[star]The American Mind[star]

February 10, 2005


For readers who swim to both the Left and Right shores of the blogosphere they must think each side is living in separate universes. The Left just knocked off a lame conservative White House correspondent while the Right digs its claws into CNN executive Eason Jordan.

Let's compare: taking down a hack for a little-known website vs. challenging the head of a global news network. I'll let you decide which story is more important.

Lefty webloggers are taking glee for ending the career of Talon News White House correspondent Jeff Gannon. Now, let's make some stuff clear. Talon News is a conservative news service. I believe TAM linked to at least one story. What that story was about, I don't know, but I do remember reading stuff from there last year. Jeff Gannon lobbed softball questions at White House briefings and turned GOP press releases into news stories. In short, he wasn't much of a reporter. He was a hack with a political agenda. But unintentionally, Gannon was a satirical, Tom Wolfe version of what the rest of the White House press corps is.

Listen to this NPR story on Gannon. Pay close attention to the LA Times reporter and the media analyst. They both seethe with arrogance. Listening between the lines, you hear "How dare someone come onto our hallowed, journalistic holy ground with political opinions."

Here's Timothy Karr of MediaChannel.org (emphasis mine):

Our concern is about journalists who pose as members of the Fourth Estate but, in fact, aren't acting on behalf of the best interests of American citizens.

Here's what Edwin Chen of the LA Times thought about Gannon:

I just don't think the White House press corps ought to include people who are connected in some way with one party or the other.

Notice the arrogance. Karr thinks only MSM reporters know the "best interests of American citizens." Therefore only they should have access to the White House. Chen lives in a wonderland where the White House press corps doesn't include people with strong political opinions. I guess he's never met Helen Thomas.

We now live in an age of speaker phones, instant messaging, weblogs, and video conferencing. Why is the White House still using a method of communicating with media fit for the television age? Why don't we use technology to open up White House press briefings to opinion columnists, writers for political magazines, webloggers, talk radio hosts, professors, and think tank policy wonks? With the internet space in the briefing room isn't a problem. Briefings would become C-SPAN ratings boosters if Josh Marshall asked a pointed question only to be outdone by National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru. Imagine Al Franken trying to hammer the White House only to be countered by Rush Limbaugh. This would be "must see tv."

The MSM reporters would hate it. They would think such uttering of opinions would soil the collection of information. What they don't care about is biases affecting that information once it gets into newsrooms dominated with people who vote Democratic.

Pure objectivity in humans doesn't exist. We all have opinions and agendas that intentionally or not seep into what we write and create. The best we can hope for is intellectual honesty. Openness would hold more people accountable.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Media at 01:28 AM | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (2)
Whispers in the airstreams linked with Gotcha Equalizing
PoliArt linked with Who the Heck is Jeff Gannon and Eason Jordon