• This was fantastic. Seeping with the feel of a “late night stream of rage”, but its good. I’m now trying to work out a minimum standard of professional courage in my head.

    July 01, 2004
  • Great pov, but I bet it won’t happen. So much of news is propogating one’s pov… look at FOX cable news. Do you think those wackos would really stick up for, say, NPR reporters?

    The real problem is that news is just another commodity to be supported via advertisements.

    Now I’m even more irritable. Check my latest diatribe on ‘s LJ…


    July 01, 2004
  • Saw your posts in ‘s topic: I concur. I added my own two cents. Maybe a cent too much, but I was worked up.

    July 01, 2004
  • Well, I don’t think professional courage is any different from courage. Some people have more of it than others; the same person can be more or less couragous at different times, and under different circumstances. Of couse solidarity with your peers helps bolster courage: in the infantry they call it small unit cohesion.

    July 01, 2004
  • “…I’ve been around journalists my entire life, since I was a little kid, and I haven’t met more than five in three-plus decades who wouldn’t literally shit from shame before daring to say that their job had anything to do with truth or informing the public. Everyone in the commercial media, and that includes Hitchens, knows what his real job is: feeding the monkey. We are professional space-fillers, frivolously tossing content-pebbles in an ever-widening canyon of demand, cranking out one silly pack-mule after another for toothpaste and sneaker ads to ride on straight into the brains of the stupefied public.”

    I think that is what spurred on said examination, which is not finished. Mr. Taibbi appears to be calling for the delusions of the profession to be stripped away. I am not certain if he is actually calling for cohesion, though the comparison to other unions is pretty hard to ignore. What can a person who, as an individual, only supports the mediums to a sliver of a fraction reasonably expect from talking heads and talking pens? Is it enough to just know from what viewpoint and what matrices inform said opinions? Would it be enough for journalists to simply remind the public who’ s signing their checks before they start spouting “the truth”?

    So, I’m thinking, though I won’t subject you to the process.

    Okay, maybe I’ll subject you to a little of it.

    (tapping head) Think think think think think think….

    July 02, 2004
  • Journalists *do* form unions

    And they get treated like unions everywhere else. The sad fact is that you can put the paper out without union reporters and editors, but you can’t put it out without union pressmen and drivers. Ditto the techs at a TV outlet. Would they support reporters who walked out? Maybe, maybe not. The reverse has not always been true and there’s not a lot of love lost between the blue-collar pressmen and the twentysomething college grads in the newsroom.

    Chances are, if an entire unionized reporting staff walked out, they’d be locked out, and managers would put out the paper. And there are so many people looking for jobs in the field, or looking for better jobs in the field, that they’d probably fill those positions fairly soon.

    Would the paper/broadcast be as good? Probably not. Would it cost subscribers or advertisers? Almost certainly not, and that’s the only metric the management is using, or there wouldn’t have been a problem in the first place.

    It’s a great column, and he’s 100% right. But I think it would take more than courageous journalists to make a real difference.

    July 05, 2004
  • Re: Journalists *do* form unions

    It’s a great column, and he’s 100% right. But I think it would take more than courageous journalists to make a real difference.

    Of course it would. But the same impediments that exist to unionizing newsrooms exist in the blue- and pink-collar trades, which, if anything, have greater numbers of would-be strikebreakers ready to step into vacated jobs. I think what’s especially galling about the cravenness of journalists on the left is that they talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. Which is what got Taibbi wound up in the first place.

    July 08, 2004

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