Thursday, August 2, 2007

Journalism, Stenography and the Good Guys

The only true journalist with a major nightly show is Countdown with Keith Olbermann (Bill Moyers Journal is weekly. Jon and Stephen do comedy ).

As Rolling Stones Magazine points out in an article last February, "he's the most honest man in news". Why is he an actual Journalist? Arianna nails it to a T:
    "Keith's importance, to me, is as a truth teller," says Huffington Post founder and frequent Countdown guest Arianna Huffington. "I think the way he's been represented -- as leaning to the left or catering to the anti-Bush crowd -- minimizes what he has done, which is to ignore the traditional journalistic view of the anchor as referee and stop pretending there are two sides to every issue. That's not how it is. Sometimes the truth is on one side."(emphasis mine)
Back in the day we called it investigative reporting. And not only does Keith Olbermann refuse to engage in stenography, he maintains an ethical standard and will not deviate from it, even if it means criticizing someone who he previously stood up for. Case in point with tonight's episode of Countdown's worst person award:
    Our runner up with great regret, the blogger Mike Stark; who went to the home of Bill O'Reilly and posted signs reading Bill O'Reily, pervert... Mike Stark was the person that Bill O'Reilly...threaten to sick Fox Security on...No! Not acceptable, what ever you think of him...there is a line and the Good Guys are not suppose to cross it...leave him (O'Reilly) alone in private.
An ethical journalist who is not afraid to speak truth to power, chips fall where they may. And it also highlights the difference between movement conservatives and those of us who defend Liberal Values and refuse to engage in such quaint administration customs as torture, extraordinary rendition, or denial of habeas corpus. No matter what smear job the R's and their enablers use to feminize the D's as girly men, we will not accept the Flight Suit in Chiefs™ simplistic Good vs. Evil worldview (an excellent book Mr. Greenwald. Buy it today).

And this does not make us weak, this upholding of real American Traditional Values and the refusal to sink to the level of the threat force. In the words of Captain Amanda Garret in James Cobbs excellent book Sea Fighter:
    Quillain snorted. "You don't think those guys are actually fishing, do you?"
    "Of course not. When they tack about, you can see the lens glinting on their field glasses. They've got somebody out there pretty much all the time now. We know they're Union recon, but under the rules of engagement, we have to accept them at face value."
    "Why is that?" Quillain grumbled, popping the clip out of his M-9 and jacking the live round out of the chamber. "I mean, every damn little tin-pot terrorist and dictator out there can do anything he likes to the United States¬ blow up our embassies, torture our POW'S, kill our kids in the streets-and nobody says boo. But when it comes to hitting back, man, we sure have to play by the Marquis of Queensbury; else the whole damn world screams bloody murder. Just why is that?"
    "It's for the best reason in the world," Amanda replied, picking up the carbine and adjusting its sling. "One that I wouldn't change for anything I can imagine."
    Quillain's brows knit together. "What reason's that?"
    She smiled back at the big Marine. "It's because we're the good guys, Stone"
The Decider does not read books. And neither do his flunkies.

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