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February 01, 2005

A Shark in the Press Pool

'The Daily Brief' is a fun blog that offers this sharp nugget on the collapse of journalism's prestige and power. The autopsy is not pretty.

Any sort of list has to include CNN maintaining their bureau in Baghdad by quietly killing stories about Saddam Hussein’s atrocities. It has to include mention of how coverage of the Middle East is warped by major international news services reliance on local stringers who have every reason to tilt their dispatches very much to one side. Of how on-scene reportage on the West Bank and Gaza is controlled by the Palestinians, who control access of the place to film crews and reporters. Of photographers who are marvelously on the spot when car bombs, ambushes and executions are going down, and respected news professionals insist that it is their obligation to watch it all happen. Or of reporters like Sy Hersh, whose past performance guarantees a pulpit for dubious and improbable stories of war crimes committed by the American military. It has to include stories based on transparent frauds and forgeries, on political hit-pieces perpetrated by reporters insisting that, no; they really, really are totally unbiased. It has to include stories where interviewees are presented as being merely interview subjects, when they are actually deeply compromised, with a strong interest in the coverage of the story one way or the other.

Posted by JW at February 1, 2005 05:23 PM