Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Thanks, You Needed That!

Nicholas Kristof is sounding off on the woes of corporate news media in his op-ed, A Slap in the Face, published in the New York Times. Kristof makes a few mistakes in this editorial. First, he conjures up the usual bogey-man of the "right-wing demogogues", just as Bertrand Pecquerie of the World Editors Forum recently blamed his failing industry on "right-wing bloggers". Second, he doesn't seem to take any stabs at why credibility might be declining, other than to say it is partially a result of "right-wing demogogues". Finally, he seems to assume the constitutionally protected freedoms of the press, afforded to individuals by the Bill of Rights, automatically apply to employees acting in the interests of for-profit corporations. I think an appropriate debate of the latter is yet to be had.

As I pointed out in my entry about bloggers and campaign finance reform, it wasn't "right-wing bloggers" that ran Dan Rather (and crew) from CBS, Eason Jordan from CNN, Bill Maher from ABC, and Rush Limbaugh from ESPN. Those were executive decisions made to protect profits, a favorite past-time of for-profit corporations. I think these semi-famous columnists are beginning to run into the conflicts between the lifestyle mass synidcation affords them and the stifling effect of the dependancy upon advertising/sponsors, necessary to sustain that lifestyle, has on their work.


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