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CBS Just Can’t Get Along with Bloggers?

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It was bloggers who forced CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather into early retirement, and yet CBS – at least somebody there – is still being condescending towards the new media.

How CBS Blew Up My Puff Piece
How CBS Blew Up My Puff Piece

This story began in pursuit of an ironic 300-word puff piece about somewhat of a catfight between MoveOn.org and CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric. WebProNews is not in the habit of dabbling in political squabbles, lest they directly involve Internet and Web issues that affect online business. We also cover Web 2.0 and blogs – the new citizen media.

In short, we didn’t have a dog in this fight, and your humble author who, just like Ferris Bueller doesn’t believe in isms, would tell you he is neither Right nor Left, but maybe, if he had to label himself, is a John Stuart Mill Utilitarianist with Thomas Paine Libertarian tendencies and a slightly Aristotelian disdain for the unwashed masses* (so maybe you shouldn’t ask).

Regardless, WebProNews becomes involved because someone at CBS allegedly (a CBS spokeswoman was quite adamant about the "allegedly" part) insulted viewers who complained about Couric’s "softball" reporting from Iraq and mocked them for getting their information from blogs.

Oh, and Katie Couric’s publicist threatened to sue us, which also gets us involved in a much bigger way, and makes this story, much, much more newsworthy, but we’ll get to that later.  

The story begins this way:

MoveOn.org posted a scathing video on YouTube accusing Couric of not doing her job as a journalist and just parroting government talking points, and encouraged MoveOn members to email CBS to complain.

One such member, Errol Siegel of Austin Texas, heeded the call and emailed CBS Evening News on Monday, September 10, at 11:42 a.m, CST. He wrote:

I started watching Couric’s series of reports hoping to learn something valuable..  All I learned was that CBS is content to produce puff pieces scripted by the institutions it purports to be investigating.

I did not hear Couric push for real answers on one single issue!  She simply took everything she was told and parrotted it back to the masses.

I’m embarassed and saddened.  You should be too.

A reply to the email appearing to be from CBS Evening News, with the address Evening@cbsnews.com, arrived just 23 minutes later reading:

Actually most intelligent people were very impressed by the quality of our reports from Iraq and Syria …Apparently you missed most of the interviews that were done over there…imagine you got your information from a blog somewhere…

Siegel tells WebProNews, "I have spent years writing letters, sending e-mails, and making phone calls. This is the first time I have been personally insulted by a major news organization."

At CrooksAndLiars.com, a commentator named Dominic Lucarelli recounts a similar response to his complaint:

Sorry you didn’t get a chance to see much of the reporting from Iraq….if you had, you wouldn’t have written such a note…imagine all your info came from a blog…too bad.

"Not TOO condescending, eh?" remarks Lucarelli.

This is all very interesting to me, only because of the irony. It wasn’t too long ago that Dan Rather was shamed off the airwaves by the very medium CBS News is allegedly disparaging. This is the same medium that even the New York Times has credited as a viable news source, as bloggers are often first on the scene at major news events; Hurricane Katrina comes to mind.

It was also interesting to me that the once "liberal media" was now being accused of being a government mouthpiece, but I was more interested in confirming whether or not a representative of CBS made those remarks, and if I could talk to Katie to get her reaction to the accusations, to talk about the new media and how the established media is handling it.

When asked about the comments in the email, CBS Evening News Communications Manager Jennifer Farley (Couric’s publicist) said, "It’s very easy to make it look like it came from us," and would not confirm that the email came from CBS News, despite the email address. 

I understood the comment, "It’s very easy to make it look like it came from us," as well as other comments she made as a denial that CBS sent the email, and so, out of professional courtesy, not out of any type of journalistic requirement, I contacted Ms. Farley the next day (before I wrote the 300-word ironic puff-piece) to confirm CBS’s position.

I did it politely, because I’m from the South, thanked her for her time and wished her a nice day. My understanding: CBS denies sending the email, cannot confirm that it came from there.

A few minutes later, Ms. Farley, by telephone, insists that everything that was said yesterday was off the record, that CBS didn’t even have a "no comment" because there was nothing to comment on, and if I printed that I could expect to hear from CBS’s legal department. Very suddenly, then, she has turned my puff piece into a major story about a major network trying to bully a Web-publication with the threat of a SLAPP suit. And I am stunned by how she has transformed something routine into something newsworthy. 

I’m also aware (because she told me) that Ms. Farley graduated top of her class from Columbia Journalism School, and was quite willing to let me know how much I had to learn about journalism, but she should be at least vaguely familiar with the First Amendment, and that a source can’t just give information and say it’s "off the record" with any type of viable legal grounds. It’s a professional courtesy, not a legal mandate, and that courtesy sort of flies out the window when lawsuits are threatened.

But enough about me and Ms. Farley. Let’s get back to the email.

MoveOn traced the IP address of the email addressed from Evening@cbsnews.com, the one that would be very easy to make look like came from CBS to 170.20.0.80, which resolves to a mail server at CBS Inc., 524 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019.

Adam Green, Civics Communications Director for MoveOn.org, says, "It’s a real problem when big media corporations like CBS refuse to ask tough questions challenging President Bush’s lies about Iraq, yet feel fine threatening little-guy online news sites for daring to hold CBS accountable."

Yeah, well, we’re not that little. We can hold our own. And though the New York Times mistakenly called me a blogger, I didn’t take any offense, just appreciated the name drop, and that at least some part of the established media recognizes the power of citizen journalism, and that the new media has the right – and ability – to stand up to the old media.

 

*Warning: Philosophical joke. It’s hard to be at once humble and Aristotelian; this is in no way a swipe at the poor or the homeless, but meant only as a way of expressing a distrust of mob rule, and therefore a preference for representative democracy rather than direct democracy.

CBS Just Can’t Get Along with Bloggers?
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  • http://mediabloodhound.com MediaBloodhound

    Funny tale, Jason. But haven’t you heard about the improvements over there?
    http://mediabloodhound.typepad.com/weblog/2007/09/op-ed-column-cb.html

  • http://www.piercemattiepublicrelations.com Shannon Nelson

    As a Blogger myself (of 7 blogs too btw!), I can’t believe that being a Blogger can now be an insult you hurl at people when you are angry. There are so many blogs out there covering stories from tech to beauty to fashion to politics, that many times have the info. before the media even does.

    For many of the things I write, I research and contact the source of my chosen content to garner accurate information to relay to my readers. It still amazes me that Bloggers are looked down upon in the media as reckless and irresponsible.

    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed reading your article.

    Shannon Nelson
    Chief Blogger for Pierce Mattie PR

  • Richard Wolcott

    Just proves again that, “Because I said so” is not any kind of answer – even if you hate the question and/or the questioner.

  • THOMAS PETERSON

    I find it very sad to say, in the least, that the news, is not neccessarily about just the news anymore. I believe that the media focuses more on “exposing” people, deeds, no matter what the cost. I also believe, that judging from the response an alert emailer who is very intelligent, received from CBS, that the media finds the public as dull, nimwitted little puppydogs. The media portrays that they are doing a service- “the public has a right to know….” in which we do. But the media (CBS) puts up two fronts. 1) a very caring news organization who is concerned with delivering the news on factual based subjects. 2) they also put up a front to expose people no matter what the cost, and to cover it up when they go too far, or when they feel the public is not bright enough to figure it out. I believe that CBS does NOT do a service, but rather insults the intelligence of its viewers. FACT: news in weblogs may not always be the most accurate, but in blogs, you can gain first hand knowledge of any situation as people will always gather to state what they know. Its up to you to decipher it out. I think its time that CBS own up to its shady deeds, and give the email submitters a written apology, and STOP acting like someone hacked thier computers, using thier I.P. address, and STOP insulting the publics intelligence. Why insult the very public audience’s intelligence that you are broadcasting to? Stop thinking that the world will look the other way. Its the Viewers who made CBS what it is. I find it very uncooth to insult the very audiences intelligence who put you at the top of the major news corporations. CBS needs to ask itself: where would we be without the public? If CBS was ranked one of the biggest news corporations by a vote, i would certainly have reconsidered my vote. Thanks for treating me like an idiot CBS! How you gonna broadcast this>?

  • http://www.alienpest.com James Burns

    I have been reading your musings for quite a while, and have disagreed with you a lot, but I like your style on this! I think that citizen journalism is just the sort of thing that Jefferson would have approved of.

  • http://www.incomeology.com David Johnson

    Citizen Journalism probably got started because professional journalists left too many unanswered questions or ignored issues the public wanted to know.

    Professional news organizations may lay claim to presenting the ‘facts’ because that’s their job and purpose. The question the public wants answered is are you giving us all the facts or only the facts you think we need to know.

    Another issue that I believe even professional journalists can concur is that news organizations have a bias. If this is so then this can explain why the public wonders who’s reporting the unbiased truth.

    This then leaves the citizen journalist to weigh in and give their interpretation of the facts.

    In my opinion, no one owns the facts. Reporting is about telling and checking. If professional journalists want to diminish citizens from sticking their nose in their business, then they need to be more transparent.

    Why do you think people criticize or scrutinize others. It’s because someone is holding something back.

  • http://blog.webcopyplus.com/ Rick Sloboda

    ‘Good on you’, Jason. Last month, when the LA Times compared Google to Osama bin Laden, I wrote to the editor, suggesting if editors and journalists produce biased or incomplete articles, there’s a newly empowered body ready to call them on it. Predictably, it fell upon deaf ears.

    FYI, the letter can be found at:
    http://blog.webcopyplus.com/2007/08/18/la-times-welcome-to-web-20/

  • http://www.crickethymns.com Elkerton

    I may be utopian, but I’ve always felt that a true free press would address many of society’s ills simply by exposing them to the light. Right now the new media as it is evolving seems to be our next best chance. The chronic problem is consolidation of the power of information, but good luck applying that to the Internet. I would rate CBS’s response as arrogant, but also insecure bordering on paranoid – like a dictator gloating over a hall of trophies and a fine liquer, but knowing tomorrow his fate might be in the hands of the villagers. Nice article Jason.

  • http://www.crawfordcountypost.com Douglas Foreman

    I am a combat zone Persian Gulf War veteran of the US Army. I own a newspaper that HAS HAD A 60% GROWTH IN CIRCULATION, in the last two years. We went from the third largest newspaper to the largest circulation newspaper in the County. I bring this to your attention for two reasons.

    First: I realize that when it comes to our troops in a combat zone, I KNOW WHAT NEEDS TO BE REPORTED, AND WHAT SHOULD NOT BE reported! In my Basic Trainig at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, we were taught OPSEC AND SIGSEC. OPSEC is Operation Security and SIGSEC is Signal Security. UNFORTUNATELY, very few media sources feel this is important.
    The majority of the news reporters tell the Military, the American Public has a right to know this information. NO YOU DO NOT!!!!!! I am sick and tired of reporters demanding to know what our next move is, so that they can get a news story, to print, post or broadcast. This is the WORST thing that a reporter can do. WHY DO YOU WANT TO TELL THE ENEMY WHAT OUR NEXT MOVE IS? Look at it this way, the next time you have a lead on an exclusive story, DON’T KEEP IT TO YOURSELF, TELL EVERYONE ABOUT YOUR EXCLUSIVE. That way every reporter will know so they can also go report on it. I don’t think you would like to give up your exclusive tip to everyone. It is the same as demanding from the Military to tell you what their next move is!

    SECOND:

    I really ticks me off that Katie on the CBS Evening News showed whomever was watching, ( I did see the piece and absolutely hated it!) showing the American Public how our troops are now being attacked. They showed terrorist footage of attacks on our US Troops. But the big kicker is this, CBS showed how the new weapon is made and deployed, complete with animation! HOW STUPID!!!! Since terrorists know that CBS does this stupidity, many new people who are enemies of the United States now know how to make and deploy this weapon! CBS has opened a can of worms. THIS SHOULD HAVE NEVER EVER BEEN BROADCASTED!!!!! Now even terrorists and unfortunately future terrorists, have be instructed by CBS Evening News on how to attack unsuspecting individuals.

    Reporters had better start thinking about how the story will effect the average US citizen and our brave men and women in the military!

    It is the VETERAN, not the preacher,
    who has given us freedom of religion.

    It is the VETERAN, not the reporter,
    who has given us freedom of the press.

    It is the VETERAN, not the poet,
    who has given us freedom of speech.

    It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer,
    who has given us freedom to assemble.

    It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer,
    who has given us the right to a fair trial.

    It is the VETERAN, not the politician,
    Who has given us the right to vote.

    It is the VETERAN,
    who salutes the Flag,

    IT IS TIME FOR REPORTERS TO QUIT WORKING FOR OUR ENEMIES!!! Someday, it will come back to bite them in the butt.

    • Thomas

      Hey, i think its cool, you were in fort leonard wood? I was too! I was in Delta. I didnt make it through training though, i got run over by a car. Sounds crazy but its true. Was anxious to goto desert storm, wanted to do my part. Anyways, seen your post, and wanted to say hello.
      Peace to you my brother

  • http://www.appalachianwritersforum.com Mike

    I think the biggest problem the press has with blogs is not a credibility issue for the blogs but for the press.

    Take polls, for instance. The press tells us what they want us to hear with slanted questions in the polls. Anyone can “taylor-make” polls to reflect any bent they need reinforced.

    But blogs are fast becoming an old-fahioned party-line phone system where people across the board can voice opinions and hold discussions that quite often contradict the polls. I am sure this infuriates the ‘powers of the press’.

    The fact of the matter is this: it doesn’t matter near as much how you say what you say as what you say when you say it. The Internet and blogging has given a voice back to the common man, and truth be told, we didn’t like words being put in our mouths all the time by the talking heads anyway.

    Just a word of encouragement, beau, if Katie is one of the biggest problems on your plate, you’re sitting pretty good.

  • http://snuffboxfilms.blogspot.com Rupert

    “We can agree that blogs can sometimes be inaccurate, and that bloggers are not held to the same standards as the mainstream press.”

    The mainstream press has standards?

    Rups :)

  • Kim

    Most of the media has been put in place by the ELITE. This all started back in 1917, where a group of 12 men bought out the 25 largest newspaper publications in OUR Republic. It has grown worse as time has elapsed with the big players, the Murdochs, Hearst Publishing, Disney,Turner,Time Warner,General Electric and more. As for Dan Rather and a whole lot more of mainstream media and very familiar faces belong to the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) started back in the twenties by David Rockefeller and his NEW WORLD ORDER visions.

  • http://www.3thirdsorange.com Zoe Marmara

    I surely agree with that last piece of words: “You are certainly not that little”. I’m reading you from Greece, and like many of your European subscribers, I read about this sad incident with puzzlement and disappointment. Well, I guess CBS can’t get along with civilized manners – but I should not comment on the tv network. It’s obviously a journalist’s irresponsibility, one that she refuses to accept, first as a human being and then as a professional. Bloggers should probably start implementing a code of ethics , a deontology regarding citizen journalism.

  • https://www.xing.com/profile/Roland_Schupp Roland Schupp

    Geesh… Blogs and Companies are a difficult story so far. But I wonder who was the writer of the email to Mr. Siegel.

  • http://www.247traveleurope.com colin

    Hi,

    We do not use Blogs for we believe it is just another type of messenger like MSN messenger. All this chat back and forth gets away from what the website actually wants. Give a proper message to people out there. And not chit chat

    cheers
    colin

  • Nic Hawkins

    Great story. Screw ‘em as much as you can.

    Did CBS think that an email wasn’t traceable in any way other than the sent from address?

    There is one point here though re citizen journalism – it only really works well when citizens are around when the news happens or are in a position to probe what happened closely. A blog from servicemen or Iraqi citizens would have enormous benefits in dealing with information asymmetry, but without the ability to witness and investigate, anything a journalist writes is just opinion. What this means is that the traditional media, having the resources to report from these difficult places, must be held even more accountable for objectivity (or even healthy scepticism) in their reporting. A responsibility they are sadly failing to deliver on.

    In not respecting (and in fact insulting) the opinions of those who question their performance and motives, CBS expose an arrogance that is incredible to me. A degree from Columbia is not a monopoly on balanced views. Any jounalist who claims to speak the truth rather than their own version of it must have missed some classes somewhere – its all about interpretation of facts after all.

    Keep up the good work – there’s much, much more to the web than technology and porn.

  • http://webintelhome.com R Wilson

    Mr. Miller:

    Well done! An excellent exposure of corporate media’s irresponsible reporting on the bush criminal cartel’s Oil War.

    If the corporate media had been doing it’s job correctly instead of parroting bush’s press secretary, we wouldn’t find ourselves in the messy quagmire we are in in viet nam, excuse me Iraq.

    Now bush is thumping his chest again, and wants to wage war against another nation, Iran; and corporate media is pulling out their files and repeating the same tired lies they used to push us into Iraq.

    When will we get honest reporting again from the corporate news services? I trust the information coming out of blogs much more than corporate media.

    If I want the truth, I listen to “Democracy Now”, and “The Nation”

  • http://jerichomonster.blogspot.com/ Jane

    As one of the Nuts who saved Jericho and being a blogger about Jericho I can say that CBS is certainly not embracing one of their best assets. We Jericho bloggers are on CBS’ side but you’d never know it. Instead of being condescending towards us they should see us as a marketing asset and work in partnership with us to promote any of their shows. Maybe they’re still mad about Dan Rather.
    Great question. Thanks.

  • http://www.sauna-review.com/ Bill

    Can you really blame CBS for attacking the new Media?

    Traditional journalism (There is another “ism”) has become big business. Rather then competing based on the quality of their reporting it seems that they compete based on the shock values of their stories.

    So called “bloggers” provide a great service to fill in where the big networks fear to go. I personally read about 2 “blogs” to every traditional article.

    Keep up the good fight Jason!

  • S. E. Lee

    It is encouraging to think the traditional voices are having a chance. I’m tired of the “main stream” media tainting the news with their opinions. Editorials are OK but in news reporting the reporter should keep his or her opinions secret. I’m tired of the media telling me what to think about events! Your article is encouraging.

    By the way, I have maximum spam blocking on this email address.

  • Charlie

    What a breath of fresh air! Bloggers, expressing their opinions, have legitimized what “journalists” have been doing for years. Now what is supposed to be the expertise that makes journalism so sacred?

    Just a few years back, the liberal media had a monopoly on news, and now with the advent of the internet and talk radio, they have been steadily losing viewers, and they are fit to be tied. Not surprising that some gopher at CBS would become incensed and make a quick response….then deny it!

    As to Katie Couric, it was a measure of desperation that CBS even hired this soap queen, who incidentally was never “ordained” as a journalist and merely popular with the touchy feely women’s morning soap opera.

    And to further illustrate the anguish now suffered by liberal “news,” who would ever imagine that CBS would ever have a disagreement with Move On.Org?

    Blogging is the new form of town meeting halls and only leads to more democracy….keep up the good work, fellas!

  • http://www.bitworksmusic.com David O.

    Hi Jason,

    It would be almost humorous that CBS so blatantly disses the blogger (and web media in general) community if they didn’t still have so much influence over the level of political dialog in this country. They are becoming less and less relevant every day as people get their real news elsewhere.

    Thanks for your work! Webpronews is one of the only newsletters I still read. I’m too busy surfing the blogs of course…

    david
    BitWorks Music – odd tunes for odd times

  • Jeff Sparks

    Were you laughing when you wrote this paragraph?
    {Editor’s Note: We can agree that blogs can sometimes be inaccurate, and that bloggers are not held to the same standards as the mainstream press. However, there is also a power shift occurring as citizen journalists are granted the means to hold the mainstream press accountable.}

    I think you must’ve been! That part where you say that bloggers aren’t held to the same standard as the mainstream press had me rolling! I didn’t know that the mainstream press has standards! journalism by it’s very definition is the unbiased reporting of events. The key word being unbiased!

    Most so called journalists apparently don’t know the meaning of unbiased. Practically every story in the news is slanted one way or the other and it serves as news with no challenge from their peers.

    On the other hand, a blogger simply reports how he/she feels on a particular subject based on information they already have.

    But the difference here is they are subject to the responses and opinions of their peers. So it would be much easier to sort out the truth with a blogger, than it would be with a journalist. So in that sense they are held accountable.

    The only reason CBS is upset is that they had a monopoly on the disemination of information before bloggers and the internet came along. Now they find themselves in the uneviable position of having a public forum to compete against.

    Personally, I would rather get my news from the internet!

    • Jason Lee Miller

      I was laughing when I wrote the political philosophy part, a joke that nobody got…but as for that part…well, perhaps I should weep a little…I just meant, that traditionally journalists are formally trained and have studied journalism, and write in a specific format and there is a certain "ideal" of how it is to be carried out…not that the ideal is ever really matched…and if journalists step over their bounds too much, go completely over the professional line, there are often consequences

      bloggers aren’t held as accountable as often, but they are starting to be…they’re starting to be dragged into court for what they say and many of them are losing because they don’t know where the lines are…citizen journalism is powerful, use it with care

      An old journalism teacher of mine, a veteran journalist (when I say "veteran," I mean he reported from the front lines in Nam) told me "There’s no such thing as objectivity. Objectivity is a myth. From the moment a reporter starts typing he is biasing the subject by choosing the order in which he presents the information, the words he chooses to relay the message, and what he chooses to omit."

      Can’t confirm that quote exactly, but that’s the gist.

       

      • Jeff Sparks

        No offense but you’re journalism teacher is part of the problem.

        It was just yesterday that I heard a cop on the radio say “Guilty until proven innocent”? “That’s for jury’s and courts, we (cops) don’t believe in innocent until proven guilty”.

        It’s that kind of thinking that is the reason our justice system is in turmoil. So for a jounalism teacher to say there is no such thing as objectivity, is like saying that it’s ok to report your opinion. And that’s why the mainstream press is in turmoil!

        Reporting objectively means to only inject the evidence into the story, not what you think is evidence. But the hard part of that is the journalist then has to go get evidence for both sides of the story.

        That’s the problem with the press these days. They want to sensationalize their story so they interject bias instead of objectivity (facts from both sides).

        And when the truth is finally sorted out, and their story differs, then that journalist is discredited and audiences starts to complain.

        The art of good journalism is to report the facts in an interesting way. But these days facts get lost in trying to be more sensational than the competition.

        That is why blogging has become so popular. These are just regular people who don’t have anything to gain by writing a story about something they’ve heard or seen. And somewhere in all of the responses is the truth. But the fact is that at least here, the truth can be found!

        • Jason Lee Miller

          there was more to that lecture…he wasn’t saying don’t try to be objective, only that true objectivity as a concept, like say, altruism, doesn’t really exist…it’s an interesting stance…he never said just be biased, he just warned that no matter how objective you tried to be, somebody would think you were slanted, and in a sense, you were

          I tend to agree…everything is subjective, there is only perception

           

  • Catherine

    Thank God for bloggers who question the media and offer alternative perspectives. Isn’t this what democracy is all about??? If any form of media can’t address a question without threat of a lawsuit because it’s not what they want to hear, they should move to Russia or Iran. The internet is our only chance of maintaining democracy.

  • mike

    Al Gore has addressed the problemm of the way information is presented to us in his book “Assault on Reason”. Television news is a one-way infoormation source. A talking head can say whatever they want and there is no recourse to challenge their claims. For instance, if a news agency stated that drinking Coke would cause your liver to explode, the average citizen has no opportunity to challenge it. These “reporters” are never challenged on their statements because of the one-way flow.

    Fred Thompson refused to debate Michael Moore on the issues of health care because he knew he would not survive the engagement. Instead, he and his staff created a snide little piece mocking Moore’ assertions, and avoided the risk of a serious debate that would demonstrate Thomson’s ignorance.

    Basically, Democracy depends on the free exchange of information and open debate on the issues. The mainstream media have eliminated these pracyices inf favor of telling viewers what they want you to hear, and avoiding the possibility of open and honest debate. Fascism.

  • http://www.starpowersports.com Babs

    Holy Shit!

  • http://www.diabeticcorner.com aslam

    well blogger is a good source to get your words out there but i really find it hard to believe that bloggers who forced CBS evening news anchorr Dan Rather into early retirement.
    Aslam
    http://www.diabeticcorner.com

  • http://hamiltoncountyrepublicanparty.com Michael Dalton

    .
    Sometimes those threats come in the form of a lawsuit.

    When the new media holds a local political party’s feet to the fire:

    SLAPP !

    Ouch !

    http://hamiltoncountyrepublicanparty.com

    ‘Free Speech” !

    Ouch !

    Slap Back !

    Feel free to cite the case when in need !

    .

  • http://www.teamacuparts.com/acura-axle.html acura axle

    either CBS can’t get along with bloggers or bloggers don’t like CBS, the mere fact is that they have been always interrelated into the business world..it’s the overall reality.

  • tom

    all the news media are owned by the greedy crooked bastards we the people know that they are all crooks like the crooked bastards running america

  • Pat Moncrief

    I believe the Bloggers will force Move on.org to start telling the truth and not just cast insinuations. The money behind this organization is huge and if we let it, it will take the United States of America down with it. Look at the division moveon.org has caused in the country already.

  • http://MobileCashSolutions.com Juanita Osborne

    The idea of journalists parroting scripted political news or worldwide news is not new this has been going on for years. It’s just until recently that via the internet and blogs that we the people have been able to make a large impact with what we have to say regarding our social and political views that the networks, who base themselves on viewer rankings (which is why I rarely watch syndicated news)are starting to listen. Thank god for the internet! We finally have a voice and bring true meaning to “WE The People” once again. Want to know what’s really going on? Go to International News sites online and get a broader if not real picture of what’s going on in the world.

  • http://essn.us Sharon Solesbee

    WebProNews is the best journalism around! Thanks for your insight. I always look forward to your Newsletters.

    Sharon Solesbee AAS, AS

  • Thomas Peterson

    I believe CBS is a very reputable news organization, BUT, I also beleive they are high on themselves to think that they are only reliable news source. I am not worried about what people may think of this statement, but even though there is a percentage of gossip in all blogging, there is a great amount of truth in blogging too. Checking out bloggers is the same as talking to witnesses at a crime scene. And to send negative feedback to a blogger, is the same as talking chit to your american viewers. Thus, the comment that CBS made to the guy who submitted that email reflects on what they think of thier viewers, i.e. that we are not smart enough to figure out the facts on our own unless it comes from them. A news media should be mindful of ALL news resources, INCLUDING blogging, as with any news broadcasting companies responsibilities, it is their job to sort out the facts, from fantasy and report it. Not disrespect any source of outlet where information can be gathered.

  • Jeb Stuart-Gray

    Just a quick note. Katie is trying to hold on to what ratings she can and is obviously not going to alienate anyone if she can help it. A few mornings before, Meredith Viera on Today was interviewing a controversial figure and did much the same…no pressing questions, just a bland question and nod in agreement.
    On the other hand, it has become all to easy to accept everything written or mentioned on blog spots as the “truth” when in fact, most of it is conjecture, rumor and wishful thinking, e.g. the “conspiracy” theories, etc. The great issue we are facing now is how to compare and contrast all the various news sources and blog information to arrive at something resembling fact. Most of the blogs I have read, both “left” and “right” represent more innuendo than fact, though it is presented as such.
    If you want to know more about what is really going on in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other sites of the Jihad war, you should find sources that know what they are talking about and have no “dog in the fight”. One I can think of specifically is Stratfor. Their geopolitical reports and terrorism reports are about as accurate as you can get. Unfortunately, though congressional members have access to their information, most of them had rather listen to their “handlers” or bloggers.

    A Sad time altogether in the news/information game.

  • http://BangkokAtoZ.com Mekhong Kurt

    I was stunned to read CBS’s reaction to the piece. If the IP address resolves to their headquarters, then I believe U.S. law holds you innocent of any libel.

    But I guess no one should be surprised. Just consider the hoopla some years back when CNN went with a story claiming the U.S. had tracked down and executed deserters and others in Laos during the Vietnam War. I live in Bangkok (though I’n from the U.S.), and I happened to be sitting in a restaurant with a retired CIA guy who had been one of the top commanders during the secret war in Laos, and he hotly denied the allegations. As you know, the network was eventually forced to withdraw the story.

    And CNN is hardly alone is such misreporting.

    The issue of citizen journalists is indded a tough one. It’s just plain too easy for someone with an axe to grind to wrongly smear someone, given the power of the Internet. That’s why I have no problem posting comments on any site that says a reviewer will check my posting before allowing it to appear; that’s no different from a paper publication’s editorial staff reviewing letters to the editor before publishing them.

    On the other hadn, such editorial control can stifle public input, and that, too, shouldn’t happen.

    I happen to own and run a website about Bangkok in particular. I write a weekly (usually) column in which I do comment on other things, including editorial observations about some news story and what not. Thailand has rather draconian libel and slander laws, under which one can attract not only civil but also criminal charges — even for merely quoting someone else’s story that itself is found to be libelous or slanderous. Yet I’ve never had a second’s trouble from anyone else, even when I’ve been highly critical. Even with a military government I’ve had no problems, though I have cited published stories critical of the current government here.

    I would support you 100% were you to bite back at CBS — hard.

    Kurt T. Francis
    Bangkok, Thailand

  • http://www.bsreachedoutandscrewedsomeone.com rose nesmith

    Since July of 2006, I have contacted the PSC, the FCC and every congressman and senator in the former Bellsouth 9-state region, and not any of these agencies or individuals, who are supposed to be protecting American’s best interests, have expressed the least amount of concern over what corporate greed is doing to AT&T customers. Perhaps AT&T has contributed to far too many political campaigns for anyone to want to take them to task – even the reps from Hawaii & Michigan who made so much noise over the merger appears to have been for attention getting purposes only Both AT&T & Bellsouth CEO’s retired with astronomical bonuses – and at whose expense? The consumers. AT&T – Bellsouth customer service reps all have sales objectives, as a result their employees resort to a variety of tactics to meet their quotas. Therefore, many AT&T customers are paying for products and services they did not order, or do not need, and all AT&T cusomers need to be advised to read their bills!!!!!!

  • rwlayton

    It’s amazing that the people who have the most to say/blog about Iraq are those who’ve never set foot there.

  • Guy Dayon

    I’ve had some sarcastic, defensive replies from news organizations. Once in awhile I object to their coverage of certain health issues that have affected my family. Apparently, it is “immature” to question how the media does its job. By the way, I was quite polite when I emailed the publication whose employee called me that, if a little tough on their reportage.

  • http://www.amazinggroups.com Netzarim

    For a major news organization, I find it odd that their skils in debate are so poor. Were they coverig this discussion themselves they certainly would recognize the poor debate tactic of calling names and demeaning the opposition.

    Really.. What if the sources were blogs? The better questions are: Is the information accurate? Why? Why not? Is it complete? Is it presented in an objective fashion?

    My opinion is that someone got too close to the truth here. A little slippage from a major media organization that indicated that they are controlled and report what their allowed to report or report in a biased manner for their own agendas.

    Although an email source may be spoofed, it is more likely that the source could be traced back through their email server, with a court order, and to a specific desk…

    What are the odds that that desk is currently looking for a replacement occupant?

    Name calling is a childs game, as is “look at my shiny degree” and a news organizations should be presenting their information – good and bad – in an objective manner. To react in such a manner to legitamate inquiries only reveals themselves.

  • http://www.lightingsupply.com neon signs

    I love how much power blogging has

    • http://www.neongear.com Neon Signs

      true that!

  • http://www.thepoddrop.com iPod Repair

    Dont mess with the bloggers!

  • Guest

    FAKE NUMBERS WERE USED TO TO GET VOTERS TO APPROVE A NEW JAIL FACILITY BEING PROPOSED BY OUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT.

    THE DISCREPANCY WAS IN THE NUMBER OF BEDS BEING REPORTED IN THE PAPER AND THE REAL  NUMBER OF BEDS  REPORTED BY THE  POLICE AND SHERIFFS ASSOCIATION.

    I WROTE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR QUESTIONING THE ACCURACY OF THE REPORTING.

    I QUESTIONED THE REPORTING OF 4 DIFFERENT NUMBERS FOR TOTAL JAIL BEDS, ALL WERE LESS THAN THE REAL NUMBER.

    NONE OF THEIR NUMBERS MATCHED THE REAL NUMBER. 

    THE EDITOR CALLED ME TO SAY THEY WOULD NOT PUBLISH MY EDITORIAL.

    WHEN  I ASKED WHY, I WAS TOLD MY COMMENTS WERE INFLAMATORY.

    WHEN I ASKED WHY THEIR NUMBERS DID NOT MATCH THE REAL NUMBERS.

    I WAS TOLD "THE PAPER IS ONLY ALLOWED TO PUBLISH WHAT THE GOVERNMENT TELLS THEM TO PUBLISH".

    THE MEDIA IS BIASED, EVEN AT THE LOCAL LEVEL. BUT MAYBE THEIR HANDS ARE TIED.

  • http://ultraworld67.jimdo.com/2011/10/09/divorce-par-consentement-mutuel/ Issac Maez

    Aaaw that is so sweet I love soft look in his eyes

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