Thursday, February 03, 2005

Disclosure and Accountability

Bloggers are making a difference in many places, most notably politics and media. The blogosphere helped oust Trent Lott after his idiotic Strom Thurmond comments. E-chatter buzzed for weeks before the MSM picked up on it and pressure mounted on Lott to finally step down as Senate Majority Leader.

The Rathergate memo fiasco for 60 Minutes was over within a day in the blogosphere, and CBS' credibility was badly damaged as a result. It even helped launch new blogs! At the same time, the blogosphere shed light on John Kerry's fabrications during the 2004 presidential campaign, then it mocked him. Bloggers helped the Swift Boat vets get coverage that they didn't get from the mainstream media. The Swifties were fully "vetted" by the blogosphere and their claims had passed all credibility tests by the time MSM gave them coverage. By then it was too late for Kerry to respond, the damage was done.

This week's media scandal is about Eason Jordan's slanderous comments in Davos, Switzerland earlier in the week. Jordan is CNN's Chief News Executive (for the time being) and he accused our military of intentionally killing journalists in Iraq. That is not a misprint, he said journalists, not terrorists. Amazingly, CNN is doing exactly what CBS did, which is hunker down and hope the firestorm goes out by itself. Prediction: Jordan will be gone within 2 weeks (although it almost doesn't matter, as CNN's ratings free-fall, discussed here last week, will no doubt continue).

The blogosphere is hungry. It tastes blood and demands honesty, transparency and full accountability from everyone, not just the MSM. It is slowly transforming the way MSM does business. Obviously, MSM doesn't like the competition. Their monopoly on information is over. The days of intellectual laziness are over. The days of not telling important stories are over. Many bloggers are blogging for free, and doing a better job of reporting than so-called "journalists." So MSM asks questions like this.

I'm a firm believer in free markets. They require that consumers pay attention, in this case consumers of information. Word-of-mouth is a powerful thing, and can be the best (or worst) kind of advertising for any business. And I'm okay with bias in either direction, as long as it is disclosed. MSM claims of objectivity are laughable, which is why the CBS, NY Times, and a number of other media scandals have so much traction with the public.

Ther are amazing similarities with CNN and CBS. Both are owned/run by men who hate America: Ted Turner and S. Redstone. Rathergate did not get Dan fired. Eason did not get fired a few months ago when he made this claim and he will not be fired this time.
Bosses generally do not fire loyal, obedient employees.
Rod Stanton
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