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Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug Call me "Old Fashioned", many do, but I used to believe that journalists at least paid lip-service to the stories they commented on, before opening their mouths and demonstrating that they hadn't.

This story is minor. It is small-beer, a fluff piece at the end of a broadcast. This story would pass unremarked upon by me, were it not for the simple fact that day after day, month after year they behave like this; and I am left to wonder the extent to which any of them try to bring us the stories, and their implications.

So, small story or not I am going to run with this one, as I rather suspect that it serves to demonstrate a much larger problem.

I watched the CBS Evening News the night the SCOTUS ruled on Arizona 1070. The news team reported the decision, then largely accepted the Jan Brewer framing that a significant portion had been left intact. We now understand that it was a developing story, and what the Supremes had actually done was a complete gutting of the law, with one provision kicked down the road for gutting later.

I gave CBS a pass on that one. There was confusion and mixed stories all over the place. But here is something that typifies the day-to-day irritation that is Local News:

The local CBS Affiliate in Tulsa is News Channel Six. As local Affiliates go they are decent. It's a small media market (Tulsa) and they have a helicopter with HD cameras, and they have a weather service second to none.

If you want to know "who shot whom, where and when", "where was the latest motorcyclist to die without a crash helmet to be seen", or "which is the latest school to have a coach suspended for child abuse"; then News Channel Six is the place to go.

We also very much appreciate their attention to the weather, because around here the weather can kill you, and they do a very good job helping to keep us safe from harm.

They rarely touch upon the major, National stories, and when they do it is usually a mere passing mention. I guess the Editorial team knows their audience and around here the audience is ... well it's Oklahoma!

The other day, at the end of the Five O'Clock News, the anchors and their version of "weatherdude" were commenting on a Utah story.

It is the sad tale of what passes for Jurisprudence in Small Town Utah. The tale of the Judge who, in his infinite wisdom, offered a teenage girl the chance to swap 150 hours of Community Service in exchange for a "haircut", right there in his Courtroom.

I heard this story when it was news. I was pretty disgusted at the number of legal principles that were breached. Even accepting that the Judge may have acted within his authority under Utah State Law, the egregious way that sets aside the principles of Common Law should concern us.There are good reasons why we do not practise "an eye for an eye", why the meeting out of "summary justice" is usually no justice at all. Yet this was Utah, the defendant appears to be a girl who deserves little sympathy, and I can readily see how this might seem to be a good idea to those not versed in "implications"

I do not expect journalists to be pandering to these views. I rather hoped that they might investigate this story, understand the implications and report them. Even if they did so with a "wry grin" .... but no, what we had was the News Anchor, Lori Fullbright, commenting "what a good idea".

Really Lori? A good idea? On what basis is it a good idea? So I asked her:

Dear Ms Fullbright,

I listened with some interest to your throw-away comment on the 5pm News regarding the incident of the Judge offering "hair-cutting" as an alternative to hours of Community Service.

You expressed the view that you supported this action.

Here is the problem. That is called "summary justice". It has no part in American Jurisprudence for some very good reasons.

Firstly, it follows the priniciple of "An eye for an eye". You cut my daughter's hair, so your hair gets cut. Apart from this having nothing whatsoever with the legal remedies open to the Judge, it is also more a feature of Sharia Law than it is of American Law. I feel confident that you do not wish to see Sharia Law in the US.

Secondly, it removed any right of Appeal that the young woman might have enjoyed. It is not for no reason that summary justice is never applied in the US.

It really is incumbent on you to practise "journalism". Before commenting without engaging your thought processes, you might consider the effects of your remarks on the viewers.

This young woman deserves to be punished. It is also clear that the Judge exceeded his authority and placed this family in an impossible position. He will lose if a complaint is registered.

And we all will lose if he doesn't.

Steve Bracken

To be fair to Ms Fullbright, she probably didn't expect her remark to be taken to heart, and she probably wasn't expecting that email. On the other hand, News Anchors influence opinion, and I believe they owe it to the viewers to report and comment accurately. See, I told you I was old-fashioned.

Anyway ... credit where due, I got a reply:

Steve,

I don’t regret my comment and I do think it was a reasonable alternative for the judge to give, because he did not order it done, he allowed the girl to choose to skip half of her community service.

She and her mother could’ve easily have said no and the appeals process and everything else would’ve been kept intact, but, thanks for writing.

Props to her for responding, and I added a bit of formatting that the message could be read more clearly. Line breaks are wonderful things.

Here is what makes this worse. Not only did Lori Fullbright not research before commenting, she now doubles down in a manner that suggests that she really doesn't need to. She believes it to be appropriate, and reporting her belief now passes for journalism.

Slice by tiny slice, from the non-stories like this one, to the ground-breaking Legislation that is the Affordable Care Act, the journalism, and the reporting has been woeful in terms of informing Americans what the real implications are.

No attempt to address the points raised. No suggestion that she had considered the implications and every indication that she will continue to report the side of a story that confirms her personal beliefs. I am not down on Lori Fullbright. It is perfectly possible that I could write this piece about any, or many of them. Lori at least responded. She is a popular anchor, round these 'ere parts and I have absolutely no personal axe to grind, nor do I bear her any ill will.

This, as I said, is not a story worth getting all worked up about, but the manner in which it was reported, and the apparent reluctance to engage in any form of debate about the merits does make one wonder how journalists go about reporting stories that really do matter.

Maybe she should be asked to preface her remarks with "Lori thinks", thus informing the audience that it is opinion and commentary, rather than news.

What really upsets me, and the reason I was prompted to Diary a bit of a "non-story" was my recent concerns about the behaviour of the Media in general, and the implications for the 1st Amendment.

It was quite astonishing that the Founders not only included the "Free Speech" provisions, but very specifically identified the Press as a group that could not be Legislated against. I think it is generally accepted that this was done that the Press would act as one of the "checks and balances" so necessary to a free society.

I has struck me before that the concentration of the Media in the hands of a tiny number of Oligarchs, is detrimental to the intent of the Founders. What is more, the failure of the FCC, and hence the Government, to control this, and ensure a thriving "free press", is probably unconstitutional.

Good luck in getting Mr Originalist Scalia to agree with that :)

Originally posted to Every Part of You Belongs to You on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 11:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Is it a Mountain or a Molehill? (85+ / 0-)

    Or is it simply typical of what we have come to expect, and one of the principle reasons we have such a low-information electorate?

    I make have gotten my knickers in a twist over not very much, yet I can't help feeling that stories like this, happening as they do every day, across the country, serve to demonstrate a larger problem.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:23:10 AM PDT

    •  No you are correct (15+ / 0-)

      Somewhere along the line we lost anchors and news critters delivering that, just news. You delivered a story and then went onto the next one. Sure there was a delivery but it was even handed.

      If you were willing to interject your own angle or delivery on fluff pieces then how can we take you seriously when larger news items come up.

      Hell, how can we even trust you are reporting things of importance or ignoring something important in your own back yard.

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 11:38:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are times when I wonder if judges (5+ / 0-)

      in Red states administer juris prudence based on the common law--or on the Bible. Frankly, for a lot of the local idiots, I wonder how they managed to graduate from a law school (other than Regents or Liberty) because they don't seem to grasp that the American legal system is based on British common law, the constitution, and legal precedent, not Leviticus and Numbers. I give you Judge Roy Moore as the classic example.

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 11:50:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  TV news has sucked for decades (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twigg

      TV news does not equal "journalism." Even the anchors some of us remember with respect compared to today's idiot bobbleheads were--at the time--regarded as bastions of the mainstream, holding up the mainstream consensus, not enterprising, independent reporters.

      Much of the discussion here at dKos, many of the diaries, are based on pieces done by news reporters or opinion pieces done by news editorial columnists. If you stripped every diary and comment off the rec list that was based on the work of news reporters or news columnists, dKos commenters would have a lot less to talk about, and to opine about themselves. Oftentimes, like in the title of this diary (I'm not saying your content isn't worth discussing, not in any way)  and in many of the comments in this thread, dKos seems to forget that.

      of course TV news (not to mention the idiot bobbleheads on talk shows) is one of the principal reasons we have such a low-information electorate. And the concentration of ownership of print journals, including local newspapers, under monopoly ownership is a problem, too.

  •  Is (4+ / 0-)

    Ms. Lori Fullbright an oh-so-charming young lady, most likely blonde, with a big smile and bubbly laugh who looks really good on camera?

    Don't count on her having had any real training as a journalist. That requires time, and shoe leather, and long hours at shockingly low pay, most often with no overtime (especially given how many big chains have managed to gut the unions in their newsrooms).

    Good for you for writing, but don't count on that station producing any real journalism anytime soon.

    Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today. -- James Dean

    by Mnemosyne on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 11:36:15 AM PDT

    •  I need to be careful here (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SuzieQ4624, ciganka, Susan from 29, DuzT

      because I am considering sending her a link to this Diary, and making personal remarks about her is not something I want to engage in.

      To answer your question .. No, she is not of the "fluffy blonde presenter" school.

      She is older, has been around Tulsa forever, and has a life and a home here. That may be one of the reasons she never move to a larger Media Market as so many of them do.

      Lori is well-respected for her coverage of crime issues, and she runs personal safety seminars.

      I picked on her simply for this one example. She might not be the worst example :)

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 11:44:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In that case, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg, Susan from 29

        I apologize if it sounded like a personal attack -- although far too often the TV news readers are chosen for their camera values rather than news savvy. It was not meant as such, but rather as a sharp criticism of so-called TV news, which promotes the superficial and sensational.

        Not that print hasn't, and doesn't as well, but there's usually some depth of reporting somewhere to offset in that medium.

        But it does sound as if Ms. Lori needs a brush-up course in Journalism 101.

        Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today. -- James Dean

        by Mnemosyne on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 12:50:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I liked this diary. Puts a face on the mediocrity. (6+ / 0-)

    Like giving a tidal wave a face . . .

  •  The Only Time in Our History the Media Wern't This (5+ / 0-)

    way for the most part was the new deal era when broadcast was growing up. The history of news before the 30's was awash in yellow journalism and all kinds of fraud, distraction and disinformation.

    Broadcast in addition to severe ownership limits had very frequent license renewals which required demonstration of community service programming. Since media didn't want government putting things like educational requirements into their "Gilligan's Island" entertainment fare, they offered journalistic news as their public service. As Thom Hartman says who was in radio back then, virtually every little outlet had reporters & kept the news airtight walled off from the sales department so they could prove that news was a public service.

    We're just working through the return of news to its natural 1st Amendment functionality as this is another way the Republicans have given us our country back.

    What the framers built never worked according to their intent because it can't. Total freedom for corporations? Seriously.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 11:45:02 AM PDT

    •  Oddly enough, and I accept your points (3+ / 0-)

      Something very weird happened in the UK that demonstrates that it is possible to "Chinese wall" the News department.

      When Rupert Murdoch established Sky Television, we got "Sky News".

      Back in those days, Sky News wasn't perfect, but it bore absolutely no relation whatsoever to it's American Cousin, Fox News.

      The journalistic standards were at least as high as ITV, and the coverage, by modern standards, was relatively fair and balanced.

      Sure it could be improved, but it does show that at least an attempt can be made, even by Rupert Murdoch. Add in a proprietor with more social awareness and much could be done.

      I had hoped that Current TV would go that way, but it seems not to be penetrating.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 11:51:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree wholeheartedly Goose (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DuzT, twigg

      and would add one insight I've long suspected was an unfortunate truth:

      At some point in the not too distant past, the "news" department became accountable for contributing to the bottom line.

      Once icons like Cronkite and his peers worked for the only locally produced television left on the airwaves. The news department was a "cost" to the station, provided as a public service in return for using public airwaves.

      Now the 'news' department has to create revenue. It's no longer a public service, it's a vehicle for selling advertising and as such, you get "teasers" before the commercial.

      "This easy tip could SAVE YOUR LIFE, ......tune in at 11"

      So, if you survive the 10 o'clock hour, and tune in at 11, and watch the bullshit and the commercials, at 11:29 they'll reveal the tip to drink more apple juice or some other such shit to save your life.

      No wonder 90% of my 'news' comes from Daily Kos.

      We've been spelling it wrong all these years. It's actually: PRO-GOP-ANDA

      by Patriot4peace on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 04:52:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I remember the days (5+ / 0-)

    when local TV newspeople reported just facts and if the station wanted to offer opinions they did so at the end of the broadcast. And it was clearly labeled as Editorial.

    These days, opinion is scattered throughout the newscast and the only way one can tell which is news and which is opinion is to have already read about the news item elsewhere, usually online.

    I rarely watch local TV news anymore for these reasons. On the few occasions when I do watch it, I end up yelling at the TV, "you got it wrong again, you fools!" Of course, locally, the spin is almost always RepublicanRepugnant in nature.

    Socialist Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me… whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”

    by BitterEnvy on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 11:51:21 AM PDT

    •  I thought I was the only weirdo.... (5+ / 0-)

      that sat there yelling at my TV screen!  I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this.

      But I don't limit my yelling to local news, it gets worse for Sunday morning political shows.  I usually need to start drinking before I can watch one, it gets a little stressful to watch a panel of liars Republicans ramble on with blatent lies while the host refuses to question them about these mind-bending statements and/or bring facts and reality to the table.

      Facts are liberally bias

      by SuzieQ4624 on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 12:54:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Death of TV new was fictionalized in "Broadcast (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twigg

      News" and parodied in "Network".

      The legacy of Edward R. Murrow,Eric Sevareid, William Shirer, David Brinkley and Walter Cronkite is being squandered in a desperate popularity contest.  Our profession is in danger..Yesterday's compliment has somehow managed to become today's kiss of death.  To be considered a serious journalist is no longer flattering. It presents the risk of being labeled ponderous, or worse yet, elitest, right? (Holly Hunter's character Broadcast News)
      Of course, the end of the fairness doctrine, the aping of Entertainment Tonight style reporting has done its job. Frankly, like you, I don't mind anchors offering their opinions as such, though I should be quite alarmed. If the reporter had said "Is this judge on glue?" you would have gotten a chuckle and the death threats would have rolled into the station. How fun would it have been if those reporters and anchors said straight up what they thought about the lead up to the Iraq War instead of parroting the admin line? Most reporters are still of a liberal bent, they get ground down by editors and higher ups.
      Like you, I do the mind lack of analysis and general pandering to the lowest common denominator.

      Not a mole hill, a foothill of Mount Doom.

      Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

      by the fan man on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 05:57:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If I were a TV station and I wanted to do (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    something on this story besides just report it, I'd first post a facebook or twitter about it and then after reading a straight reporting of the story, read some of the responses.  An equal number of each side.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 12:31:30 PM PDT

  •  The fact-based news and journalism... (5+ / 0-)

    died quite a while ago.  I'm not sure we can even resuscitate it at this point.

    I gave up watching local news a few years ago, when a majority of the stories fell into two categories: fluffy nonsense or opinion-laced news.  It's deceiving and wrong to intertwine a personal opinion with a news story, when your job is to report the news story.  No one cares about the anchor's personal opinions.  When did everything become so narcissistic?  Every "journalist" thinks their opinion is so relevant and needs to be interjected at every turn, in place of facts, evidence or investigation.

    News programs no long rely on journalism, hard work or investigation or even thought.  There is no digging into stories, there is no need to find an honest answer, there is just fluff and reading news stories someone else wrote.

    And the "free" press is dead.  When all of our news sources became about profits instead of reporting information is precisely when it died.

    Facts are liberally bias

    by SuzieQ4624 on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 12:44:52 PM PDT

  •  The Newsroom (6+ / 0-)

    We took HBO up on its offer to let anyone view the first episode of the new series on You Tube. OH, it made us LONG for real news. And real news men and women. If you have a chance watch it. And good for you for writing and caring if you get real news people or not. More of need to speak out and CARE about this!

    One should never consider yourself too poor to support the ACLU.

    by oakroyd on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 12:56:15 PM PDT

  •  You didn't overreact at all (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, Susan from 29

    And here's her bio from the Channel  6 website which she wrote herself.  She actually has a journalism degree, but here description of her career as a crime reporter makes me think she thinks of herself as Nancy Grace on HLN. So she has forgotten she's a journalist.

    I'm not sure there's a good explanation for this.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:05:25 PM PDT

  •  molehill (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    Seems fine to me

  •  I'd have to say we are often as guilty as the R of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    repeating total BS. Just wander up and down the list of posts, there are always a few humdingers, and often those go on to be quoted sources for other humdingers.

    The theory that nature is permanently in balance has been largely discredited

    by ban nock on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:47:54 PM PDT

  •  It comes down to editorializing instead of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    reporting the news.  In a newspaper they have separate pages for that.

    To me, this type of judicial action and our ready acceptance of it as a "good idea" leads in an almost straight line to a sitting Supreme Court judge writing a dissent that is so bizarre and based so far out of common or Constitutional law that even other Justices who agree with the dissent can't sign on.

    Or is it the other way around?  Does the existence of a radical Supreme Court allow the entire judiciary to kind of make it up as they go along, and where are journalists with the integrity to ask these questions on behalf of the American public?  I believe that is the reason they have protections under the law.

    So far.

    "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

    by Susan Grigsby on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:07:22 PM PDT

    •  The problem with my example (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Susan from 29

      as with so many, is that I am far from convinced that they know the difference any longer.

      Newspapers report news, and, as you say, they also have "Editorials", which are clearly opinion. This is an honorable tradition, and time was they kept the two apart. (well mostly)

      But they have become lazy. They take stories from the wires and appear to perform only the scantiest of fact checking before rushing to air, or print, and mixing opinion with reportage to the point where you don't actually know where one starts and the others ends.

      We like that when Liberals do it, but I also genuinely believe that Liberals do trend more towards reality-based as a preferred environment.

      It is rare for progressives to simply invent, for political gain ... but it seems to be standard operating procedure for our opponents.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:15:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, but we don't have to invent. It is one of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg

        the advantages of operating in a reality based environment.

        Seriously, networks have pretty much, in the eternal search of profit, stripped the newsrooms down to where they don't have the staff needed to do real reporting.  That leaves them with the behavior you describe.  Read the wires without fact checking or providing any context.

        But they still have to fill the time, so we get the crap you saw.  It was an unusual story, and the anchor, probably with one eye on the clock, uttered what she thought of as a throw away line.  

        In the LA market it is car chases.  Honest to God, the local news will spend an entire hour following some idiot in a car with a dozen highway patrol cars following.  You want inane chatter?  We got it covered.  

        "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

        by Susan Grigsby on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:27:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I know it's been mentioned in numerous (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, jennifree2bme, CanyonWren

    comment threads, but, for those who've missed it, here's the link to The Newsroom, Episode 1, which HBO posted to YouTube:

    link

    This latest offering from Sorkin is, in my view, not up to the standards of The West Wing, but it's still worth viewing.

    The Newsroom
    has been widely panned by news media "professionals," and some of that criticism is valid - the characters are unrealistically witty and articulate, and stereotypes abound.

    That having been said, I still strongly recommend the show, if, for no other reason, it might educate younger viewers about what news reporting could be, should be, and was (to varying degrees) in the past.

  •  You expect journalism? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    Are you crazy? there haven't been journalists delivering the news for at least a decade.
    Look around you folks. Name ONE outlet, in any state, where the news crew isn't all young, prettified, hip, cool, and clueless.
    There is no journalism anymore. The news was killed a long time ago.

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

    by MA Liberal on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:10:21 PM PDT

  •  That's why I consume very little (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    local media, unless storms are bearing down on us. It's been years since I watched a local newscast. They're all unbearable, and the newspaper is even worse.

    The media by and large have abrogated their responsibility to the public. Real journalism is almost dead.

    Pity, that.

    Peace.

    A little blue dot in a vast sea of red.

    by deha on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 11:01:33 PM PDT

  •  I worked for a brief time in TV news (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, shypuffadder

    Most of the people were either insane, sex addicts, drug addicts or sociopaths. The film Anchorman is not too far from the truth. Only it presents a nicer picture.

  •  Good on you for sending an email. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shypuffadder, twigg

    I've done it too, but in my experience the replies I've received have made me suspect that my local paper is staffed entirely by morons. The only exception to this was an email I received back from the politics blog section of the paper's website. He had the same general tone as the letter you received. He made it clear that actually writing down the truth and potential consequences of the story were far less important than writing down what both sides said. For me 99% of news sources can't die-out fast enough.

  •  Spot on twigg (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    Actually this is exactly why organizations like ALEC have been successful at the State level. They understand all too well that their actions will be under reported and largely mis understood by the second rate journalists that dominate local news. This diary is important and truly reflective of what is going on, unfortunately, doesn't look like there will be any significant changes made.

    " The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"-Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Lh1695 on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 03:49:28 AM PDT

  •  Anchors and TV News personalities (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    are nothing more than models reciting from teleprompters.  They don't have to know anything but how to read - and sometimes they can't even do that.

  •  You are spot on. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    We also have a decent local station in the same vein, but it is clear that handful of the personalities are not journalists.  They can read the prompter just fine, but too often interject their uninformed comments at the end.  Nice guys, but bozos.

    You are also correct about the sorry state of the press.  Though it has always been so, the capitalist state of media seems increasingly focused on profit over responsibility.  We can be a flea on the dog with the occasional boycott of sponsors, but real change must come through breaking up the industry into a more competitive framework instead of concentrating media holdings into the hands of a few conglomerates.

    You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

    by rb608 on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 04:43:02 AM PDT

  •  Meh. (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not upset at the judge.  The girl and her mother were offered a choice.  She was not summarily dragged in and held while her pigtails were hacked off.  It was her own mother who decided 'eye for an eye' was a better deal than a ton of community service.  No permanent damage was done, and the kid gets a lesson in empathy that the 'punishment' of community service wouldn't have actually taught her.

    •  You think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      burlydee

      that when in a Courtroom, in front of a Judge, that regular folk can really exercise free choice?

      And how does the choice to have a salon haircut compare with what the girl apparently did?

      The Judge is a buffoon

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 09:06:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I do. (0+ / 0-)

        I think regular people exercise free choices in courtrooms, in front of judges every single day.

        And as to your second, I'm confused.  Are you arguing that the optional 'punishment' was overly harsh, or that, as a 'salon haircut', it wasn't harsh enough a punishment in your books?  Based upon your diary, I thought you felt it was overly harsh somehow, but by this comment, it sounds like you feel she wasn't 'punished enough' because she only got a 'salon haircut' that didn't 'compare' to what she did.

        •  I think you are wrong (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          burlydee

          about the first. Most folk in Court feel intimidated, they do not behave naturally and they rarely exercise free choice from fear.

          You might consider "Plea Bargaining" as an example.

          I am arguing that the "Haircut" sounds cute on the level of "and eye for an eye", but does not pass even the basic scrutiny when considering whether or not it represents justice, for anyone.

          The girl had a salon cut which the judge approved ... how is that a punishment? Dis the girl take the victim to a salon, and have her hair cut with her having made a choice to do this?

          No, not even close.

          The crime was assault, and you do not punish assault with a trip to the salon. You punish assault, quite appropriately in this instance, with substantial community service.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 09:48:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm having an awful lot of trouble (0+ / 0-)

            coming up with a justification for disapproving of judges being allowed to be LENIENT to people based on their discretion. Not only does this not contradict any judicial ethics that I can think of, it's totally in line with the idea of equity under the common law.

            I'm on board with all of this re: journalism, but disagreeing with the content of the story is baffling to me.

            •  He wasn't "lenient" (0+ / 0-)

              He is entitled to be lenient based on a number of factors, and strict based upon aggravating factors.

              Had the girl been contrite, and apologetic, had she offered to make restitution; had this debate been about anyone of those things there would have been no Diary.

              What the Judge offered, and we are not litigating the case here, was an "eye for an eye" in place of punishment.

              What the journalist did was approve of that uncritically.

              That was the point, not whether or not you, I or anyone else agrees with the merits of the case.

              I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
              but I fear we will remain Democrats.

              by twigg on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 04:47:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Brings to mind a remark on Monday (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    On the local CBS early morning news in Maryland, one of the anchors happily reported that employers were beginning to hire older workers because they are dependable and have more experience.  End of story.  

    That remark was axed from the later broadcasts.  I have noticed that some things said on the 4:30 am broadcast are dropped by 5:00 am.  It seems as if they use the very early broadcast as a cheap way to read/revise the script for the later broadcasts.   Lack of effort.

  •  The Fox effect...? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    Of course, as many can argue, they ALL do it by now! But haven't news reporting been forever changed by Fox News, or more precisely the PROFIT their "dynamic" commenting style has created?

  •  Doesn't matter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, linkage

    overall, because in this perfect example, it's both!

    Is it a mountain or a molehill?
    Twigg, you have hit the nail on the head, the essence of so much of what passes for debate--which starts with The News. After all, that is where most of us get our information.
    Maybe she should be asked to preface her remarks with "Lori thinks", thus informing the audience that it is opinion and commentary, rather than news.
    That is EXACTLY what she was doing--she was expressing her opinion. I don't care whether it's a fluffy "Finally..." story or a matter of international import, the reporter's opinion has absolutely no place on the air, being broadcast.

    We are not there to hear Lori's opinion, no matter how fucking popular she is. Report the damned news.

    The response from her was pathetic--if I didn't harbor her ill will before (and I didn't), I sure as hell do now. It was such a typical "stfu" double-down comment, one I would expect from someone leaning toward "ill informed" on matters of debate and discussion. That, too, is something that has absolutely no place on the air, being broadcast.

    The biggest point you make is here:

    It was quite astonishing that the Founders not only included the "Free Speech" provisions, but very specifically identified the Press as a group that could not be Legislated against. I think it is generally accepted that this was done that the Press would act as one of the "checks and balances" so necessary to a free society.

    It has struck me before that the concentration of the Media in the hands of a tiny number of Oligarchs, is detrimental to the intent of the Founders. What is more, the failure of the FCC, and hence the Government, to control this, and ensure a thriving "free press", is probably unconstitutional.


    I'd love to figure out how to even get that argued, Scalia or no Scalia. Failing that, we need to go after "Akre/Wilson vs New World Communications" and get that bullshit undone (note: this is NOT a SCOTUS case, IIRC, they refused to hear it and kicked it back to the Circuit Court, where it remains the defacto law of the land where "journalist employment law in those corporations" is concerned). Either way, thank you so much for this awesome diary, it really illustrates why there are major problems with our "News".

    It is time to #Occupy Media.

    by lunachickie on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 06:13:33 AM PDT

  •  FCC chief Newton Minow called it way back in JFK's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    … administration.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Unfortunately, since then the Land of Television has only gotten even vaster and more wasted.

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 06:34:19 AM PDT

  •  There Is No Real Journalism Anymore (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    The news is all feeds these days.  One news story feeds into another one.  There is no truth, no integrity and no honor in journalism today.  In fact hedge fund CEOs have taken over the country and has gutted all newspaper companies just like Bain has gutted corporations.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 06:57:04 AM PDT

  •  at the risk of bursting bubbles (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, Caneel

    TV news has always been crap, esp. local news.

  •  Coming up at 5 'clock.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    Your local news infotainment programming.

    I want a living planet, not just a living room.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 09:06:48 AM PDT

  •  Twitter is better n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot." ~ Czeslaw Milosz

    by Caneel on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 09:14:00 AM PDT

  •  I remember... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, burlydee

    ...when Kos started this blog.  During the first week he said something like: "We're here as an alternative to the Media because, frankly, we're smarter than the media."

    It's true.  "Journalists" aren't wonks, they're writers and wanna-be celebs.  You don't need to know anything to have that job, you just have to sound good or look good.

    Thomas Friedman is a great case in point: he's a great writer.  But he's a moron.  

    No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

    by CrazyHorse on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 09:42:39 AM PDT

    •  The evidence does, unfortunately, (0+ / 0-)

      support this view.

      So, many of these folk have degrees in journalism and media studies ... What are they teaching them in College?

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 09:50:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  why d'ya think ACA has gotten such a bad rap? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, burlydee

    the media only report on the part that people don't like - the mandate.

    they almost never discuss the bill's benefits so expecting a well-informed public is nothing more than wishful thinking.

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 10:33:59 AM PDT

  •  I submit she is not a journalist, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    regardless of her own clam to same.  As such, it shouldn't bother you that she doesn't practice it.

    Does she claim to be a journalist, or an anchor, on the enws show?  That might make some difference.

    Nonetheless, I get you.

    Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

    by tom 47 on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 12:51:31 PM PDT

  •  I had a similar experience watching a local (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    anchor in Phoenix from Fox News named John Hook.  He mixes editorializing in with his reporting, often expressing disgust with the president or w/ undocumented immigrants.  The culmination was when he delivered a copy of Brewer's book to Obama.  What part of journalism is that?  

    http://www.clipsyndicate.com/...

    These guys don't get that they aren't suppose to be part of the story.  

  •  This may be a fitting closing comment to the diary (0+ / 0-)

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 09:56:46 AM PDT

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