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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Free Press

For John, BLUFSometimes some disorder is good.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

In a comment at my post "The Blind Eye of the MSM" I promised to continue the discussion at a new post.  What triggered this was a post by the Instapundit, which referred to a post by Ed Driscoll, titled "Roll Over Alinsky, and Tell Glenn Thrush the News".  In this case Alinsky refers to the famed Saul Alinsky.

What caught my attention was the lede, which referenced "BenSmithing":

John Nolte of Big Journalism coined the phrase “BenSmithing” to describe the tactics of the former Politico turned BuzzFeed scribe and member of the JournoList, that self-described “non-official campaign” to elect Obama, which as its founder Ezra Klein explained, was only open to his fellow leftists.  As the Urban Dictionary notes, BenSmithing is “a political tactic that disguises itself as journalism in order to protect Democrats, most specifically Barack Obama.”
The Urban Dictionary definition of “BenSmithing” can be found here.
(v) A political tactic that disguises itself as journalism in order to protect Democrats, most specifically Barack Obama.
In another forum we have been discussing Journalists and the question of professional ethics.  The consensus is that Journalism is not a profession.  This is probably because most of the folks on the forum have read The Soldier and the State at one time or another and accepted the idea that there are three things that distinguish a profession:
  1. Expertise
  2. Responsibility
  3. Corporateness
For the late Professor Huntington the military’s expertise is the management of violence.

The corporateness is the part where the members of the Profession band together to establish standards and to impose them.  Does that happen in Journalism, or does the pack band together when threatened?  When you have concepts such as "BenSmithing" the herd is banding together.  I think the same can be said about the effort to denigrate bloggers, such as the The New York Times suggesting, in a derogatory fashion, that bloggers are just people sitting around in their pajamas, typing on their laptops.  This does not support corporateness.

Frankly, I am not bothered by the lack of a profession of journalism.  Our democracy requires a free and competitive press and any efforts to regulate it and professionalize it likely works against the free and competitive part.

Regards  —  Cliff


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