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If Bloggers Arenít Journalists, Neither Are Many Members of the MSM
Big Journalism ^ | February 1, 2012 | Alicia Cohen

Posted on 02/02/2012 3:41:43 PM PST by Kaslin

In December a Federal District Judge, Marco Hernandez, ruled against blogger Crystal Cox who was being sued for defamation by attorney Kevin Padrick, whom Cox accused of corruption on her blog. The ruling declared that as a blogger, Cox was not a journalist and cannot claim the protections afforded to mainstream reporters and news. I happen to agree with his decision, but the case raises the question about what actually defines a journalist. Considering what the mainstream media represents today, the line between genuine reportage and political advocacy has been completely blurred.

In the past, many famous and well-respected journalists had no formal training but honed their craft on the job, in many cases beginning their careers as copy boys/copy girls. Walter Cronkite, once cited as the most trusted man in America, was a college dropout who had a series of newspaper jobs reporting news and sports. Eric Sevareid, Chet Huntley, and David Brinkley started their careers as broadcast journalists but never had journalism degrees. Dan Rather did receive a degree in journalism, and we can see how well that turned out once he decided to switch to advocacy journalism instead of the traditional who, what, when, where and how protocol of traditional journalism.

Advocacy journalism intentionally and transparently adopts a non-objective viewpoint for either a political or social agenda and has morphed today into nothing less than media bias and propaganda. Today the mainstream media is predominantly composed of liberal democrats, and this bias has been quite evident since the 2008 presidential race. There is also a marked difference between opinion and reportage journalism.

I have a hard time claiming to be a member of the fourth estate, although I have been writing for newspapers since 1998 as an op-ed columnist. During that time, however, I have covered news events and press conferences and submitted non-opinion articles. I never attended Journalism College, nor have I even taken one writing course. I had to drop out of college to support my mother who had had a stroke. Mark Steyn, who is a brilliant writer, never attended college at all but can write reams around many inhabiting the elitist realm of the New York Times.

Although I have little regard for Stephen Colbert as a comedian or a pundit, I must give him kudos for calling George Stephanopoulos a political operative on ABC’s “This Week.” Real journalist David Brinkley was the first host of this political news program, followed by Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts. Stephanopoulos earned his political science degree at Columbia University and he has been a Democrat political lion ever since, apparently making him a desirable spokesman for the party’s agenda.

I’ll never forget the weekend before the 1992 presidential election when George H.W. Bush was rising in the polls against William Jefferson Clinton. He appeared on CNN’s Larry King show, another Democrat stooge, and when King supposedly took calls from the public, which call came in first? Why, it was from Clinton’s chief political adviser, George Stephanopoulos. Imagine the odds of that happening. He had called to remind Bush that Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh had that day re-indicted Weinberger on one count of “false statements.” Walsh went even further, specifically implicating Bush in the scandal, though the accusation was irrelevant, but this put the nail in the coffin for Bush’s reemerging campaign.

MSNBC, a cable station claiming to be “a leader in breaking news, video and original journalism,” is anything but. It is stocked with partisan Democrat anchors and, in one instance, Morning Joe Scarborough, a former Republican RINO. Al Sharpton? Chris Matthews? Rachel Maddow? Lawrence O’Donnell? These are journalists?

Even as an opinion writer, I made sure I bolstered my opinion with fact and I polished my craft at the New York Sun under the tutelage of Seth Lipsky, one of the best of the old school journalists. If one of my columns presented negative material on a subject, I was told to contact that person for confirmation or denial of the piece or it wouldn’t be published.

Watching MSNBC is a chore and an exercise in frustration waiting for the other side of the story. It simply will not be presented. Instead we are treated with angry scowls and insulting language thrown at Republicans. Let’s not forget those thrills up and down Matthews’ leg.

On the other hand, CNBC has the excellent Larry Kudlow, who never fails to have opposing sides present their cogent arguments, leaving it up to the audience to decide. Fox News used to be fair and balanced until they threw Glenn Beck under the bus and brought on Karl Rove as a contributor in spite of the fact that this “genius” was a truly bad adviser for President Bush.

For anyone looking for true journalistic integrity, the only sources left are the Breitbart sites. When I was recruited to write for Big Journalism by my former Sun editor Michael Walsh, I was mandated to shore up my column with videos, documents, photos and other credible data. The truth is truly out there–here–regardless of which side is vindicated.

Like most readers, I was led by the conservative press and Matt Drudge to believe that the White House had hidden an elaborate, Halloween party with Hollywood stars from the public. The WH felt it wouldn’t be wise to show this extravagance during a recession, the right and left media told us, but the real story was left to be told by Dana Loesch of BigJournalism.com.

Seems the party was funded by the celebrities for the military and their families. So why the secrecy? Maybe it was a trap set for conservatives to rage about–only to look like fools for bashing a good deed. Who knows?

The media today is filled with “gotcha journalists” bent on reelecting the one they helped elect in 2008. I think I’ll stick to just being called a writer. The word journalist has a distinct smell to it.


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1 posted on 02/02/2012 3:41:47 PM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
If Bloggers Aren’t Journalists, Neither Are Many Members of the MSM

Correct.

Bloggers actually are a few steps beneath the MSM.

Any homeless puke in a public library can write a blog,
while most of the MSM have "sue-able" assets to protect.

Bloggers risk nothing when posting the most ignorant unfounded garbage they can dream up.

2 posted on 02/02/2012 3:46:16 PM PST by humblegunner
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To: Kaslin

There will always be those who want to protect the MSM, and their guardianship of what information and opinions reach the voting public.

It was awfully hard to have a conservative movement, as long as the left controlled all media.


3 posted on 02/02/2012 3:52:03 PM PST by ansel12 (Romney is unquestionably the weakest party front-runner in contemporary political history.)
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To: Kaslin

“If Bloggers Aren’t Journalists, Neither Are Many Members of the MSM”

If Pluto is a dog, what the hell is Goofy?


4 posted on 02/02/2012 3:52:30 PM PST by jessduntno ("Newt Gingrich was part of the Reagan Revolution's Murderers' Row." - Jeffrey Lord, Reagan Admin.)
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To: humblegunner

Speaking strictly for myself, I’ll put my reporting skills up against ANY OTHER real reporter in Louisiana, and I’m a blogger.

But the First Amendment does apply to a blogger (we used to be called “pamphleteers”), just as much as The Wall Street Journal.

See the decision here:

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=408&invol=665

BRANZBURG v. HAYES, 408 U.S. 665 (1972)

Justice Byron White wrote for the majority, “…the traditional doctrine that liberty of the press is the right of the lonely pamphleteer who uses carbon paper or a mimeograph just as much as of the large metropolitan publisher who utilizes the latest photocomposition methods.”


5 posted on 02/02/2012 3:52:45 PM PST by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: Kaslin
The ruling declared that as a blogger, Cox was not a journalist and cannot claim the protections afforded to mainstream reporters and news. I happen to agree with his decision, but the case raises the question about what actually defines a journalist.
Nauseating.
6 posted on 02/02/2012 3:54:28 PM PST by bvw
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To: Kaslin

Bttt.


7 posted on 02/02/2012 3:55:13 PM PST by Inyo-Mono (My greatest fear is that when I'm gone my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them)
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To: abb

Justice Byron White wrote for the majority, “…the traditional doctrine that liberty of the press is the right of the lonely pamphleteer who uses carbon paper or a mimeograph just as much as of the large metropolitan publisher who utilizes the latest photocomposition methods.”

Gotta love a guy named Whizzer, especially one who makes it all the way to the Supremes.


8 posted on 02/02/2012 3:56:00 PM PST by jessduntno ("Newt Gingrich was part of the Reagan Revolution's Murderers' Row." - Jeffrey Lord, Reagan Admin.)
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To: abb
Speaking strictly for myself, I’ll put my reporting skills up against ANY OTHER real reporter in Louisiana, and I’m a blogger.

If you have such awesome skills, why haven't you been hired by anyone?

Sorry, but the vast majority of bloggers have scant skills and even less viable original material.

Blogs are 94.2% trash.

9 posted on 02/02/2012 3:57:32 PM PST by humblegunner
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To: abb

I think there are other cases as well.


10 posted on 02/02/2012 3:58:06 PM PST by bvw
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To: humblegunner

Stop with the actionable slander. Not that I’m saying you started with it.


11 posted on 02/02/2012 4:00:30 PM PST by bvw
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To: humblegunner; abb
Blogs are 94.2% trash.

A major underestimation.

12 posted on 02/02/2012 4:03:01 PM PST by 50mm (Trust nobody and you'll never be disappointed.)
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To: humblegunner; abb

Funny, I feel the same percentage applies to the quantity of your posts that are pure noise and self-important bluster.

abb does great work. For you to ignorantly slam him as you just did is unacceptable.


13 posted on 02/02/2012 4:03:50 PM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: humblegunner
If you have such awesome skills, why haven't you been hired by anyone?

1.) I don't need the money.
2.) I do it because I want to do it, not because I'm paid to do it.
3.) No "news" organization in existence today could afford my price - or my independence.
4.) I report the news that no else has the guts to report, usually because others are beholden to the political class.

14 posted on 02/02/2012 4:03:50 PM PST by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: Kaslin

FOX to MSNBC and inbetween are lazy.

FOX had a good journalist by the name of Major Garrett. He has now gone and FOX minus Greta, Hemmer, Bolling are useless and are the establishment.


15 posted on 02/02/2012 4:04:10 PM PST by manc (FOX, DRUDGE, HAS BEEN DISGUSTING IN THEIR BIASED ATTACKS V NEWT. I HATE OUR BIASED LIBERAL MEDIA.)
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To: Kaslin

Thomas Paine a journalist, politico or equivalent of todays blogger? Could the King shut him up for libel?


16 posted on 02/02/2012 4:08:41 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: abb
I report the news that no else has the guts to report

Where do you get it from?

17 posted on 02/02/2012 4:09:44 PM PST by humblegunner
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To: Kaslin

The Constitution says the government may not infringe on citizens’ right to freedom of the press. What was the press?

Was it a select group of professional writers? No.

The “press” is a device for making multiple copies of a single document, so that they can be widely distributed.

Freedom of the press, therefore, refers not to a group of people, but to the right of all people to use technology to make possible the widespread distribution of their thoughts and ideas. And yes, Gutenberg’s invention was exactly that — TECHNOLOGY.

That meant that anybody — ANYBODY — could either buy a press, or hire a press owner to publish documents.

This idea that there is a group of people called “The Press” who have special government dispensation to disseminate their ideas and opinions is a complete fiction.

The government has no authority to establish one set of rules for those whom it deems to be “members” or “the press,” or to give such people protections that are not available to ANYBODY else who uses technology to disseminate their idea.

The totalitarian leftists have spent the last hundred years claiming the right to ascribe new political meanings to words, and it is time We the People take the language back.

Impeaching judges who draw indefensible artificial distinctions over “who” constitutes the press would be a good start.


18 posted on 02/02/2012 4:11:04 PM PST by Maceman (Obama: As American as nasei goreng)
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To: humblegunner

Not all bloggers are alike. You can not put them in the same pot. Some are better then the others


19 posted on 02/02/2012 4:14:36 PM PST by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: FreedomPoster
abb does great work. For you to ignorantly slam him as you just did is unacceptable.

Maybe y'all should get a room and discuss it.

20 posted on 02/02/2012 4:14:36 PM PST by humblegunner
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