Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Press and Media Tarnished in Libby Matter

Members of the media connected with the Libby story should be ashamed of themselves. The Libby trial showed us the soft underbelly of journalism, specifically how journalists cozy up to people in power, write favorable stories about them, allow those in power unchallenged publication, claim "privilege" even when they observe or are a party to a crime being committed by their sources. Tim Russert surely is diminished. The Vice President recognized him as an outlet who would blithely repeat the administration's blather du jour. And how about the journalistic ethics and demeanor of Russert when he sat as supreme arbiter on MTP without disclosing that he was going to be the main witness on the prosecution side even when discussing the Libby matter with his guests?

Bob Woodward also is tarnished. Recall that Woodward was the one who claimed that the whole Libby matter was of small consequence, a tempest in a teapot. Sure it was, Bob. You could get away diminishing the case only because that was at a time that no one knew you personally were involved in receiving information from Richard Armitage.

Matt Cooper. Oh, this is a beaut! Cooper takes notes while lying on his bed. Then the notes are so disorganized, no one can make heads or tails. Is this how other journalists take notes?

Then Judy Miller. She went to jail for over 80 days to protect Scooter Libby! Whose side is she on anyway? Where was her loyalty? To people like Scooter Libby and her friend John Bolton, or to her readers when she was at the NYT?

Dan Froomkin blogs today in the WaPo that with the Scooter conviction Messrs Bush and Cheney should come clean with the American public on what they knew and what they did. I agree with Froomkin, only I add journalists should fess up and adopt a standard of ethics for dealing with people in power.

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