Wednesday, January 05, 2005

If This Is Journalism...

If this is journalism, no wonder blogs are getting so popular.

Powerline slices and dices the article rather easily. The Columbia Journalism Review ought to be embarrassed to have published such a sloppy piece of writing. But I suspect they consider themselves "cutting-edge" instead. If so, they're clueless.

Incidentally, the Powerline piece also offers the most concise explanation of Rathergate I've seen:

"CBS ostensibly "worked" on the National Guard story for years. They took fake documents from a notoriously unstable source who had no first-hand knowledge of President Bush's National Guard career, and who could not account for where he got them. On their face, the documents looked nothing like authentic National Guard memos of the 1970s that were in CBS's possession, but CBS asked no questions. CBS carried out no investigation to determine whether the memos were genuine, and made a point of not talking to people who were ostensibly quoted in the memos to determine whether the documents were accurate. They put the documents before the American public in the heat of an election campaign, and closely coordinated their story with a Democratic National Committee advertising campaign which dovetailed perfectly with the fake documents, and which began the morning after their broadcast. When questioned about the documents' apparent fraudulence, they stonewalled, and Dan Rather guaranteed the American people that the documents were authentic, because they came from an unimpeachable source.

The bloggers, on the other hand, began questioning the documents within hours after they appeared; raised many logical questions about their authenticity, the vast majority of which turned out to be valid; pointed out anachronisms within the documents that proved that their contents were false; and were ultimately proved correct in their suspicion that the documents were fakes. Nearly all of which occurred, not over a period of years, which CBS had to pursue its "story," but over the space of twelve hours."

Despite the pages and pages the MSM has written about this story, have you seen a single one even attempt to address all of the elements John Hinderaker mentions above? And if not , is this an example of poor research or deliberate deception? In any case it isn't reliable information, and if journalists can't provide that, what's their purpose?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

CJR has been supporting Viacom and the rest of the MSM for five months. This has been the party line since 9/12/04.
Rod Stanton

1:16 PM  
Blogger PolicyGuy said...

I once had an acquaintance on a politically-charged e-mail discussion group. This was back in the early 1990s. Sort of like Hugh Hewitt--conservative, Christian, and sharp, though not a lawyer. He got into the Columbia school, and for a while thereafter, included this in his signature line: The Columbia School of Journalism is eating my brain.

The comment was in jest (I periodically see his work now and again, and he did just fine). But I wonder if he wasn't the only one who could have said that.

1:40 PM  

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