or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Other Discussion › AppleOutsider › PoliticalOutsider › The "News"....
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The "News"....

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
On November 22, Dan Rather received the Committee to Protect Journalists' Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for 2011 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. What follows is the speech he gave upon accepting the prestigious award.

Quote:
One of Bud Benjamin's dreams was to expand the CBS Evening News to a full hour. And Bud wasn't thinking of filling it with helicopter shots, celebrity gossip and punditry. He imagined an entire hour brimming with investigative reporting, exposés and dispatches from around the world.

It was a different time in journalism. A time when professional duty was patriotic, and the freedom of the press motivated and inspired newsrooms. I know it is hard to believe - but it's true - newsrooms were not supposed to turn a profit. Frankly, news was considered an acceptable loss on the balance sheet.

To keep our FCC license and the public trust, we had to use the public's airwaves in the public interest. Yes, that's a whole lot of "public." But that's the way it was. It's the way it should be again.

Today, how we look and how we "present" information has become far more important than how we gather it. It's upside down and backwards. And, the worst part is ... we have gotten used to it.

The caretakers of the Fourth Estate have, at times, left the building unattended. Public interest be damned.

It was Thomas Jefferson who noted in 1799 that, "Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived; but as long as the presses can be protected, we may trust to them for light."

Jefferson trusted the press - not to stir up heat, but to deliver insight.

Of course freedom of the press and of speech both come with pitfalls. People can peddle opinions as if they were facts. Those armed with the big, expensive megaphones drown out those blowing whistles.

But now, we see our fellow citizens taking to the streets. And, that my friends, is our cue to get back to work. As the People of our nation begin rising up, they expect the business of news to be about inquiry and accountability.

And, luckily for us, we can still do that ... but it may not be within the confines of big corporate media. As you know, we are living in an age when big money owns everything ... including the news.

That cash bought a lot of silence for a long time. Enough time for unchecked power to get this country tangled into messes all around the world. We all know that money talks. But, so do the people. They tire of conflicts at home and abroad ... conflicts that avert our eyes from the corruption and callowness that does little more than spill our blood and misspend our treasure.

"We had fed the heart on fantasies," wrote William Butler Yeats, "the heart's grown brutal from the fare."

In other words, we have gotten used to it.

What happens to a country when the press helps divide people into Us and Them? When it fans the flames of conflict and calls it reporting?

We need to restore, at some point, the teaching of the craft of journalism. The best way to protect journalists is to teach them how to do journalism and, therefore, protect themselves from becoming irrelevant.

I am reminded of the finest speech I ever heard on the subject of television journalism. It was given by Ed Murrow in 1958.

Murrow said, "This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But, it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends ... otherwise, it is merely wires and lights in a box."

Dear friends, we must untangle the wires from the lights. We must halt the steady decline of broadcast journalism and the endless compromises to the boardroom.

Some say it is too late. That Congress wrote our epitaph in 1996 when they all came together and passed the Telecommunications Deregulation Act. Since then, the lights in a box have gotten brighter and flashier ... but the truth dimmer and dimmer.

And ... we have gotten used to it.

The late, great Molly Ivins used to tell a story about what happens when fear grips a country. Molly liked to tell the story about her late friend, the celebrated Texas civil libertarian John Henry Faulk, who, as a boy of six, went with his seven-year-old friend, Boots Cooper, to rid the family henhouse of a harmless chicken snake. From its high perch, the boys found themselves eyeball to eyeball with the snake.

Growing up in Texas, it's not uncommon to see a chicken snake ... but being close enough to spit in the snake's eye must have been quite disconcerting.

As Molly would tell the story, the two boys ran out of the henhouse so fast they nearly tore off the henhouse door ... not to mention doing damage to themselves in the process. When Faulk's mother reminded the boys that chicken snakes are not dangerous, Boots Cooper responded, "Yes, ma'am, but some things will scare you so bad, you'll hurt yourself."

That is what we have been subject to as a country. We have been so afraid; so hell bent on destroying enemies ... both foreign and domestic ... we have hurt ourselves and our democracy.

You are probably asking yourself now what you should do.

Well, it may take courage.

There are so many wrongs to make right, it is going to get messier before it gets better.

We have to begin asking the hard questions once again.

We have to demand and earn back the respect that gave us the right to ask them.

We must protect whistleblowers by using our megaphones to make their risky admissions even louder.

We must demand access to all those risking their lives to challenge power.

We must refuse to simply read press releases and rely on official sources.

And we must begin to enforce our own professional code of ethics. Refuse to compromise. Going along to get along is getting us nowhere.

Tonight, if I can convince you of anything, it is to buck the current system. Remember anew that you are a public servant and your business is protecting the public from harm. Even if those doing harm also pay your salary.

To once again quote Ed Murrow, "There is a great and perhaps decisive battle to be fought against ignorance, intolerance and indifference ... this weapon of television could be useful."

And wouldn't it be great if our country could get used to that.

I wanted to share that with all of us here, because I found this speech one of the most inspiring and hopeful things I have heard come from the mouth of a newscaster, in a very, very long time. Dan Rather knows his craft and is patently saddened about the state of the mainstream news media in this country, and the extent to which it has sunk.... namely to the depths of peddling propaganda to protect the powers that be, and pushing pabulum and pamper the public.

Joseph Goebbels would be proud of the US corporate media. If we have any genuine enemies who actually do hate us, for whatever reason, then they will be heartened that the corporate media is doing their work for them without their having to lift a finger... inflicting more damage to this country than what they could ever manifest in our worst nightmares.
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
Reply
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
Reply
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

On November 22, Dan Rather received the Committee to Protect Journalists' Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for 2011 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. What follows is the speech he gave upon accepting the prestigious award.



I wanted to share that with all of us here, because I found this speech one of the most inspiring and hopeful things I have heard come from the mouth of a newscaster, in a very, very long time. Dan Rather knows his craft and is patently saddened about the state of the mainstream news media in this country, and the extent to which it has sunk.... namely to the depths of peddling propaganda to protect the powers that be, and pushing pabulum and pamper the public.

Joseph Goebbels would be proud of the US corporate media. If we have any genuine enemies who actually do hate us, for whatever reason, then they will be heartened that the corporate media is doing their work for them without their having to lift a finger... inflicting more damage to this country than what they could ever manifest in our worst nightmares.


I find it ironic that you are praising Dan Rather for his integrity, balance and inspiration. I've got to hand it to him...it takes a lot of balls to write say something like this a few years after you were pushed out of your anchor chair for disgraceful bias.
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
Reply
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
Reply
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I find it ironic that you are praising Dan Rather for his integrity, balance and inspiration. I've got to hand it to him...it takes a lot of balls to write say something like this a few years after you were pushed out of your anchor chair for disgraceful bias.

Compared to the greats in journalism around the world, Dan Rather doesn't even get on the bottom rung. But compared to the weasels and cowards who infest the current US corporate media, those who parrot officialdom, those who go whichever way the wind blows to keep their overpaid salaries, those who sell authoritarianism and push fear (aka terrorism by media)... Dan Rather stands as a giant in integrity. It was painful to say that last bit.... but it's fact.
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
Reply
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
Reply
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

Compared to the greats in journalism around the world, Dan Rather doesn't even get on the bottom rung. But compared to the weasels and cowards who infest the current US corporate media, those who parrot officialdom, those who go whichever way the wind blows to keep their overpaid salaries, those who sell authoritarianism and push fear (aka terrorism by media)... Dan Rather stands as a giant in integrity. It was painful to say that last bit.... but it's fact.

You know, I can't really disagree with that. Corporate media is ridiculous. I honestly view "the news" as more entertainment than anything else. Local news is actually much better, and includes major stories around the world anyway.

I suppose the one positive is that you can get different views. Fox is going to be conservative, MSNBC is is leftwing, CNN leans left but not as much as MSNBC. The problem is that many people just consume these sources with no thought whatsoever. I think it's fine to watch conservative or liberal source as long as one knows that's what it is. On my end, I often switch between channels to see how an event is being covered.
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
Reply
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
Reply
post #5 of 11
Freedom of speech should be reserved for those that claim they have no bais.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

Freedom of speech should be reserved for those that claim they have no bais.

Since everyone has biases, and we tend to view things the way we want to, and interpret things the way that are most comfortable to us, and form opinions based on each of our unique -- and insular -- viewpoints on the world and human affairs, the notion that anyone is "unbiased" is a dishonest and unreal claim.

In other words, you are saying that all you have to do, in order to enjoy that right to freedom of speech/expression is to claim "no bias"... and since you must know that everyone has biases, your statement is a subtle way of telling us that you are basically against the notion of "freedom of speech" for all.

Recounting some of your old posts, that comes as little surprise.
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
Reply
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
Reply
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

You know, I can't really disagree with that. Corporate media is ridiculous. I honestly view "the news" as more entertainment than anything else. Local news is actually much better, and includes major stories around the world anyway.

I suppose the one positive is that you can get different views. Fox is going to be conservative, MSNBC is is leftwing, CNN leans left but not as much as MSNBC. The problem is that many people just consume these sources with no thought whatsoever. I think it's fine to watch conservative or liberal source as long as one knows that's what it is. On my end, I often switch between channels to see how an event is being covered.

For me, the villain of the piece was the 1996 Telecommunications Act which pitted the civilized qualities of capitalism against the correspondingly negative aspects: in other words, free markets, competition and diversity of product versus consolidation, monopolization, and homogenization.

We all know who won. And we shouldn't forget it was the Clinton Administration which signed this Act into law, allowing for the Sovietization of the US media.
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
Reply
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
Reply
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

Since everyone has biases, and we tend to view things the way we want to, and interpret things the way that are most comfortable to us, and form opinions based on each of our unique -- and insular -- viewpoints on the world and human affairs, the notion that anyone is "unbiased" is a dishonest and unreal claim.

In other words, you are saying that all you have to do, in order to enjoy that right to freedom of speech/expression is to claim "no bias"... and since you must know that everyone has biases, your statement is a subtle way of telling us that you are basically against the notion of "freedom of speech" for all.

Recounting some of your old posts, that comes as little surprise.

Um yea?
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

Um yea?

I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
Reply
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
Reply
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post


Maybe Ann Coulter is an example of such?
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
Reply
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
Reply
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

Joseph Goebbels would be proud of the US corporate media.

Goebbels would be much more proud of the stunt that Dan Rather was a part of when they were trying to smear George Bush with fraudulent documents.

In a 2010 issue of TV Guide, Rather's report was ranked #3 on a list of TV's ten biggest "blunders".

Since Dan Rather still believes in that fraudulent hoax today, he should be receiving a Goebbels award for outstanding journalism instead.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: PoliticalOutsider
AppleInsider › Forums › Other Discussion › AppleOutsider › PoliticalOutsider › The "News"....