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Conason: Totalitarian scribblers (Williams & Gallagher)

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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:12 AM
Original message
Conason: Totalitarian scribblers (Williams & Gallagher)
Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher are not journalists but state-funded flacks glorifying their Beloved Leader.

Despite all the opprobrium heaped upon Armstrong Williams and now Maggie Gallagher in the punditry payola scandal -- and despite their hesitant public apologies -- neither of those right-wing worthies appears to understand quite where they went wrong.

Although the rule they violated is perfectly plain, they don't seem to get it: No journalist, not even an opinion columnist, is permitted to take money from a politician, not even the president. There are no exceptions, not even for part-time pundits who maintain their own public relations shops or think tanks. Having a handy conduit to launder the money doesn't make dirty cash clean.

(snip)

In January 2002, when her deal with HHS apparently began, Gallagher testified at length to the greatness of the commander in chief. He is the nation's "Daddy," she gushed, and every bit as clever as those liberal elitists who used to look down on him. Her encomium concluded with praise for "Bush's genius" and she wasn't kidding.

It is remarkable that Williams and Gallagher, who claim to understand why democracy and freedom are superior to tyranny, don't fully understand why pundit payola is so repugnant. American journalists don't take money from the politicians they cover because we don't live in a totalitarian regime where state-subsidized scribblers are expected to glorify the Beloved Leader.

more
http://salon.com/opinion/conason/2005/01/27/flacks/inde...
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realFedUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. go Joe! n/t
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:37 PM
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2. Joe is wrong about one thing, I'm afraid
Joe wrote:

American journalists don't take money from the politicians they cover because we don't live in a totalitarian regime where state-subsidized scribblers are expected to glorify the Beloved Leader.

Yes we do, Joe. Yes we do so live in such a place under such a regime.

And we must remember that these are not aberrations any more than the Phony News Reports the Busheviks produced, another Totalitarian Special, was an aberration.

Caeser has crossed the Rubicon and I seriously doubt if the Old American Republic, Free America, will ever again rise from the ashes.

We live in a Totalitarian State where "journalists" routinely glorify their Beloved Leader.
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EC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
3. Everytime I read one of Maggies columns
I ended up giving it the finger...she was sooo...misleading and outdated...I often thought she had to be getting paid for that pap...
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eldepeche Donating Member (14 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:18 PM
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4. I disagree
I think the issue is not getting paid to espouse a particular point of view, although I personally think it's an idiotic thing to do if you're in the journalism sphere. The issue is that no one knew. Not his publisher, not the people who booked him on television, and not the people who thought he was telling them what he thought was best.

Plenty of people get paid for exactly the same reason as he was. If you're a semi-prominent member of the community and are known for having a certain point of view, then advocacy groups want you to be on their board, in their office, and on their payroll. Even people who work for nonprofits get paid.

But when the director of some foundation or other appears on television or in print, it says that on the screen or in the byline. You know when you read something written by the director of Americans for Tax Reform, that the author gets paid because he thinks taxes are too high and tells everyone about it. That's his job.

When you don't hear something like that, the assumption is that you're independent of forces like this, and you've come to the position you represent on your own, and express it because that is your job. If there is to be trust in the media, this must be the case. Let me know when it happens.

Another problem is the false distinction between a journalist and a commentator. Williams claimed that, as a commentator, he was unaware of the ethics rules governing journalists (despite having appeared as a media ethicist), but are they really different? We hear that someone works on the news at Fox or CNN or Air America and we don't assume they're impartial; we just already know (or think we know) what their bias is. Telling what happened and talking about it are very closely linked, and doing either one should require you play by the same rules.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 09:12 PM
Response to Original message
5. kick
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dbeach Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 12:19 AM
Response to Original message
6. Say it ain't so joe..wake up and smell amerika
1984 is here and getting uglier..Personally I think Joe is another talkin head fat cat...
Not many journalistas calling bushfraud the fascist nazi that he is..
helen Thomas.. Dowd the list is short..very short
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