Wednesday, June 01, 2005

No Deep Throat Today

If I’d written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people — including me — would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.
Hunter S. Thompson (1939-2005), journalist

What if there was a Deep Throat today in the Bush gang’s center that divulged information that implicated the president, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as conspirators to manipulating data to falsely engage the United States into the Iraq war?

You would be right, if you said the right-wing media, the Ann Coulters, the Rush Limbaughs, and the Fox cable news would be screaming about the liberal basis and the cowardice of the reporters not to name names. I honestly believe that if Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward were investigating the Bush gang today as they did the Nixon administration, Woodward and Bernstein would find themselves in jail and fined hundreds of dollars everyday they refused to reveal their source.

The poisoned atmosphere for the media today and the threat of revenge from the Bush gang, conservative groups and media consolidation has stifled hard-hitting independent journalism and scared government insiders/whistle blowers.

G. Gordon Liddy was on the one of the conservative news cable programs last night saying that former FBI official W. Mark Felt, who stepped forward Tuesday as Deep Throat was unethical. That is like Charles Manson saying that the Tate-LaBianca murders were poor anger management on his part.

I wish this were just hyperbole on my part, but unfortunately, it is not. There is no law in the U.S. Constitution that guarantees the press the right to conceal sources, but there are several areas of the law that make withholding information a crime. Hence, the pending fines and pending jail time for journalists Judith Miller, of the New York Times, and Matthew Cooper, of Time magazine for possibly knowing which government official leaked the name of a CIA spy.

According to a story last month from the Copley News Service, in 2004, 78 journalists around the world were killed in the line of duty, including four in Mexico. In Cuba, more than 20 reporters and editors are languishing in prison for covering news that Fidel Castro did not like. And in the United States, unbelievably, approximately 30 journalists face possible jail time for refusing to divulge the identities of confidential sources.

A free press is as important to our democracy as any of the documents our founding fathers wrote to keep this country strong against corrupt leaders.

6 comments:

Devo said...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again... The state of our media today in America is merely a symptom of a larger disease metastesizing at every level of power I can perceive. Then again, since I can't perceive most of what goes on in the halls of true power, I can't honestly say that my appraisal is anywhere near accurate. However, the transgressions you describe in your post are seemingly running rampant, and it seems there's little anyone can do about it. Opinion has trumped fact, especially in instances like Fox News, where opinion even parades as news! Then, if actual fact surfaces, it becomes nearly unrecognizable as the opinions surround it and coat it with deceit or "spin" or whatever else Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter and their friends do. And I'm not excusing "liberals" from fault either. If they merely react to the venom these assclowns are spewing, they're doing little to remedy a quickly deteriorating situation. In fact, they're merely fueling a fire that will only serve to immolate them all in the end.

I wish there were some way out of this downward spiral... a new hope, if you will. Someone who will bring balance to the forces of good and evil...

Bah, pipe dreams.

Anonymous said...

what really matters is: will parents tell their children where the informants name came from?
unless, of course, their children already know.

The Misanthrope said...

andrea, good point. I took a survey around the office and many of the 30 somethings didn't know. Daughter knows and has know since she was old enough to understand.

Devo, as always right on.

Chandira said...

Being a non-citizen, I hear things like the visas journalists need to get into the USA, if they're 'aliens' has been radically changed, and made near impossible to get a hold of or renew, which means only Amerian journalists get to work for American news media. That scares me.

The Misanthrope said...

Making it hard for the media to report on the government is another area the Bush gang has succeeded in its dictatorial efforts to keep the people in the dark, which isn't too hard just put on a dating or island reality show and people are only too happy to let the government do whatever they want.

Chandira said...

The real opium of the masses. We're not hard to fool, are we?
I like Pimp my ride.. and the home improvement shows, that's where I zone out.