Saturday, February 19, 2005

American media vs the blogs

I've been waiting to see if The BBC would weigh in on the CNN/Eason Jordon affair. I figured they would screw it up and I wasn't disappointed.

Heck, the title of the BBC article shows how little the BBC understands bloggers and the blogsphere. The Internet is open world wide 24/7 and so are bloggers. The blogsphere and its influence on old media, like the BBC, isn't limited to America; something I hope the BBC will be painfully aware of soon.

It's interesting to note that the BBC used the Jordan affair to highlight the growing influence of bloggers. The Rather scandal was far worse.

The furore was touched off after bloggers questioned comments Mr Jordan made at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland about journalists killed in Iraq.

At the forum, he said that he believed that several journalists had been targeted by the military.

Let me show the BBC how the blogsphere works.

You see Auntie Jordon isn't the first so called journalist to make this outrageous unsubstantiated claim. Oh, no Auntie. That distinction actually goes to none other than your own Nik Gowing.

He was quickly challenged by many at the forum who thought he was implying that it was official US policy to target journalists.

And he was applauded by many anti-American journalists as well.

Mr Jordan qualified his statements saying that he was trying to differentiate between journalists who died as a result of being at the wrong place at the wrong time and those who were mistaken for the enemy.

Sure, after he was caught redhanded. There were members of the US Congress in the audience that heard the remarks. Besides Auntie, you aren't telling the whole story. This is not the first time Jordan has made the remarks and he and your Nik Gowing go way back.

Mr Jordan attempted to qualify his comments publicly, but it was too late, and Mr Jordan abruptly resigned.

No it wasn't too late. All he or CNN had to do was ask for the tape to be released or at least a transcript. The fact that they didn't shows there was more to Eason's remarks than he claims.

Finally the BBC gets around to Rathergate, the name for the scandal Dan Rather of CBS created when he tried to use forged documents in an attempt to smear George Bush and effect the US presidential elections. But what does the BBC do? Set Rather up as the victim.

Dan Rather, long a target of conservatives, is resigning as the anchor of the CBS nightly news after the network could not vouch for the authenticity of documents he used as the basis for a story questioning President Bush's military service.

Got that? Rather was the target instead of Bush. Bullshit Auntie, you're telling porkies. Bush has long been a target of CBS and Rather. Mary Mapes who produced the segment that resulted in Rather's resignation admitted they had been working on the story for over 5 years.

Minutes after the segment aired, conservative bloggers were calling the documents forgeries and had reproduced convincing copies of the reportedly more than 30-year-old documents using word processing software.

Yes and so were CBS's own document experts. In fact they told CBS they could not authenticate the documents but that didn't stop CBS. The bloggers did.

One thing both bloggers and some journalists can agree on is that business as usual is over in the American media.

Kevin Anderson of the BBC wrote this from Washington. I wonder how the BBC here in the UK feel about his piece for the same applies here whether the BBC like it or not.

"If (CBS and Eason Jordan) had been literate at all in the internet, they would have saved themselves a lot of trouble," he said.

Same goes for you Auntie. For as I wrote recently:

Bloggers aren't about just taking "political scalp" we want some media scalp as well. We are getting closer to that moment every day; just ask John Simpson. The BBC's retraction is here.

Have you noticed how quiet Simpson has been since that debacle?

See here for a long list of your sins Auntie.

MSM still haven't learned in the US and it will be sometime yet before MSM here in the UK learn that, as the article points out, "Suddenly, the tools of mass media are in the hands of the public".

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