Monday, February 14, 2005

My Love is Like A Red, Red Rose

My Love is Like A Red, Red Rose

0, my love is like a red, red rose,
that's newly sprung in June.
0, my love is like a melody,
that's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair thou art, my bonnie lass,
so deep in love am I,
And I will love thee still, my dear,
till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
and the rocks melt wi' the sun!
And I will love thee still, my dear,
while the sands of life shall run.

And fare the weel, my only love!
And fare the well awhile!
And I will come again, my love.
Tho it were ten thousand mile!

-- Robert Burns

NRO Has No Defense For The Ones They Inspire

NRO Has No Defense For The Ones They Inspire

At NRO, Andrew McCarthy insists that the Wall Street Journal is wrong about the outcome of the Eason Jordan situation and it's not "kerfluffle". McCarthy claims that no one can fix the gravity of Jordan's offense with certainty because the tape was never released ( as if it would make a difference now ).

Attacking the Wall Street Journal is easier, I'd imagine, than NRO accepting accountability as representative and promoter of the ideals of their targeted reading audience. The NRO and the crowd who loves them have heavily contributed to a professional journalist losing his 23-year-long CNN career over conjecture at the bloggers' unwashed typing hands, and now the writers of NRO haughtily wish to separate themselves from those amateur blogging brutes who would have such uneducated motives!( cough! )

Coming from a radical right-wing megaphone that professionally harbors Jonah Goldberg, an ideologue who regularly chimes in on Iraq when he admits he's never even read a book on Iraq, I'm not impressed. I'm terribly sick of their hypocrisy.

Speaking of Goldberg, he wrote this line today (note the joyous-frick'n-head over-a-mantle referral)
"Jordan's head will hang alongside Howell Raines's, the editor of the New York frick'n Times and four top executives at CBS News."

These are not the words of a humble or professional journalist. Jonah's all ticked off because he's been the mainstream media's little-boy-out-in-the-cold for so long. So, with his NRO megaphone, he champions the blogger-destroyer cult:
"For the right-wing bloggers, they are the same sort of alternative that NRO has been for near a decade now and that National Review has been for 50. Conservatives still see ourselves as the out-party when it comes to the media establishment. Sure, we appear on op-ed pages and as talking heads, but almost always in the spirit of "the other view." This tokenism rarely extends to the executive suites or to the editorial offices."
While Goldberg freely admits to loving the fact that his "alternative" crowd bagged a big-time journalist, Jim Geraghty slithers away from the joy when he goes in front of a mianstream audience.

Geraghty appeared on the Jim Lehrer PBS News Hour today, and tried his hardest to make NRO, Powerline and Little Green Footballs look as if they were never donning their huntin' guns and going out loaded for bear the liberal media journalist du jour. I've never seen such blatant hypocrisy.

Today, Geraghty was the one who had a bad day on PBS. David Gergen expressed deep regret for what the vigilante bloggers did to Jordan. Jay Rosen was there to explain and defend journalistic principles. Geraghty was there to talk about what his crowd believes are bad things Eason Jordan has said in the past (having nothing whatsoever to do with the Davos stuation). Geraghty had no moral defense for his crowd...a mob of thugs and hacks who endeavor to work in concert to destroy a man and deny it later on.

Jonah Goldberg concluded his column about Eason Jordan by saying:
"..the liberals look like they want to switch places."
I'll conclude mine by saying I'm far too much of a decent and moral human being to agree with that statement.

UPDATE: Apparently, Eason Jordan's resignation wasn't enough for the Little Green Footballs crowd. It seems they are still navel-gazing about the part they played in destroying the 23-year career and reputation of a good and intelligent man. They are searching, it seems for even more reasons to reinforce the role they played in ruining the man's reputation, all after the fact. James Taranto has put them to shame, as well he should. Some of them don't appreciate the fact that I have spoken frankly about the topic. They do not like me, a blogging Jiminy Cricket, to be watching over them and appealing to their collective conscience, I suppose.

Letter to Romanesko: News judgment and majority rule

Letter to Romanesko: News judgment and majority rule

"I find myself stunned to be in agreement with the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page. Eason Jordan’s statements at Davos were ill-conceived and stupid. But hardly a firing offense. And CNN caved in to the hysterics of the largely blog-driven mob out for Jordan’s head.

I don't know Eason Jordan. Fact is, I rarely watch CNN, save when wars start or natural disasters wreak havoc. You know, breaking news. The rest of the time, CNN is too repetitive and self-referential to be useful. And that's the news programming. Let's not get started on the talk shows…

But the facts of Jordan's imprecisely stated concerns about the U.S. military's role in targeting journalists in Iraq -- what we know anyway -- were couched as opinion. And quickly rephrased when challenged that very day. Yet bloggers, relying heavily on their own opinions, told us exactly what Jordan meant. There was no doubt, no lack of certainty. We were also told how it would play in the major media outlets and how wrong that would be. And when Jordan's position became untenable to the corporate suits at CNN and they eagerly accepted his resignation, the blogs howled with glee. And put Jordan’s scalp next to Dan's.

When the Wall Street Journal and Corey Pein (now there’s a pairing!) suggest that the blogs rushed a bit too quickly to pile on Mr. Jordan, they are lambasted as anti-blog reactionary journalists who better get with the program. "Tomorrow belongs to me," the chorus sings.

Is this the lesson traditional journalism is supposed to learn from the blogs? Certainty based on little evidence? Opinion and snarky analysis masquerading at fact? Mind reading and a partisan rush-to-judgment as a substitute for nuance? Do we really want news judgment built on majority rule?"

Danny Schechter on Eason Jordan

Danny Schechter on Eason Jordan

Documentary filmmaker Danny Schechter explains how CNN wasn't interested in the Jordan Eason fight.

Fox News was. Hannity and Colmes called Danny in.

So Danny entered the Fox arena, the way Christians were fed to the lions.
"It was hard to shift the conversation back to the real issue – the killing of journalists and not what Eason Jordan said or didn't say – no one there seemed to know or really care in what was really a bash CNN exercise."
Then came the Fox viewers' letters.

There was no impartial mainstream forum for Danny Schechter.

This is what happens when we allow cultural propaganda to swell to monstrously tilted proportions.

Ackerman: Future of the U.S. Supreme Court

Bruce Ackerman on
the Future of
U.S. Supreme Court

I recently mention Bruce Ackerman's theory regarding amendment via "constitutional moments" in my essay discussing torture and our nation's road down the dubious path away from the rule of law.

The London Review of Books has a piece on Ackerman titled "The Art of Stealth: Bruce Ackerman on the Supreme Court".

Ackerman stresses that it's the job of the Senate to make it clear to the American people which path the president is taking, and that the stakes are very high and the Democratic minority should be careful. There are traditional conservatives and there are what Ackerman calls "radical neo-cons". Presaident Bush has three options if and when the next vacancy to the Supreme Court comes up: he can nominate a seasoned conservative, a stealth candidate or a plain-speaking neo-con. Ackerman warns the Senate against giving its ‘advice and consent’ to a stealth revolution in constitutional law. He uses the example of Clarence Thomas, who he claims was a stealth appointment, and that Thomas' performance on the bench reveals "the remarkably destructive potential of neo-conservatism". Ackerman says, if
Bush does play the stealth card, the Senate Democrats should respond with an unconditional filibuster.

Cathy Young - Ambivalent Over Professional Murder

Cathy Young - Ambivalent About Professional Murder

In the Boston Globe, columnist Cathy Young dabbles in soft-fallacy, and I have to ask myself "Why would she do that?"
Ms. Young says:
"One oddity is that, so far, no one knows exactly what Jordan said."

On its face, it's untrue that we don't know what Jordan said. There may not be a tape, but Jordan has freely admitted what he said and has even apologized and clarified his intent. Here are Jordan's own words, which were easy to find by research:
"I stressed insurgents are to blame for the vast majority of the 63 journalist deaths in Iraq. Second, when Congressman Franks said the 63 journalists killed in Iraq were the unfortunate victims of "collateral damage," I felt compelled to dispute that by pointing out journalists in Iraq are being targeted -- I did not say all journalists killed were targeted, but that some were shot at on purpose and were not collateral damage victims. In response to a question about whether I believed the U.S. military meant to kill journalists in Iraq, I said, no, I did not believe the U.S. military was trying to kill journalists in Iraq. Yet, unfortunately, U.S. forces have killed several people who turned out to be journalists. In several cases, the U.S. troops who killed those people aimed and fired at them, not knowing they were shooting at journalists. However tragic and, in hindsight, by Pentagon admission, a mistake, such a killing does not fall into the "collateral damage" category. In Iraq and Washington, I have worked closely and constructively with U.S. military and civilian leaders in an effort to heighten the odds of survival for the courageous journalists in Iraq."

If Cathy Young can credit bloggers for Eason Jordan's professional demise, she needs to equally credit bloggers like Rebecca MacKinnon, who have posted words straight from Jordan Eason's mouth (or e-mail, in this instance).

In Cathy's own words: "...a journalist should be the last person to traffic in unsupported and irresponsible innuendo." Cathy should have provided this key piece of information for her column.


Note that Ms. Young throws up the red herring known as "backpedaling". While clever in its framing, it is no more than a code word for:
"Jordan Eason is liar and we will not believe him - no matter what. Ignore all his follow-up clarifications.".
See Ms. Young's quote:
Yet eyewitness accounts suggest that Jordan was not so much clarifying as backpedaling.
I strongly suggest that Cathy Young is not acting in professional good faith toward a fellow journalist by brushing off (and omitting) any of Eason Jordan's attempts to have a further conversation about the subject.

Above all, let's not forget that Jordan quit. If that's not accountability, I'm not sure what is.

"Many of those bloggers undoubtedly had an ideological agenda, but the fact is that they did some solid reporting -- and that some of their information came from liberals such as Representative Frank. In some quarters of the blogosphere, Jordan's resignation was met with an unpleasant "we got him!" gloating; but "gotcha" journalism is hardly limited to blogs. Like other media, the blogs can be vehicles for vendettas and witch-hunts -- as well as a tool for openness and accountability.

Mainstream journalists should resist the temptation to view Jordan as a victim of a right-wing lynch mob. His fatal wound was ultimately self-inflicted. And, if the "old media" don't learn some lessons from this incident, there will be more such wounds.
The "solid reporting" of which Ms. Young speaks is still, when all the smoke clears, nothing more than a case of sheer conjecture. Whether we have a tape or not, Jordan is guilty. The blogworld has already deemed it to be so, and Ms. Young seems to be joining with the throng.

Barney Frank gave his assessment of Jordan's statement and Frank's words played directly into the mob's storyline. I hope Frank will realize the part he played in this, whether witting or not.

Eason Jordan committed no act which could be qualified as an offense worthy of his resignation.

Yet, resigning was Eason's choice.

Eason Jordan's "fatal wound" was taken for CNN. Let's not neglect to call that fact to mind.

Young ends her column by casting a net of warning to the "old media", which is code for "liberal media"/MSM. This indicates, to me, that she feels powerless, as a journalist, to the whim of the mob. It also tells me, from my pragmatic understanding of this piece, that Young is ambivalent about the concerted effort of right-wing blogs to kill off their next MSM journalist du jour.

I'm not ambivalent. Cathy seems to be doing too much navel-gazing while her fellow journalists' careers are being gunned down in the name of a search for truth, which I perceive as no more than a concerted effort to destroy decent people's careers.

Wait until bloggers come for Cathy. She may become strong in her conviction when it's far too late.

As a columnist for Reason magazine, I was disappointed by Ms. Young's fuzzy position.

Eason Jordan & The Low-Purposed Angry Mob

"If you're going to do this open-source journalism, it should have a higher purpose. At times it did seem like an angry mob, and an angry mob using high technology, that's not good."

- Rony Abovitz, Davos attendee, the first web poster to 'write up' Eason Jordan

I think that says it all. It's exactly what I've been saying here at Iddybud.

So goes the saga of Eason Jordan and the low-purposed angry lynch-mob.

The Right-wing blog-mob avers, with a straight concerted face, that all they want is "truth", completely forgetting that they are part of the same truth which they have venomously pursued.

*source: NY Times


Rony is also quoted by Howie Kurtz today:
"The head of the largest news organization in the world, afraid of himself. There is a Shakespearean sense of tragedy and drama in this story. Eason, prince of CNN, committs (sic) a last act of valor and attempts to restore grace to himself and his overlords. His actions are classic Bushido, the way of the Samurai warrior, sacrificing himself to protect his Masters from harm. Give him at least this."

Cultural Propaganda Limits Freedom of the Press

Cultural Propaganda Limits Freedom of the Press
A blogger named Beldar has asked me to explain one of my statements, and I'd be happy to oblige:
Ms. Camwell, I have some trouble following that. Maybe it's just a syntax problem — an implied or assumed causal link between the way "blogs [are] being used" and "American journalism [approaching] another step closer to being pure propaganda." That linkage seems kinda dubious to me, ma'am. I always understood "propaganda" to be something dictated by a ruling elite, operating in absolute harmony of purpose under precisely dictated orders. I double-checked my spam blocker this morning just to be sure, and — nope, Karl Rove and the RNC still haven't even been trying to dictate what I blog about, much less what I think!

I have not suggested a link to Karl Rove or the RNC, Beldar.
The propaganda of which I speak is cultural propaganda.

By its definition, propaganda is a deliberate attempt by some individual or group to form, control, or alter the attitudes of other groups by the use of instruments of communication, with the intention that in any given situation the reaction of those so influenced will be that desired by the propagandist.

By its definition, the word cultural relates to the arts and manners that a group favors.

I find that your group, Beldar, does not favor what you consider to be the "liberal media".

With each successful trial-by-blog "kill", a journalist becomes less confident that freedom of speech in its relation to freedom of the press are not tightly restrained by a top-heavy (right-tilted) cultural influence.

The fact that the cultural propaganda of the Right, in today's political atmosphere, falls in line with the RNC and White House is no great revelation.

Regarding my original quote, I hope this explanation has served to enhance your pragmatic competence.