Saturday, June 26, 2010

Jay Rosen again, on McCrystal, Politico and Thomas Ricks. He's good but not good enough. Nir Rosen's defense of his own actions [in comments] is much better
"i'm a journalist, not an american journalist. my job is not to serve as a propagandist for anybody, just to tell stories and my advantage is that i can tell stories that are hard to come by
...imagine if that one taliban commander had not screwed up my plans to go with them when they conducted attacks, and i had seen that too. isnt that interesting? isnt it important to understand who they are? and most importantly, wouldnt it make for a fun read?"
How refreshingly amoral. Nir Rosen knows that his primary obligation is ethical: that by doing his job, he's playing his part in the functioning of democracy.

A neighbor of a friend works in criminal defense, doing mostly federal cases, drugs and guns. He's a schmuck in a three piece suit who drives a BMW and he knows it's not his job to decide if his clients are innocent or guilty. He'll state to anyone who asks that he's "at the forefront of the defense of your civil liberties", and he is. But American reporters want to be moral philosophers, judge and jury. And they forget (as many liberals do) that the government is not the people, and that their readers are their clients. It's not rocket science or the critique of pure reason it's adversarialism, and in one form or another it's the foundation of democracy.

Interesting as time passes to watch Duncan Black
[M]any reporters have a conceit that because they pretend to be superhuman truthtellers unswayed by the petty concerns of mere mortals, that they actually are that. They begin to believe their impossible claim of having no opinions, and start confusing their opinions with facts.
At some point soon he'll realize that the press are the original "reality-based community."

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