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Archive for October 28th, 2009

30 Reasons Fox News Is Not Legit

By Eric Boehlert, Media Matters for America. Posted October 28, 2009.

Fox News routinely, and blatantly, breaks the code to which ethical journalists are supposed to aspire.

Why the Beltway press has invested so much time and energy in recent weeks defending Fox News, with one scribe even claiming that the White House’s public critique of the network was “dangerous to press freedom,” and why the press refuses to acknowledge what’s so obvious about the cable channel’s political pursuits, remains baffling.

The facts regarding Fox News’ lack of professionalism seem rather obvious (as I detail below 30 different times). And that ought to be plain for Beltway journalists as well. But whether for reasons having to do with external professional, social, or political pressures, many journalists have opted to pretend that Fox News is a serious outlet, that it’s just like its cable and network TV news competitors.

They insist that any suggestion that Rupert Murdoch’s cable channel isn’t legitimate is completely off-base and that the White House is not even allowed to have an opinion on the issue. Indeed, ABC News’ Jake Tapper suggested it was not “appropriate” for the administration to tag the channel as illegitimate. (Tapper himself can’t tell the difference between the programming that Fox News and ABC News produce.)

The rush to defend Fox News is an odd one, because I don’t remember the same type of the circle-the-wagons defense when the previous Republican administration openly waged war on The New York Times and NBC, two news outlets whose standards far outshine the kind of pseudo-reporting Fox News produces on a daily basis. That Beltway media elites have decided to rally around Fox News of all entities remains as puzzling as it is short-sighted.

The truth is, journalism is not difficult to practice, nor is it tough to identify. Journalists aren’t licensed, and anyone can try their hand at it, as the Internet has made clear. So there is no higher authority declaring what is and isn’t journalism. But the craft, like obscenity, is instantly recognizable in its true form.

For generations in this country, there has been a sort of a gentleman’s agreement in terms of what constituted professional behavior among journalists. And there has been a sense of shame when members crossed those lines into unprofessional behavior. Bosses chastened those employees, people were fired, and ethics panels were summarily convened to make certain the transgressions didn’t happen again. Fox News, though, has walked away from all of that. And guess what? The rest of the press hasn’t said boo.

MORE HERE

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Foreign Service officer and former Marine captain says he no longer knows why his nation is fighting

by Karen DeYoung, The Washington Post, October 27, 2009

When Matthew Hoh joined the Foreign Service early this year, he was exactly the kind of smart civil-military hybrid the administration was looking for to help expand its development efforts in Afghanistan.

[Matthew Hoh was asked to stay in the job. (Gerald Martineau - The Washington Post) ]

Matthew Hoh was asked to stay in the job. (Gerald Martineau – The Washington Post)

A former Marine Corps captain with combat experience in Iraq, Hoh had also served in uniform at the Pentagon, and as a civilian in Iraq and at the State Department. By July, he was the senior U.S. civilian in Zabul province, a Taliban hotbed.

But last month, in a move that has sent ripples all the way to the White House, Hoh, 36, became the first U.S. official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war, which he had come to believe simply fueled the insurgency.

Continues >>

 

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Levi Johnston On CBS’ Early Show: I’m Going To Leak Things On Palin, That’s Just How It Is (VIDEO)

The Huffington Post |  Rachel Weiner
First Posted: 10-27-09 03:53 PM   |   Updated: 10-28-09 08:58 AM

Levi Johnston appeared on CBS’ Early Show Wednesday, where he explained his reasons for spilling unflattering information about the Palin family and said he was keeping some “huge” secrets.

Among other things, Johnston said Palin joked about her son Trig’s Down Syndrome, calling him her “retarded baby.”

“I was just in shock the first time I heard it,” he said, when host Maggie Rodriguez expressed disbelief. He also said Bristol took care of the baby much more than her mother: “Sarah was never home.”

 

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