Sunday, July 01, 2007

Our rotted press corps, a division of "Camp Victory"

Glenn Greenwald:

...Our news organizations, which claim to have learned so many valuable lessons from their profound failures in the run-up to the Iraq war, "reported" on this incident by doing one thing and one thing only: reading the Press Release and then copying it down and reporting it as Truth.

... it is how most of our media's "war reporting" has been conducted from the beginning -- blind reliance on statements from the government and the military which are then passed along under the guise of "reporting." Indeed, that is precisely how we were led into the invasion in the first place. For all the self-righteous protests by journalists that corrupt reporting was the responsibility of the "aberrational Judy Miller," the Judy Miller Method continues to be the predominant one shaping our major media's "war reporting."

... None of this is complicated, and other than a deliberate desire to disseminate Bush administration propaganda about the war, it really is virtually impossible to understand why our media's "reports" about the war blindly assume, time and again, that whatever the U.S. government or military says can simply be converted without investigation or skepticism into what they report as "news." Over and over, such statements prove to be completely false, and yet the media never even minimally raises the level of skepticism to which it subjects these claims.

LSB: This is a fascinating indictment of the main stream media and one of the principle reasons why the independent bloggers have become so important and necessary. In our 24-hour, non-stop media the principles of journalism are too often sacrificed in order for a news organization to be the first to get the news (or anything approximating news) on the air or in print. Many reporters have simply become stenographers, afraid (or lack the intellectual curiosity) to ask the tough questions; others, as Ken Silverstein points out, are "too busy cozying up to the people [they] cover to get at the truth." Chuck Lewis, a former "60 Minutes" producer and founder of the Center for Public Integrity: "The values of the news media are the same as those of the elite, and they badly want to be viewed by the elites as acceptable." Is it any wonder then that the fourth estate ("The Press") is "sleeping with the enemy" ("The Administration" - ANY administration!) rather than digging for the truth for all of us?

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