Rathergate grows up

It is almost the second anniversary of The Sixty-first minute, the blog post at Powerline that in many ways began Rathergate. This was a watershed moment in the real-time discrediting of the MSM that has become an important cottage industry over the last several years — the self-criticism that the obdurate MSM mostly refuse to engage in, at the peril of their industry’s life.

Re-reading the Sixty-first minute, one might be drawn to the observation that Powerline et al initially saw the CBS report on Bush and the Texas ANG as a mistake, a willful mistake perhaps, but a mistake nonetheless. How times have changed. It has been demonstrated time and again in the last two years that in the phrase “agenda journalism” the word that is superfluous is “journalism”.

Mainstream journalism, when it comes to controversial stories of political import, is often both morally and professionally bankrupt. This has been demonstrated with some finality in the Israel / Hezbollah war, in which “journalists” actively cooperated with Hezbollah to tell the story that Israel’s enemy wanted told. The work of Richard North on the Cana “massacre”, and Zombie on Israel’s “targeting” of Red Cross vehicles, stand out in their illustration that the MSM are the often enemies of truth. This is a terrible and frightening indictment — it extends from unscrupulous reporters on the ground to irresponsible and treacherous editors and bosses.

The management hierarchies are particularly dangerous. Responsible management would have identified and rooted out suspicious reporters and photo-journalists. That these unscrupulous reporters and photographers were not fired, but rather often given prizes and ever juicier assignments, makes management complicit with, and intrinsic to, their crimes.

There is no indication that this situation is going to get better any time soon. We will consider victory achieved when journalists with the initiative and insight of North, Zombie, and the publishers of The Sixty-first minute are awarded consideration by MSM prize committees — if the country and journalism can survive until then. (HT: Powerline, of course!)


Jed Babbin has some thoughts on agenda journalism as well.

2 Responses to “Rathergate grows up”

  1. larwyn Says:

    Dear Jack,
    Just wanted to let you know that Dan Riehl of RiehlWorld first spotted the discrepancies in the Tyre
    ambulance farce. He also posts at NewsBusters.
    Hope you’ll add at kudo for him.

  2. staghounds Says:

    I always knew it was a knowing lie on Mr. Rather’s part. He grew up as a journalist using manual and then electric typewriters, none of which had the “th” character. I’m just a fiddler with old typewriters, and I knew it was computer generated the second I saw it.

    He did too. This was no mistake.

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