller – and many other prominent Washington journalists over the past quarter century – largely built their careers by positioning themselves as defenders of supposed American interests. Instead of tough reporting about national security operations, these reporters often became conduits for government spin and propaganda.
[Continue reading: Consortium News]

PART TWO (Parry continued...)

Rise of the 'patriotic journalist'
By Robert Parry - October 20, 2005:
[...] For instance, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen – who hailed George H.W. Bush’s pardons that destroyed the Iran-Contra investigation in 1992 – adopted a similar stance against Fitzgerald’s investigation.

"The best thing Patrick Fitzgerald could do for his country is get out of Washington, return to Chicago and prosecute some real criminals,” Cohen wrote in a column entitled “Let This Leak Go."


If Fitzgerald does as Cohen wishes and closes down the investigation without indictments, the result could well be the continuation of the status quo in Washington. The Bush administration would get to keep control of the secrets and reward friendly "patriotic" journalists with selective leaks – and protected careers.

It is that cozy status quo that is now endangered by the Plame case. But the stakes of the case are even bigger than that, going to the future of American democracy and to two questions in particular:

Will journalists return to the standard of an earlier time when disclosing important facts to the electorate was the goal, rather than Cohen’s notion of putting the comfortable relationships between Washington journalists and government officials first?

Put differently, will journalists decide that confronting the powerful with tough questions is the true patriotic test of a journalist?
[Continue reading: Consortium News]

Weekend reading for honest patriots.



Far out on the desert to the north dustspouts rose wobbling and augered the earth and some said they'd heard of pilgrims borne aloft like dervishes in those mindless coils to be dropped broken and bleeding upon the desert again and there perhaps to watch the thing that had destroyed them lurch onward like some drunken djinn and resolve itself once more into the elements from which it sprang. Out of that whirlwind no voice spoke and the pilgrim lying in his broken bones may cry out and in his anguish he may rage, but rage at what? And if the dried and blackened shell of him is found among the sands by travelers to come yet who can discover the engine of his ruin? ~ Cormac McCarthy Blood Meridian

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