Thursday, November 17

Mr. Run Amok

Funny how the mind works. Because of my nursing duties it wasn't until this evening that I heard about Bob Woodward getting caught in FItzgerald's net (note to NY Times, NBC, et. al.: let's call it for what happened, or what we found out about, today. What this does or doesn't do to the case against Libby is speculation. What Libby's laywers say about the news is a response. The story today is that Bob Woodward, media hotshot and a managing editor of the Washington Post, sat on his story for two years. Bob Woodward, Press Titan, spent two years trying to duck a subpoena while he used his journalistic standing to slag Patrick Fitzgerald and agitate for a Federal shield law). And the first thing I thought about was three or four years ago when Howie Kurtz conducted a reader poll on media bias and allowed he was shocked, shocked! to learn that some readers imagined there was a right-wing tilt to the press when everybody knew it learned so far left it needed corrective shoes.

And here the stinkiest chunk of Limburger at his own cheese shop was a Bush administration stenographer. (Your winnings, sir.)

In fairness, Howie wrote the "Woodward Apologizes" piece and it was a quotefest about his journalistic ethics. Meaning their lack. One can only hope it signals the beginning of a staff-wide attack of conscience like they had at the Times.

A couple things are now quite clear, and all the jibber-jabber about "how this affects the case" aren't going to make them disappear. There's no justification for a Federal shield law (the Soviet-Heroic "Free Flow of Information Act of 2005", cosponsored by Indiana's non-narcotic sleep aid and "respected foreign affairs authority" Senator Dick Lugar, and 6th District Congressman Mike Pence, about whom I can't say too little) when the Press cannot be trusted not to abuse the privilege it already enjoys. That thing now looks like the "Guaranteed Sobriety and Save Driving Habits of Bush Family Children Act".

The other is that WaPo, and the Times, are going to have to find a way to face up to their actions, and I suggest a race to see who can tell the truth first about the hunting of Bill Clinton from 1992 onward as a nice springboard into the Bush years. Otherwise, as I think we all know, this Pajamas Media thing is gonna eat both their lunches.


eRobin said...

What gets me is that Woodward went around offering to do some of Judy's time for her - you know, if the judge would allow that. At the time I thought it was just a stupid empty gesture. Now I see it was a cry for help from his ego: Hey!! I know secrets too! Some of that attention and collegial love is rightly mine!

So he's a coward and a liar. Miss Run Amok, at least, is just a liar.

Anonymous said...

Otherwise, as I think we all know, this Pajamas Media thing is gonna eat both their lunches.

See, now you're just being mean.

I like your idea, actually. But I'd like to see them start with a series on How To Read A Newspaper. They could explain journalistic trends like Advocacy and Objectivity and Don't Offend The Advertizers and Balance; they could explain the actual, economic forces behind Balance; they could explain the differences between editorials and columns and straight news and features and human interest; they could let people in on the Press Release thing. They could teach us the difference between facts and opinions.
They could, in short, teach us to be responsible news readers, as opposed to simply passive consumers of all that stuff that holds the ads in place.

*Then* they could show us, newly prepared to understand what they're saying, where they've screwed up in the past, and why.

Obviously, they won't. But, good gods, there's such a crying need. And they seriously do have a responsibility to do so. They just don't have any interest in doing so.

eRobin said...

they could explain the actual, economic forces behind Balance;

Boy, I'd love to this that. File that under "fondest wish" for me.

Anonymous said...

ditto re lugar and pence.

Anonymous said...

aw come on, I'm always up for more stuff about Pence. he's becoming my fav wingnut in Congress...