April 22, 2006

The Way We Were: Remembering the Real Nature of Journalism

Crappy prizes for a crappy "profession"....

AS THE WEEK of history's shabbiest Pulitzers mercifully fades from memory, let us pause to learn that the problem with journalism, like the problem with the United States itself, is that both are now and evidently will remain exactly one drink behind.

Behold the words of those who would know:

           "I have spent half my life trying to get away from journalism, but I am still mired in it--a low trade and a habit worse than heroin, a strange seedy world full of misfits and drunkards and failures." -- Hunter S. Thompson

           "Facing the press is more difficult than bathing a leper." -- Mother Teresa

           "Somewhere along the line, many Americans relegated the media to a notch on the morality scale only slightly above that of child molesters." -- Gregory Kane, Baltimore Sun, 1997

           "A journalist is a reporter out of a job." -- Mark Twain

           "[Journalists are] a lower quality of human being, who'll do anything for a story. (...) At press awards they jeer, boo, fight, get pissed, and that's just the cream." -- Max Clifford, in an interview for the Radio Times

           "Everywhere I go, I'm asked if the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them." -- Flannery O'Connor

           "In terms of ravenous egos, sensitive ambition and backstabbing, the atmosphere was actually diluted compared with the behavior of most foreign correspondents." -- Anthony Lloyd, The Times

           "To a newspaperman, a human being is an item with skin wrapped around it." -- Fred Allen

           "No wonder the newspaper is rotten. We need more drunkards." -- Actor Edward G. Robinson in "Five Star Final"

           "The press is the enemy" -- Richard Nixon

           "If a person is not talented enough to be a novelist, not smart enough to be a lawyer, and his hands are too shaky to perform operations, he becomes a journalist." -- Norman Mailer

           "The way I had it is all gone now. The bars are gone, the drinkers, gone. There remain the smartest, healthiest newspeople in the history of the business. And they are so boring that they kill the business right in front of you." -- Jimmy Breslin, newspaper columnist, in a Sept. 1996 interview with Joan Smith for the San Francisco Examiner

           "[Journalism] is full of lying, cheating, drunken, cocaine-sniffing, unethical people. It's a wonderful profession." -- Piers Morgan, Daily Mirror

And finally, the latest entry into this rogues' gallery, Dana Priest, who won a Pulitzer this week for a series of stories reporting on "secret CIA prisons" that may well never have existed in the first place:

           Dana Priest: "Well, actually, the media is not breaking the law by publishing classified information. That's still a safeguard we have in the law. The person/s who turn it over are breaking the law, technically. But the courts and the body politic have always looked at this as the cost of democracy and that is one huge reason why reporters have not be pursued previously." -- National Security and Intelligence

We note, in passing, the use of the word "previously."

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Posted by Vanderleun at April 22, 2006 12:09 PM | TrackBack
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Scrappleface has a great bit up about the 'Pulitzer for reporting that doesn't involve treason', and how it's gone begging for a winner for five years running.

Posted by: ed in texas at April 22, 2006 11:31 AM

Dana Priest has apparently skipped over Judas as a role model and gone directly to Cain.

"I don't know. Am I my source's keeper?"

Posted by: Rich Fader at April 22, 2006 12:22 PM

You will love the link I just put into prior post.

Dana's "better half" Mr. Goodfeller's NTY'S Op ed
1975 "Starving in Cambodia"

Not to be read on a full stomach.

Posted by: LARWYN at April 22, 2006 4:36 PM


Clarice Feldman has found:
More on Dana Priest's Husband:

husband:http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=14893"One of the most sophisticated of Fenton's anti-war projects is the co-mingling of Win Without War and the Center for International Policy (CIP). Before 9/11, CIP, a Fenton Communications client, mainly acted as Fidel Castro's greatest “think tank” ally. Much of its million-dollar budget was spent lobbying to end economic sanctions and travel restrictions against Cuba.Now, it has another mission. Fenton has established a “war room” with CIP called The Iraq Policy Information Program (IPIP). Its main job is getting the anti-Bush foreign policy message out to the media and providing guests for talk shows. A featured speaker of the IPIP is former ambassador Joe Wilson, one of the Bush administration’s most vocal enemies. Like Moveon.org and Win Without War, the contact for the Iraq Policy Information Program is Fenton Communications. Win Without War also collects tax-deductible donations through CIP.*********************************

Fenton Communications set up Tides Foundation, the group that launders contributions by Teresa Heinz and others so that it is difficult to tell which foundations gave to whom . (See ActivistCash.com).....C.Feldman

Wretchard of The Belmont Club:

And so we come full circle to the modern version of the Cretan Paradox: which asserts that when a Cretan says 'all Cretans are liars' all logical roads lead to a contradiction. How then to know the truth about the lies? When intelligence agencies -- and I use that word broadly to encompass the press, which is the civilian intelligence system -- are politicized, then even our knowledge about our knowledge becomes uncertain.

The rats are now cornered with one (that we know of) already in trap - so we can only expect fierce dirty rat behavior to come.

Won't be much time for baseball this spring.

Posted by: LARWYN at April 22, 2006 6:42 PM

"...may well never have existed in the first place:" How often have we heard that contradicted?

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home." Edward R. Murrow

So what would you replace journalism with I wonder? Selective reality? It amazes me how so many who criticize media are so close to the far right/left in their need to control ideas. If I follow the logic of quieting all dissent in your ideology, your new America becomes maybe Communist China?.

"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it." Edward R. Murrow

Posted by: James at April 23, 2006 7:13 AM

We should also not confuse disloyalty with dissent. What we know, absent all other hypotheses, is that Ms. McCarthy gave classified information to Ms. Priest who then published this information. By doing so, Ms. McCarthy certainly broke the law regarding the distribution of classified material, and Ms. Priest along with the Post might have (have in my opinion) done the same. Thus they ought to be punished.

With all due respect to Mr. Murrow, I see nothing contradictory in prosecuting the agent, the reporter, and the newspaper for the same crime. Indeed, if we still live in a democracy where a man is equal before the law, then a reporter should not be immune because of a press badge. Otherwise we have established two seperate classes, one the media (and the academics, the lawyers, the activists, their financiers along with the groups they deem protected) and everyone else. The one truly democratic thing to be done is to lock up the paper and the leaker.

Posted by: LRFD at April 23, 2006 8:55 AM

Everyone seems to forget or totally ignore that jounalism is BIG BUSINESS, VERY BIG BUSINESS.

The left loves to slam Big Business when they are drug companies, oil companies and now WalMart. But they don't want you to think about Viacom and the relationship of the entertainment industry and the news media. So when you wonder about why the LSM is ALWAYS ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE CULTURE WARS - just remember that.

When the AP tops its story about Mary McCarthy's leak with a photo of Scooter Libby - can any sane person who follows the news, not conclude that the press as it exists is not FREE!

GatewayPundit has captured the image before it too is deleted from sites:
Today's Culture of Treason: Scooter's Back! & Dana's Pinko Hubby

After the CIA frogmarched (I like definition #2) the $9,500 Democratic donor from the General's Office on Thursday, the Associated Press felt it appropriate to publish...

...a picture of Cheney aide Scooter Libby in its coverage of the Democratic CIA leaker.

Take a look and read history of Dana and her hubby's actions and buddies and their current activities and pals.

Hubby's Fenton Communications sponsors JOE WILSON'S speaking tours. He'll be appearing at Santa Cruz upcomming.

Just don't have a full stomach as you perfuse the linked articles and posts.

It is the LEFT STREAM MEDIA pure and simple.

Lorie Byrd just coined "SEASON OF TREASON", very apt characterization of the media coverage of the CIA leaker and her spinners/apologists.

Add that to the "CULTURE OF TREASON"coined by Floppin Aces. A culture rampant in the Democrats.

LifeLikePundits has created a great COT logo. John F. Kerry is included, scan the faces - they want to destroy America.

They are sick in their minds, spirits and souls.

Posted by: LARWYN at April 23, 2006 10:05 AM

Again, the press is not supposed to be in-step with the government like you Right Wingers would like, it is there for the people, by the people.

Could it be that you Righties foster a Nazi-like existence and the press just will not allow you to succeed?

I think it is more sour grapes on your part...and that desire to win a Pulitzer. Let's face it, the Moonie paper you all pledge alliance too, run by the "self proclaimed Messiah" I might add, and Rupert Murdoch's tabloid, The New York Post, just don't cut it....
And I'm sure this comment will be deleted, it's "the nature of the beast" with you guys...

Posted by: Catrina at April 24, 2006 6:23 AM

Ah, Catrina...

I have nothing against the media being out of step with government. It's when the media lies about government that I have problems. Disagree, but do so honestly.


For one thing, being honest means you don't need to keep your story straight. For another, it means you can find independent confirmation of your statements, instead of having to make more crap up. All in all it just isn't the drain on resources that prevarication is.

BTW, our host is not in the habit of deleting contrary comments, not when they provide such opportunities for entertainment as yours.

Posted by: Alan Kellogg at April 24, 2006 7:48 AM

What is the dishonesty you reference?

Of course I would expect an answer such as yours, i.e., the slam about me being entertaining - very right wing of you sir.

As a fellow New Yorker, I am ordering you to pull yourself away from the Right Wing kool-aid fountain long enough to detox if you can and if you dare...

Posted by: Catrina at April 24, 2006 8:30 AM

Once upon a time, newspapers were written by reporters who skillfully conveyed a story with words that carefully avoided supporting one opinion or another. That was journalism. Today, professional restraints have dissolved, and news writers believe it is their right and obligation to educate the public toward their own point of view, deciding for the reader what is right and wrong. That is not journalism, it is propaganda, and it is a fundamental violation of trust in the credibility of the writer. It brings new meaning to the expression, "sold out newspapers and magazines."

Posted by: Art Drexler at April 24, 2006 8:34 AM


Deleting Comments
This morning on the "Mary McCarthy Contributions..." thread, Sue is reporting how the infamous VIP founding member and oft quoted LSM source, Larry Johnson is deleting comments and banning those that; quote from his NYT's OP ED summer or 911, fact that VIPS has
letter written to active CIA to leak, connections with McCarthy.

Now I don't know of any our "wingnut" sites that delete or ban for differing opinion. They are not only "a great source of entertainment" but they expose fact that most are quite separated from logical thought or knowledge of history and fact. When begin using their fallback obcenity list in personal attacks is when they are to leave, deleted or banned.

On the LEFTY sites, obcenity is disagreement with their meme.

Posted by: LARWYN at April 24, 2006 8:49 AM

In order to control the thoughts of the followers most right wing sites ban quickly. Check out Human Events' list of bad books - the next step is censorship. Redstate, a conservative site bans anyone who disagrees, even when that disagreement is mild. Google "censorship redstate." I laughed when I once came across others banned as I was after only a few visits. Face it folks right wing politics has taken on a liberal face. Has it?

Posted by: James at April 24, 2006 6:33 PM

Catrina, I don't know one serious conservative who claims to want the press to be "in-step" with the government. What they do want, what most thinking people want, is a press that puts the truth first and fully discloses the personal agendas of its contributors. Dana Priest is just the latest example of the advocacy pretending to be news that should concern us all, regardless our politics.

No one would have cared what position Priest was touting for, IF she had admitted she was writing campaign literature. And as for the Pulitzers, most self-respecting news people and writers know they were corrupted years ago. Like the Nobel, discredited when it was given to the liar Rigoberta Menchu and never revoked, Pulitzers have been handed out for bogus work and so no self-respecting journalist cares if they get one or not.

As to blogs being censored and contrary comments yanked: a blog is no pretender to the title of open public forum. It is the sole property of the owner and expresses what they want it to express. Blogs on all political fronts vary wildly in their tolerance for controversy.

Gerard allows more opposing opinion and argument than most on the right or the left. He typically pulls posts only when they are flat-out idiotic. And why not? It's his money paying for the server space. You notice your posts are still here. Make your arguments in specific, and I will probably not be the only one willing to address them.

Posted by: AskMom at April 25, 2006 8:47 AM

Also, Catrina, I have a blog at http://moosefeathers.typepad.com/

You are very welcome to read what I have to say and disagree with any or all of it. If you post rational criticisms or arguments, I will leave your posts standing and perhaps even enter into a dialog with you personally via email about our respective beliefs. But like Gerard, I have pulled posts that are openly hateful and/or use filthy language. Civilized people can disagree politely, and that is what I expect on my blog. If you agree and want to debate by the rules, come on over.

Posted by: AskMom at April 25, 2006 8:59 AM

Considering the matter on which all of this is based, what has Mr. Bush given as the reason why we need covert prisons in places like eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, as well as why we need to turn prisoners over to foreign interrogators? We have an excellent facility here in Tennessee at Brushy Mountain that could do the job quite well.

Posted by: SemiPundit at April 25, 2006 6:46 PM

Al-Q operatives are making phone calls from inside Brushy Mountain Prison, Tennessee?

Whoa! Who knew?

Posted by: Adriane at April 26, 2006 12:31 AM
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