Friday, May 27, 2005

America - Targeting Journalist: No Evidence

Linda Foley now admits she has no evidence that the US military targets journalists.

In a must read, Thomas Lipscomb hits every nail on the head with this article.

Foley had the advantage of seeing what happened to Jordan and, as the head of a powerful union of 35,000 journalists and media workers, she knew anything she said about targeting journalists would likely be scrutinized. So one would expect that she has a pretty solid case for her revival of the discredited Jordan charges? But one would be wrong. Her spokesperson, Candice Johnson, told me Foley can provide “no evidence” to support her charges either.

As Lipscomb points out:

Sherlock Holmes’s key clue to who stole the racehorse in “Silver Blaze” was a dog in the stall that didn’t bark. And something equally odd happened on the way to the Foley firestorm: To date, not a single pundit, editorial writer, or newspaper ran anything, with the exception of the Chicago Sun-Times story I wrote, a St. Paul Pioneer Press column by Mark Yost, and a Washington Times column item.

Clearly Foley was correct in assuming the Right was the only danger to her repetition of the statement that got Eason Jordan canned. The Mainstream Media couldn’t be bothered to cover “Easongate: The Sequel.” And positioning Foley as the gallant defender of the lives of journalists targeted by the U.S. military was inspired PR. After all, Sherlock Holmes’s dog didn’t bark because he was good friends with the thief.

He ends with this:

If the most basic tenets of Journalism 101 are now no longer important enough for the media itself to honor and defend against their own members who violate them, where is the professionalism and the authority that is our main claim to writing the indispensable “first draft of history” – much less its value for sale? And if we lose sight of that irretrievably, who needs us? There are bloggers out there today with more credibility than Dan Rather, Mary Mapes, Eason Jordan, and Linda Foley combined, and their audiences are growing.

If Foley is allowed to walk unchallenged from what Mencken might have called “a clear, simple, and” unproven statement, it will only accelerate the speed at which her members lose what is left of their credibility--and then their jobs. (Look at The New York Times newsroom downsizing this week.) If the press isn’t going to take its own standards seriously, it is hard to think of why anyone should take the press seriously enough to pay for it. In the meantime, Rupert Murdoch’s and Roger Ailes’s success offers a constant unpleasant reminder: the media market prefers dogs that bark.

Since she can't put up time to pack up.

Powerline has an email Lipscomb sent to his media colleagues.

This is a key moment in media history. So far NO ONE in MSM is covering this but my Chicago Sun-Times story and an item in the Washington Times. WHY? How do you account for it? Are you going to let this drop?

If we do… are you ready to support a Eason Jordan’s suit for reinstatement? HE did exactly the same thing as Linda Foley at the Newspaper Guild. Why the separate and unequal treatment?

Email me back off the record. I’d like your opinion as to what is going on here.

Good for Editor & Publisher for having the guts to run this...

I hope this helps tee up the issues… this is something we all better look into seriously before former American MSM employees are blogging for pennies.

And if we let this pass...we don’t deserve much more.


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