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View Diary: Disgrace to Journalism (250 comments)

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  •  In Complete Agreement. (none)
    She may be smart, but she sure didn't play it too smart on this. One other person that needs to be mentioned is Lou Dobbs for sticking up for that hack.

    Where is the MSM focus on Miller and her bogus WMD stories in relation to Plamegate, Libby, Rove, et al? During her stint on Lou Dobbs, he acted as if she were Joan of Arc and Mother Teresa combined. His statements about Patrick Fitzgerald and Judge Hogan were amusing yet disturbing, especially when he said, "I will not forgive Fitzgerald for what he did to you. I think it is an onerous, disgusting abuse of government power, and that of Judge Hogan, straightforwardly." That "First Amendment" argument was an impressive act, but tanked at the box office. If a source of mine manipulated me, and in the process broke the law to smear somebody, I'd out them no problem. They would have violated my trust and my ethical standards. The exception of course would be if I was in on it. Then I'd probably draw my line in the sand; I'd huff and I'd puff and I' see where I'm headed. Reporters have only their reputations and if that reputation is you're a crony, a soft touch, or a liar, then you're not much use as a journalist and need to move into the columnist arena with the likes of Bob Novak. Miller is just another bad reporter with an agenda. She needs to be exposed for the phony she is like Janet Cooke, Patricia Smith, Jay Forman, Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair were before her. When FAIR and AIM are saying the same thing, the MSM needs to stand up and take notice; not enable Miller to continue her charade. If reporters in Indonesia can unite against their journalistic charlatans, then so can the country that founded the First Amendment AND the New York Times that allowed her to happen.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe." - Albert Einstein

    by A Patriot on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 02:07:10 PM PDT

    •  Cooke & Blair Were Small Time (4.00)
      Neither Janet Cooke nor Jason Blair wrote anything that was profoundly false.  They made stuff up, but it was all quite plausible, an exaggeration or fabrication that generally fit within the texture of truth.  

      But Miller's work differs dramatically.  First, in terms of the magnitude of importance of what she's writing about. Second, in terms of her prominance as an agenda-setting reporter. Third, in terms of how totally opposed it was to the texture of truth.

      It's quite telling that Cooke has long been the perennial example of bad journalism. In his book, Good News, Bad News: Journalism Ethics And The Public Interest, Jeremy Iggers argues that journalism ethics itself is the problem, and the use of Cooke as an example is symptomatic of what is wrong.

      In an earlier mini-essary, "Journalism Ethics: Right Name. Wrong Game?" Iggers wrote:

      The Janet Cooke Case

      Understanding this may help explain how one high-profile case of ethical misconduct - the Janet Cooke case - became the textbook example of unethical journalism. In 1981 the Washington Post won a Pulitzer Prize for Cooke's dramatic news story, "Jimmy's World," about the life of an eight-year-old drug addict. Jimmy turned out to be a fictional composite character, the Post returned the prize, and Cooke resigned in disgrace.

      Yet compare Cooke's sin with that of Kurt Lohbeck, a former "CBS News" stringer in Afghanistan. In the Columbia Journalism Review (January/February 1990), reporter Mary Ellen Walsh offered evidence that Lohbeck falsified reports, staged battle scenes, and worked as a publicist for the Mujahidin. Lohbeck's fictions continued much longer than Cooke's, reached a larger audience and were more substantially false, distorting the larger picture. In theory, the Lohbeck case ought to rank among the great journalistic scandals of our time, yet it remains little known.

      The Cooke case is an egregious example of someone who violated the fundamental rules of journalism; however, if we look at those fundamental rules, they turn out to be very troublesome.

      Miller is a "journalist" in Lohbeck's tradition. Not Cooke's.

      •  Good points and thanks for the info. (none)
        The main point for me is that she needs to be shown for what she is and meet the same fate. In the cases I state, the one connection is that they all have ethics problems and their publishers somehow let them slip through. I'm not arguing that she is worse; that's blatantly obvious to anyone with a brain, I'm pointing out that she needs to meet the same fate, or worse, as the others. anything short of complete discloser, retractions, and public apologies by both her and the NYT would be unacceptable. How about a comment on Indonesia?

        "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe." - Albert Einstein

        by A Patriot on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 04:37:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  On Indonesia (none)
          You know as much as I do. Maybe more.

          To me, the amazing thing is that local TV news actually does do some real journalism from time to time. Otherwise, I'd say that what's happening in Indonesia is not that far removed from the average local TV fare.

          And bend! And stretch!

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