Thursday, February 17, 2005

What will we tell the children?

Read what Signorile has to say about media responsibility (or lack thereof):
"To listen to the arrogant and suddenly pious anchors and reporters of the corporate press corps—who've hardly been guardians of privacy in recent years—it's all just so unseemly. The hand-wringing over liberal bloggers' supposed revelations about the fake White House reporter's "personal life" has been comical; and no matter what they say, it certainly does not reflect any newfound regard for privacy. It looks more like the media got beat, again, on a story that was sitting right under their noses. Playing catch up, they had to create a back-story that also acted as an alibi. Thus all the talk about the brutality of the bloggers who beat them to the punch.

Like bratty kids made to eat their greens, CNN, the Washington Post, New York Times and other news organizations were eventually forced to report on how a fraud using a false name and working for a right-wing web site owned by a Republican Party operative in Texas —Talon News—gained access to daily White House press briefings for two years....

Guckert's escapades came to light only because liberal websites and blogs shined a bright light on him and began investigating his background....

But why, in addition to the general free ride the media has given Bush on a host of issues, was the press corps so reluctant to go after this story? Because they didn't want to upset the apple cart that is the White House press briefing room.

Just like the Pentagon press briefing room, White House reporters are fed little morsels of information. Anybody who causes trouble—by exposing, say, a White House plant in the room—is going to get punished, and thus be denied access and get scooped by the competition. So someone like Gannon operated among them for two years without being exposed, even though they all knew, and were clearly embarrassed by, the truth."