Monday, March 12, 2007

Jane Hamsher Live From SXSW with Dan Rather!

The folks at Firedoglake have been so very good during the Libby trial, but before that the have taken the blogs into excellent areas like author chats (this Sunday 2 PM PDT the brilliant Joe Conason!). I'm especially fond of Trex late night. And of course when my friend Eli of Multi-Media posts there it is really cool. (That's

Jane wraps up a lot of things in this paragraph

We spoke a lot about the different factors that have led to the current crisis in journalism, where the fourth estate has largely fallen down on their responsibility as watchdogs to power. Dan is pretty feisty, and though we didn't get into it I'm sure his willingness to be candid about the problems plaguing his profession (which he is always quick to admit applies to himself as well) come from the mauling he got from right wing half wits. We didn't get into that but the specter of what happened to Rather at the hands of a bunch of GOP political operatives as they laundered their bullshit through clueless tools like Charles Johnson and John Hinderaker has probably urged many journalists into what Rather refers to as the attitude of "go along, get along." The politics of access, the "clubiness" of the beltway set, journalists who fall in love with their sources and stop putting pressure on them, an administration that actively punishes anyone who doesn't toe the party line, the consolidation of major media into the hands of a few and he death of the fairness doctrine — all bear some responsibility for the failure of journalists to ask the tough questions until somebody answers them. It may have created a vacuum for the blogosphere to fill, but I don't think anyone who cares about the future of the country can see much good in it.

There are a LOT of reasons that the tough questions don't get asked. One of the reasons is the multiple bullies using multiple methods to intimidate, marginalize and demonize the media.


R said...

The death of the so called "fairness doctrine" was a positive development. I do a bit of consulting with the NAB in this issue and in fact it wasn't fair and didn't encourage diversity of opinion. The doctrine only applied to broadcasters and these broadcasters tended to avoid controversial topics rather than risk complaints that they hadn't covered all sides of an issue.

In addition, our options today have ever so slightly improved since the doctrine was out out to pasture in 1987. Luckily we have more choices and diversity today with the endless online options, citizen journalism, social networking, etc. So it would be even more unfair today to reinstate such horrible policy.

4:51 PM  
spocko said...

That's really interesting, R. What kind of consulting did you do? Was it for the NAB or for a member group? When did you do it? In the 1980's, 1990's?, or now?

5:22 PM  

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