Sunday, November 07, 2010

It's time to sit down with David Carr and Greg Sargent

A rule's a rule. You can be opposed to it. You can fight to overturn it. You can say, "I won't follow it and I will take the consequences!" What you really can't do, and be consider ethical, if you're a journalist is excuse the violation of a written rule and try to argue it doesn't matter.

Greg Sargent, still trying to find a way to save Keith Olbermann from a suspension, whores it out at The Washington Post with it's-not-even-a-violation! The Washington Post would do well to go over the rules with Greggie. They'd also do well to review the Journolist issue. In other words, all the little whores on Journolist -- Ezra Klein, we do mean you -- need to be forbidden from the Circle Jerk. Ezra's already raised eye brows at the paper over the 'linkage love' he's given fellow Journolister Spencer Ackerman -- and how Wired became a go to for Klein . . . after they hired his buddy.

David Carr, at The New York Times, plays a little more down-low but he's not the idiot he comes off in the column. The debate going on is not new. If your morning show -- as Carr damn well knows -- was under the network's news umbrella, you were held to different standards than if your morning show was under the network's entertaimment umbrella. And, if you were doing public affairs or talk, it was always considered more 'golden' to be part of the news division. Being part of the news division comes with responsibilities.

Those responsibilities include being required to follow the guidelines for news employees.

Keith Olbermann was suspended by NBC News because he was caught making financial contributions to candidates. As an NBC News employee, he's required to get his employers' permission before making any contributions. He thought he wasn't bound by his contract. He is bound by it.

He was suspended for his actions. Were he fired for his financial contributions, we would probably be defending him right now and seeing that as an extreme reaction to one violation. But he wasn't fired, he was put on a limited suspension.

And he needs to take it like a grown up as does his cult.

But while we would defend him were he fired for those stated reasons, we could not defend if NBC News fired him because he brought guests onto his programs whose campaigns he had donated to and did not disclose that.

You cannot do that. If you're giving airtime to someone you've donated to, you are required to disclose that.

MSNBC's Boldest Lie

The above is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "MSNBC's Boldest Lie" and Maddow delcared that on MSNBC last week while demonstrating that she has no concept of the news. The news is not, is never, "My friend got suspended and I'm mad!" While events around the world and in this country unfolded, Rachel Maddow's gas bagging about her little buddy, Rachel Maddow is engaging in naval gazing and not in the news.

That Scott Baio lookalike wouldn't know the news if it her in the face. As she demonstrated repeatedly as part of Air America Radio.

The industry standard for criticism remains David Zuraqik who nailed it all in "Free Keith: Watching MSNBC go off the rails" (Baltimore Sun):

And in case you missed it, Maddow Friday night called for Olbermann's reinstatement. And as she whined her way through her what-he-did-was-wrong-but-Fox-is-worse-so-reinstate-him-now complaint, MSNBC came sharply into focus.

It's not high school with cable TV salaries, as one news executive once explained it to me trying to account for the adolescent behavior and attitudes of its hosts. No, it's a weird, little, liberal prep school. It's not very good academically, but it cost lots of money to get in. The editor of the literary magazine is Olbermann, and his protege is Maddow, the poetry editor. And now, the poetry editor is upset because Keith was suspended for breaking one of the school rules.

And she's so upset she's going to demand his immediate reinstatement. But what is she going to do if he is not reinstated? Nothing, because that would involve paying a price, however small, for her convictions. And if she walked off in protest, who would publish her self-absorbed, snarky poems?

Poor MSNBC President Phil Griffin, having to play headmaster to this crew of emotional 15-year-olds.

If you're a news outlet and your David Carr or Greggie Sargent couldn't grasp the reason Olbermann got suspended, it's time you sat down with your stooges to review your own outlet's policies because -- clearly -- some people think ethical guidelines are more recommendations than actual rules.
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