One of the things that the (supposedly) professional journalists hate the most about the internet is that they have lost their “gatekeeping” function. Prior to Al Gore inventing the internet, to get something published, you had to submit it to an editor or publisher for review, and it would only be published if he liked it or thought it had value for his publication (an editor) or would make money for the publisher. From Sister Toldjah:
Alana Goodman from Newsbusters files this disturbing report:
Should there be a “gatekeeper” regulating internet bloggers? In the aftermath of the Shirley Sherrod incident, that’s what CNN promoted on July 23.
Anchors Kyra Phillips and John Roberts discussed the “mixed blessing of the internet,” and agreed that there should be a crackdown on anonymous bloggers who disparage others on the internet.
Much more at the link. But Sister Toldjah had one absolutely killer observation:
Isn’t it interesting how they are talking about the alleged “hatefulness” of “anonymous bloggers” yet the blogger in question that has caused CNN to fire on all cylinders is NOT anonymous? I’m guessing this point has probably escaped them.
Well, there was a part of the Newsbusters story Sis didn’t quote, but it seems to me that it has a lot of importance:
“There are so many great things that the internet does and has to offer, but at the same time, Kyra, as you know, there is this dark side,” Roberts said. “Imagine what would have happened if we hadn’t taken a look at what happened with Shirley Sherrod and plumbed the depths further and found out that what had been posted on the internet was not in fact reflective of what she said.”
Now, if there was no internet, Andrew Breitbart’s story might not have gotten checked, but it also wouldn’t have been published in the first place; the mostly liberal mainsteam media wouldn’t have been the least bit interested in a story which hurt Obama Administration personnel. But if there was no internet, and no independent blogs like Powerline or Little Green Footballs, CBS News use of forged documents in its attempt to harm President Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign would have gone unchallenged; it was Charles Johnson of LGF and John Hinderaker, Scott Johnson and Paul Mirengoff of Powerline who were able to spot the forgery on the video image of the documents used, not the documents themselves, something that nobody at CBS seemed to be able to do with the paper in their hands. While the Thornberg Commission conservatively claimed that it was a “myopic zeal” to be the first news organization to broadcast a groundbreaking story, it was, in fact, a shameless political attempt to aid John Kerry and hurt George Bush in 2004, and episode producer Mary Mapes, who was eventually fired for her conduct, actually called the Kerry campaign to try to coordinate the story with them. The Thornberg Commission called Miss Mapes’ action a “clear conflict of interest that created the appearance of political bias.”
The JournoList revelations have served one useful purpose: they have helped to (further) document the liberal bias of most of our professional media. The CNN anchors might be lamenting that there were no controls which allowed Mr Breitbart’s erroneous story to go public, but the controls which would have restrained a non-anonymous blogger like Mr Breitbart and kept the Shirley Sherrod story unpublished would also have prevented blogs like Powerline from exposing CBS’ News biased and inaccurate story.