Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Everybodys Talking, Who's Listening?

In my post of early this morning I posted an excerpt from an Orson Scott Card column titled The Riots of the Faithful (Emphasis mine):

The press isn't running for office. To say that the media culture is unpatriotic isn't a political ploy, it's an obvious observation. Oh, if my words actually mattered to them, they'd howl and scream about my illegitimate attack. But in private, they are perfectly happy to mock patriotism in all its forms. They're only patriotic when somebody says they aren't.

They are loyal to a community -- but it's not America.

It's Smartland. The nation of the newsmedia people. That's where they live. Not in America. These newspeople generally don't even know anybody, apart from "sources," who serves America in the military. Smartland consists of a very different crowd.

Now from L. Brent Bozell III at the National Ledger, in a column titled The American Media Believes the Worst About the American Military , comes this(Emphasis mine):

There is an unspoken but real impulse in today's media to see themselves as "independent" of America, even above America, not so much because they are superior to America but because America is so egregiously flawed. It is their role to shed light on America's failings. They're not keen at being seen as Americans. They choke at the idea of wearing flag pins. ABC boss David Westin tried so hard to be above America that he wanted to stay neutral on the question of whether our Pentagon is a legitimate target for terrorists.

It explains why so many reporters are willing to believe the absolute worst about our current government and its motives. So disdainful have they become that they are silent when fellow journalists claim -- without a shred of evidence -- that American soldiers are engaging in targeting and assassinating journalists hostile to America's foreign policy aims.

(Thanks to Andi of Andi's World for the link)

Bill Roggio, posting at The Winds of Change on the NY Times piece revealing CIA movements:

If you are al Qaeda, and you are interested in interdicting or attacking CIA air services that transport captured high value targets, how would you go about finding out how the CIA is moving these prisoners around? Would you:

  • a) Attempt to penetrate the CIA and dig into the inner workings of these operations.
  • b) Invest heavily in paying off workers at local airports and in charter airlines across the Middle East and Asia to provide intelligence on suspicious flight activities.
  • c) Read the New York Times.

If you answered "c", you are correct.

Unfortunately, things have not changed in many years, as witness the following, a Media Research Center offering of an interview appearing in the April,1989 Mediawatch (scroll to item 4):

A reprint from the April 1989 MediaWatch, a monthly newsletter then-published by the MRC:

Peter Jennings and Mike Wallace Agree
Reporters First, Americans Second

In a future war involving U.S. soldiers what would a TV reporter do if he learned the enemy troops with which he was traveling were about to launch a surprise attack on an American unit? That's just the question Harvard University professor Charles Ogletree Jr, as moderator of PBS' Ethics in America series, posed to ABC anchor Peter Jennings and 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace. Both agreed getting ambush footage for the evening news would come before warning the U.S. troops.
"Don't you have a higher duty as an American citizen to do all you can to save the lives of soldiers rather than this journalistic ethic of reporting fact?" Ogletree asked. Without hesitating Wallace responded: "No, you don't have higher duty... you're a reporter." This convinces Jennings, who concedes, "I think he's right too, I chickened out."

Wallace and Jennings were speaking as reporters in a hypothetical situation, but that attitude has permeated the newsmedia today. They will sacrifice anything for the story, and in many cases will not even consider it a sacrifice. Some are willing to use any materials available to push the 'story', even if it means lives at risk (NY Times). Some will manufacture materials use manufactured materials to push the 'story' (CBS). Some will use poorly sourced information to push the 'story' (Newsweek). Some will resort to out and out lies to push a 'story' (Jordan, Foley - not use opinions, but make allegations when there is creditable information rebutting those allegations)

Granted, not ALL publishers, editors and reporters hold this blatant anti-American attitude. Some perform admirably. From the same report referenced above, item 3 comes an item from just prior to the start of the Afghanistan Campaign in the GWoT :

With President Bush properly berating Congress for the leak at least one member made last week, just before the war was launched, of classified information, it’s heartening to learn that many members of the media have acted responsibly in the past few weeks and withheld military operational news of which they had learned.

The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz noted that 17 news organizations knew on Friday, when their staffers were called to join the military media pool, that an attack was imminent, but none divulged the development.

Even more laudatory, more than a week before USA Today ran a front page story about how the U.S. had Green Beret and Navy SEAL commandos inside Afghanistan, Knight-Ridder had the story. But out of concern for endangering the servicemen and the operation, Knight-Ridder Washington Bureau Chief Clark Hoyt withheld the story, the Editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press disclosed this past Sunday

A good example of Intelligent reporting ethics, rather than Gotcha, Get Bush, or America is Wrong reporting.

So, who's listening? Journalism schools, what are you teaching? Veteran reporters and editors, are you mentoring your proteges correctly? Publishers, editors, what are you demanding from those that report to you? Newspaper, magazine and television consumers, what are you demanding from providers?

Update: (06/01/05 9:00 PM CDT) From NewsMax.com, an article by Phl Brennan. Excerpt (Emphasis mine):

If you think that these disclosures are an accident, or merely examples of dogged investigative journalism, you have another think coming. They're deliberate, and calculated to do as much harm as possible to the U.S. efforts to fight the war against Islamofascist terrorism.

It is treason, unadorned, and let's dare to call it that.