A Quietly Smug Moment

Someone emailed towards the end of last week, wondering why I didn’t jump all over two particular topics, one of which was the now “very visible” CBS news reporting debacle… I mean, look at the situation: CBS jumps on a story that will trash a would-be President without properly checking its facts full, and now they look foolish. Very foolish. In all honesty, I was sorta preoccupied last week because of a planned trip up to Vancouver and then I spent a full 48 hours of non-computer time. But even if I was around, what is there for me to say, except maybe that “it’s about time” that someone start to check up on the media…

You know the story by now. CBS got some memos from some people “in the know” that had some damaging information about President Bush. The long and short of it – at least for the small amount that I’ve been watching it – is that the memos could only be authentic if the government had access to Microsoft Office during some time in the early 1970’s. The story broke on Little Green Footballs, which is a highly charged political blog community (and one that I used to read from time to time before the flow of information got to be too much to keep up with – especially since they didn’t have an RSS feed).

And now the nation is *shocked*. Yeah, whatever. I dunno why… It’s not that all of the media is anti-Bush or anti-Kerry or even anti-politicians for this election – hell, I’m sure most of them still feel bad about destroying Dean… here’s the simple thing: they’re anti-anything that sells more papers or gets more viewers. That’s a fact, kids, and it’s been that way for a long, long time. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: one of the oldest bylines on one of the oldest newspapers is “All of the news that’s fit to print”. That means that they are controlling and manipulating what they are reporting on, both for the good and the bad of every situation, and there’s no one to keep an eye on them, really. As a benefit, they claim that they are only reporting the truth of any situation; the flip side to that is that no situation can be reported on without some kind of biased. I always thought that this was common sense, that blind faith in any one source of information was a dangerous thing. Given the fury floating out there I guess it wasn’t that common, after all.

So for now we get the joy of watching all of the other media source circling around CBS, lurking for new jugulars to cut and suck on. While that is a bit of fun – that they’d kill their own as quickly as they would an external source – the whole thing is rather lame, so I’ve been taking a look at it all with a bit of detachment, especially because the entire counter-story was broken by a blogger. And that’s gotta be the best part about all of this, I guess. I am hoping that this will cause all of the media to not rush a story just because it might be sensational, but I also know that that’s probably a pipe dream… one can always hope.

One of the things that did come up in conversion during the trip up to Canada was that of Korea. I remember hearing that there was an explosion of some substantial size in North Korea last week, but there didn’t seem to be a “reason” to it. There was some mumbling that it may or may not have been nuclear and that it may or may have not been an accident (versus a test detonation). What is strange is that there’s been no real news of this since – I didn’t even see anything on Canadian TV and usually there’s more international news when you step out of the US. I might have to poke around the BBC or something, just to see what they’re reporting…

Oh, and the other story was that of the Yankees/Red Sox series – given the bats of Boston and the sluggishness of Yankees starting pitching, I have no problem saying that I was (and remain) worried… there’s still a bit of baseball yet and I have a feeling it’s going to be a very emotional October for NY baseball fans.

And I do have a bit more about the trip up to Canada, but I’ll post that later on… was a good time tho.

3 thoughts on “A Quietly Smug Moment”

  1. Good points Randy. I would add that CBS put down the bloggers saying they were partisan operatives when in the original 60 minutes piece CBS said the documents came from an unimpeachable source. As it turns out the unimpeachable source was a political operative and CBS knew it.

  2. As the book “We the Media” describes, grassroots reporting is evolving at such a pace they they can indeed keep mainstream media in check, at least to a degree. We’re seeing it more and more. I just hope that everyone who blogs realizes they have become a journalist of sorts and who knows who is watching what you say.

  3. @Cyrus – Of course this morning I see on LGF that a CBS van has a sticker with an “anti-bush” slogan on it… that just can’t be good for them.

    @jkendrick – I’m often worried about who’s reading this crap of mine… I mean I don’t claim to be a reporter of non-biased information and I’ve often reminded people as such… I own the site, I own the content, if ppl don’t like my views, delete the bookmark :)

    However, that’s what makes blogs different, IMHO – we always seem to be about Opinion and not “These are the facts”. Well, unless Geek Stuff in involved and then we tend to lay stuff out as fact. The truth is that Americans have long since fallen into the habit of “well if someone took the time to write it down it must be true”. Newspapers have prospered under such notions – so have TV shows. “Well if I see it on TV, it must be true” is almost 100% in effect, especially with “reality” TV continuing to thrive.

    I asked a while ago who get to police the media, b/c the government can’t do it – I guess it’s the blogsphere’s job?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.