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Saturday, July 3, 2010

A News Blackout?

The Washington Times, that paper reputed to be owned by the Moonies, has an editorial that asks why other newspapers (and TV news programs) are not talking about the US Department of Justice white washing of the allegations against the members of a Party (but not one of the two recognized national parties) who were accused of menacing voters in the November 2010 elections, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The reason this is important is that we, as a People, should not wish to see a bunch of little Philadelphia, Mississippi 1950s like voting environments spring up in other parts of the nation.

The allegation in the editorial is that the Department of Justice was stifling a career employee:
Tomorrow, the Civil Rights Commission will hear long-awaited testimony from J. Christian Adams, who resigned from the Voting Section of the Justice Department after the department improperly ordered him to refuse compliance with the commission's lawful subpoena.
Well, there is another allegation, which is that the Main Stream Media is ignoring this issue.

It wasn't news to me that this little contretemps was ongoing.  But, then, I check in with Instapundit every day.  You should also.

I know that there is concern about "the new media".  Sunday last our former Senator, Paul G Kirk, Jr, wrote in The Boston Globe:
Another factor compounding the polarization problem is the increasingly partisan edge of the so-called “new media’’ and its threatening influence on legislative debate.  A responsible press, trusted for its objectivity and independence, can be a resource for building consensus when the nation’s complex problems cry out for leaders of good will to come together to find serious and thoughtful solutions.
Did the Senator miss the part about half the views going to Fox and half going to ABC, CBS and NBC, etc?  That suggests to me that the "old media" were not meeting the needs of the People.

Senator Kirk's penultimate paragraph proposes:
We should at least consider whether an alliance of responsible institutes of public affairs, schools of journalism, civic groups, respected media critics, and thoughtful citizens should insist that the professional norms and standards of traditional journalism be applied to the growing partisan new media.
For the sake of democracy, I hope not.

The problem, as I see it, is that the "responsible press, trusted for its objectivity and independence", has failed the sniff test.  When technology provided alternatives, people voted and a lot of them voted against the MSM and for the "new media".  I wonder if "media" is back where it was in the late 18th and the 19th century? 

Regards  —  Cliff

  The chap who filled in between Senator Edward Kennedy and Senator Scott Brown.  And, a former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.


lance said...

What could be wrong with "thoughtful citizens, schools, professionals, etc." insisting on a high standard of professionalism from the fourth arm of Government? It sounds downright democratic and constitutional. Happy Fourth of July.

C R Krieger said...

It sounds like wanting to smack the "new media" around and make them like the old media.  What would be wrong with that is that the "new media" is competing with the old media based upon providing a broader perspective on what is going on.  Should that be allowed to disappear?

Happy Fourth of July right back at you.

Regards  —  Cliff