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Ear to the Ground

What Are They Teaching in Journalism Schools?

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Posted on Dec 2, 2005

The news that a Time magazine reporter plotted with the attorney for Karl Rove is a window into the den of iniquity that is Washington journalism. As the late great Washington journalist I.F. Stone once put it, “Better to stay in your bathtub reading reports than to have that sort of corrupting access.”

—Posted by Robert Scheer.

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By Bill Durbin, December 13, 2005 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m from Missouri, where Ashcroft was, first, state attorney general and then governor before getting elected to the Senate. I know how arrogant and sinister he is. I also know how much Bush/Rove despised him and couldn’t wait to get rid of him, even though he’s the darling of the religious right. If he thought he could nail Bush/Rove, he wouldn’t hesitate for a minute. But I’ve read that he had no part in the selection of Fitzgerald. Still, I feel sure he is loving every minute of the unfolding investigation. Ashcroft is also a crony of Senator Jim Talent of Missouri, who is one of the Republicans who have taken money from Abramhof.

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By Jeffrey M Moskin, December 9, 2005 at 11:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I see it differently, MikeB.

When this “investigation” first began, it was under then Attorney General John Ashcroft. Rove and Libby had good reason to believe that whatever they said on the record would never see the light of day. The final report would be buried. Quite possibly they did not tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

Surprise! Ashcroft (perhaps in a twinge of conscience??) recuses himself (and is dismissed by BushCo for his arrogance).

From the bullpen comes Fitzgerald - - who will, presumedly, carry on the mock investigation with exactly the same method.

Big surprise. He’s SERIOUS.

Now Rove and Libby are on the hot seat, and they have to do something about their earlier “mis-statements.” Memories lapse. Must have taken too much milk of amnesia.

This is a real cat-and-mouse game, and Fitz is a very savvy cat.

But if Ashcroft hadn’t been the first prosecutor, Rove and Libby would have testified much more carefully.

Believe it or not, we all owe Ashcroft a big Thank You.

“Let The Eagle Soar!”

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By MikeB, December 3, 2005 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So Rove lies to the grand jury, then changes his story when this so called journalist tips off his lawyer that she’s going to spill the beans.

What an indictment of all three that implies. Unfortunately for Rove, an actual lawman with real powers of indictment is on his sorry ass.
.

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By Jeffrey M Moskin, December 3, 2005 at 10:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I remember that I.F. Stone also said that he would have to read the WaPo from cover to cover because “you never know where you are going to find the lead story.”
Now there was a journalist. He could not “see” without his coke-bottle glasses, yet he had great vision. He could not “hear” without his hearing aid turned uo full blast, yet he really had his ear to the ground vis-a-vis getting to the unreported truth about the Gulf of Tonkin “attacks.”
I was one of about 5,000 (could there have been more??) subscribers to the “weekly” in the early 60s. Sometimes I wonder how he even paid for printing expenses with such a small reader base.
In a sense, what is happening in the blogosphere has its origins in Izzy’s work.
We all owe him bigtime.

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By ketemphor, December 2, 2005 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

National Press Club’s Statement of Ethics:
http://npc.press.org/abouttheclub/history-ethics.cfm
Journalism.org’s Statement of Shared Purpose:
http://www.journalism.org/resources/guidelines/principles/purpose.asp
Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics:
http://www.spj.org/ethics_code.asp

Walter William’s (1864-1935) Journalist’s Creed:

I believe in the profession of Journalism.

I believe that the public journal is a public trust; that all connected with it are, to the full measure of responsibility, trustees for the public; that acceptance of lesser service than the public service is a betrayal of this trust.

I believe that clear thinking, clear statement, accuracy and fairness are fundamental to good journalism.

I believe that a journalist should write only what he holds in his heart to be true. I believe that suppression of the news, for any consideration other than the welfare of society, is indefensible.

I believe that no one should write as a journalist what he would not say as a gentleman; that bribery by one’s own pocket book is as much to be avoided as bribery by the pocketbook of another; that individual responsibility may not be escaped by pleading another’s instructions or another’s dividends.

I believe that advertising, news and editorial columns should alike serve the best interests of readers; that a single standard of helpful truth and cleanness should prevail for all; that supreme test of good journalism is the measure of its public ser vice.

I believe that the journalism which succeeds the best-and best deserves success-fears God and honors man; is stoutly independent; unmoved by pride of opinion or greed of power; constructive, tolerant but never careless, self-controlled, patient, always respectful of its readers but always unafraid, is quickly indignant at injustice; is unswayed by the appeal of the privilege or the clamor of the mob; seeks to give every man a chance, and as far as law, an honest wage and recognition of human brotherhood can make it so, an equal chance; is profoundly patriotic while sincerely promoting international good will and cementing world-comradeship, is a journalism of humanity, of and for today’s world.

So many noble ideals, it’s hard to figure out whether to laugh or cry when reading through them ...

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