Monthly Archives: February 2005

MSM – No special rights to not testify

Beldar has a most excellent analysis of the DC Circuit’s decision in the Judith Miller contempt case. Beldar’s scorecard on the DC Circuit’s Plame decision today: Prosecution 34, Journalists 0: Go read it all.

Beldar also mentions Orin Kerr’s post on The Volokh Conspiracy:
DC Circuit on Blogging and the Reporter’s Privilege.

Judge Sentelle pointed out some of the difficulties of applying such a privilege in light of the blogosphere:

Perhaps more to the point today, does the privilege also protect the proprietor of a web log: the stereotypical “blogger” sitting in his pajamas at his personal computer posting on the World Wide Web his best product to inform whoever happens to browse his way? If not, why not? How could one draw a distinction consistent with the court’s vision of a broadly granted personal right? If so, then would it not be possible for a government official wishing to engage in the sort of unlawful leaking under investigation in the present controversy to call a trusted friend or a political ally, advise him to set up a web log (which I understand takes about three minutes) and then leak to him under a promise of confidentiality the information which the law forbids the official to disclose?

Go read the rest.

And You Thought Bloggers Blew the Lid off This Thing, Just Wait

Hell hath no fury like a motivated litigant in a highly publicized case (well OK there’s the woman scorned, but this is almost as bad). The New York Observer has the goods on the fired CBS employees not going down without a fight – a court fight that is. Apparently our friendly neighborhood litigants are pointing the fingers towards their bosses. Don’t think this is just an attempt to smear CBS either. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a wrongful dismissal case, but I don’t think you can be fired for acting in accordance with your boss’s wishes. If that’s going to be their case, hold on to your hats.

Expect this thing to get very messy, and very revealing. It’s one thing to try and stonewall bloggers and other members of the press. It’s quite another to refuse to answer questions under oath and violate subpoenas.
Hat tip: Powerline Hell No They Won’t Go – lots more over there. (kimsch)

Syria-Iran Axis Official?

Yesterday I posted a link about intel showing Irani and Syrian involvement with the terrorists in Fallujah. The BBC is now reporting that Iran and Syria are establishing a formal common front to confront its enemies (ie. the US). What is it with these Middle Eastern dictators underestimating Bush’s resolve?

Well at least now that a formal axis has aligned itself against the US, we’ll see the anti-Bush, anti-military apologists tone it down a bit to allow both parties to rally together to confront this threat for the good of the country, right………..(crickets chirping)……..right?

Very Interesting News from Fallujah

Roger Simon has a report about the success of the battle of Fallujah and the interesting intel it uncovered, including the involvement of Syria and Iran.

Obviously stuff you won’t hear on the news. Covering only wire stories of car bombs is easier, and there’s the added benefit of making the military look inept.

Blogs – Media’s Elevator

Revolutionary advancements in technology are rarely adopted cleanly and swiftly into society. Sometimes cost is a prohibiting factor. Where cost isn’t a factor, adoption or acceptance is oftentimes hindered by skepticism and fear since the advancement is replacing or modifying something that has been considered tried, tested and “true”. It is only after acceptance has been achieved with a small number of vanguards, who are able to show the rest that the new way is a better way, that the advancement becomes part of mainstream society.

You don’t usually hear about the elevator in discussions about dramatic technological advances on society. We take them for granted today, yet they existed for years before people would ride them. Perfectly good elevators sat unused as people climbed the stairs. It was only when people saw that the few who started using them didn’t fall to their deaths, did they gain widespread acceptance.

Today we sit on the edge of a media revolution. While the Wall Street Journal and others still warn of the long fall down the elevator shaft, more and more people and media institutions are starting to realize that there may be a better way than only having a relatively small number of “reporters” collecting and reporting the news on T.V. and in newspapers. I predict in years to come (probably not that many) people will look back and chuckle at the same skepticism we’re showing towards the blogosphere today. Do we know where the blogosphere will take us? No. After all, not many folks contemplated that elevators would lead to the rise (literally – through vertical expansion) of modern cities. But I don’t think were going to fall down the shaft either.


A great response to the chickenhawk arguement by Doug Kern. Here’s a snippet, but you should read it all:

Military service is also an excellent sincerity check for peaceniks who have belatedly discovered the joys of protecting innocent Muslims. Many of us suspicious-minded pro-war types can’t help but notice that many war protestors didn’t lose much sleep over the lives of Iraqis and Iranians when Saddam Hussein was slaughtering both. And back when the kum-ba-yah set admitted to resenting our action in Afghanistan, they fretted over the fate of Afghanis whom they were more than happy to entrust to the tender ministrations of the Taliban before 9/11. And what about our defense of Muslims during our Bosnian action? If, chickendove, you’ve developed a strange new concern for the fate of Muslims worldwide, take notice: the one military in the entire world that has taken up arms in the last fifty years to defend Muslim life is the American military. Feel like enlisting yet? Or is your Ph.D. proof enough of how gosh darn much you care?

CNN Shows Humility and Respect to Bloggers

The above caption is not sarcasism.

I caught the tail end of Judy Woodruff’s Inside Politics on CNN. Howard Kurtz was on discussing the impact of political blogs along with another woman who’d I’d never seen before, but who was introduced as CNN’s internet reporter. While I didn’t see the whole thing from what I saw it was informative, balanced and respectful. They talked about the huge number of blogs, noting that while some blogs are wacko’s there are many that are very informed and educated. They also delved into the collective power of blogs, as well as the speed with which info is disseminated and scrutinized. Bloggers’ role in Easongate was referred to at some length, as well as Rathergate. The general conclusion was that blogs have added a whole new level of accountability to news reporting. Get this: At the end Judy asked Kurtz if they still have jobs, and Kurtz replied, “I hope so.” He wasn’t smiling.

Does this show have a transcript? If so, someone’s got to get a copy.

UPDATE: Video is here, hat tip Instapundit (via the talented Kimsch). Note the video actually starts at the ending, not sure why, with the “I hope so comment”. It also seems to have portions clipped out, but you get the picture.

Reese Schonfeld CNN Co-Founder

Reese Schonfeld, CNN Co-founder just said on Neil Cavuto that CNN caved to pressure and “fired another one, like Arnett, without the goods.”

I don’t know if there’s going to be a transcript at Fox News.

He also said that Eason Jordan said what he said “to protect journalists”.

JohnnyDollar’sPlace has a transcript from an interview with Reese Schonfeld earlier today on Fox & Friends.
Here’s a piece from the earlier interview:

DOOCY: Right. So here’s a guy who had made those comments in the op-ed piece a couple of years ago, and really stirred up a hornet’s nest. And now he says this. Did he really have much of a job over there? I mean, was he a guy who was a marginal character and they said, it’s not worth the heat?

SCHONFELD: I thought they had marginalized him after that. I’m surprised that he got to speak at Davos. I mean, they should have learned enough not to send him out and let him open his mouth anywhere. You know, CNN, the Confused News Network.

Bold mine.

When Media Spin Becomes Deception

The MSM has created its storyline regarding Eason Jordan. I suggest you read Powerline and Malkin, both providing excellent summaries and analysis of recent events. The storyline is that Jordan “slipped up” in making the unfounded allegations. His immediate retraction should have been sufficient to correct the slip, and now he is being unfairly victimized by bloodthirsty bloggers. The problem for the media is that the facts don’t support the story line. In fact they show the opposite. Regrettably for certain members of the media, it appears that they have crossed the line from “spin” or, to use milder terms, reporting from a particular “perspective,” to willful deception.

Every story falls somewhere along the continuum of “truth reporting”. One end of the spectrum is the ideal, which all reporters should strive to achieve. Its simplicity belies the practical ability (or willingness) to achieve it. It involves researching all possible angles and perspectives of a story and dutifully reporting to the public the all the material facts. All too often we encounter stories that don’t meet these simple criteria. Rather, facts are reported from a particular angle or perspective. While the core of the story may be “true,” particular perspectives or certain factual contexts are omitted, thereby creating a false impression of events. Opinion is often interchanged with facts. The story is laced with hypothetical situations or predictions. Experts assist with “future telling.” Using these non-factual methods of reporting increases the likelihood of bias, as each one of these methods are, to some extent, within the control of the reporter. The further one moves away from the ideal, the easier it is for the reporter to create a story rather than report it. At a certain point, even the core of the story no longer reflects the truth. In many cases the lack of truth is inadvertent or at least not specifically intentional. Occasionally the story is willfully deceptive, in which material facts are intentionally withheld, and facts used in the story are knowingly misrepresented.

In the instant case, Eason Jordan made a series of public allegations involving US troops targeting journalists. While Davos was the most recent incident, a number of other instances have since been uncovered by bloggers and have been made well known to the press. Those are the core facts. It’s that simple. The secondary “facts” – that bloggers unfairly victimized Jordan, fall by the wayside. It can’t be unfair if it’s true (presuming of course that the purpose of reporting is to uncover and report the truth). Further, the extent to which Jordan retracted his Davos statement also becomes irrelevant if what he said was part of a pattern. Indeed the retraction takes on the opposite meaning. Not a genuine recognition of error, but an attempt to mask the obvious.

At the core of the media’s story is that Jordan simply slipped up. The problem is that lightening doesn’t strike the same place twice. Once is a slip up. Twice is a pattern. In this case it happened more than twice. Not only has the media refrained from reporting Jordan’s previous similar statements, which absent more would have been terrible one-sided reporting, they took the next step and advanced a story which directly contradicted the deliberately withheld facts. Of course simply reporting the one incident wouldn’t be enough to exculpate him. He needed a defense – the inadvertent slip up. Welcome to the opposite end of the “truth reporting” spectrum.

What makes the media’s reporting of the Eason Jordan story so remarkable is how transparent this all is. The facts are simple. This is not a complex financial transaction with money trails going in different directions. This is about what Eason Jordan said, and when he said it. It is also about how easy the media had access to these facts, indeed how the facts were handed to them on a silver platter. This last part is particularly damning. In law it is often difficult to separate willful blindness or intention (both have the same level of culpability) with mere inadvertence or negligence. In this case, thanks to the blogosphere, inadvertence can be ruled out. Is there any doubt that the MSM is guilty?

UPDATE: Some members of the MSM are getting it.

It just gets sicker

I always thought the Mary Kay Letoureau/Vili Fualauu story was sickening – but this just takes the cake. Fox News reports that they have set a wedding date.

“It’s been long overdue,” said Noel Soriano, a longtime friend of the family who confirmed Sunday that they will marry this spring. “It’s going to be fabulous, seeing them get hitched finally.”

No. It’s just sick.