News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

In a case of what I'd say is the pot calling the kettle black, Kathleen Parker, a syndicated columnist for the Orlando Sentinel, a Tribune newspaper: Tribune Media Services, blasts the blogs for errant reporting and malicious gossip-mongering.

Lauding the strict training that reporters receive, she laments the lack of such worthy reporting virtues of objectivity and fact-checking in the blogosphere. No doubt, she is right in many of her criticisms of the blogs. They are unruly, untutored, usually sarcastic and lacking respect for the so-called rational criteria that journaists can exhibit.

Yet, I would like to ask Ms. Parker where she was and where her compatriots were when the public was lied to by the current adminitsration in the run-up to the Iraq War? ...

For all their vaunted objectivity and non-partisanship and adherence to the facts and just the facts, it seems that the US news media's lapses are so egregiously offensive that any critique by the press of others trying to analyze the lies is worse than laughable.

For every Judith Miller rightly pilloried and run out of the business, there are hundreds if not thousands of other journalists who paid lip-service to the administration's lies and media manipulation. They swallowed the "information" fed to them hook line and sinker. There was little journalistic fact-checking then.

Even now, the TV news media are loathe to mount much serious and in-depth analysis of the real stories behind the Iraq fiasco. When the Pentagon or Bush berates the press for jeopardizing national security, the press slinks away with its tail between its legs.

Real, serious war reporting is going on. Many of these stories do not make it to the US public simply because the timid press refuses to acknowledge it. Criticize al-Jazeera all you want, but their reporting of this war is often more real and journalistic than anything you get from the US media.

And the only outlet and source for these stories is exactly that blogosphere that Ms. Parker so much detests for its lack of charm and journalistic finesse.

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