Monday, October 02, 2006

Free Speech for Me but Not for Thee

The WashPo, no slouch when it comes to carrying vendettas worries a lot about bloggers. [Emphasis mine.]
Stan Collender, a public relations specialist at Qorvis Communications LLC in the District, said the potential for bloggers to damage the reputation of a business or person is a growing concern.

'It's like pamphleteering on the corner, only its cheaper, quicker and vastly more broad,' Collender said. 'But unlike the traditional media, it's completely unregulated in that there's no fact checking, no editing. It has all the potential for creating a lot of damage to someone's or something's reputation very quickly, and it's almost impossible to eliminate it. Any unsubstantiated rumor has a very good chance of getting out there.'
I guess those editors were hard at work at CBS looking over Dan Rather's shoulder.  And all that false information about Valerie Plame is still not corrected.   And there's the blatant falsification of stories by Jack Kelly of USA Today and Jason Blair of the New York Times.   I guess those editors got fired, right?

Where, I wonder, is the "traditional media" regulated?   Certainly not by subscribers who get fewer and fewer every year, who, having voted with their subscription cancellations, don't bother with even reading a newspaper.   Until the internet even advertisers didn't act as a check on the drive by media excesses.  What choice did they have?   Screw with newspapers and you get what the automobile dealers got when they protested the fraudulent subscription figures at Newsday.   They were told the paper wouldn't carry their ads.

So WHO exactly regulates the media?   Unlike the U.K. our media isn't even held responsible for libel anymore unless you can prove that there was malice.   The media can somehow discern hate in a crime against a protected political class -- oddly enough always Liberal groups -- but trying to prove malice on their part would require truth serum and plenty of lie detectors and an insider willing to testify.   Yet they are able to detect hate in everyone else.   Does anyone believe their malice doesn't exist?  

The reason for the hit piece is simple.  What bloggers do is function as a check against media excess, something they hate with a passion.   Bloggers are the Letters to the Editor the drive by media routinely ignores.  Bloggers act as the memory that is persistent and selectively faulty with the drive by media.

No one is supposed to have an opinion except the drive by media.  There's a wonderful tradition of pamphleteers in this country.  The Federalist Papers come to mind.   But, hey, if the Washington Post had their choice, those wouldn't be printed either.

1 comment:

Geoff_Livingston said...

It's quite a mazing how the Post writes about blogging. It could have been less one-sided, but I think we all know what the reality of this issue is. Good posting.