Saturday, January 19, 2008

Journalists: Caught With Their Pants Down

"MONICAGATE: THE COMMUNITY RUPTURES: It is hard to recapture the shock in America when this totally unprecedented news broke. A married president while in office had an affair with a 22-year-old intern under his charge. In less than ten years, we had gone from a president who would not take his jacket off in the Oval Office to one who could not keep his zipper up.

Unlike Watergate, journalists failed to do something that may now prove fatal to the Old Media. They never clearly condemned the president’s sexual relations as “wrong.” Nor that Clinton lied to them about it. Nor the credible allegations made by Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, and Juanita Broaddrick that Clinton may have engaged in violations ranging from sexual harassment to rape. These were reported as if they were just political squabbles, typically with one side saying it was just about sex and the other side dismissed as “Clinton-haters” by James Carville and a “war room” that the media seemed to respect, if not celebrate.

The significant number of Americans to whom it was self-evident that Clinton’s behavior was a previously unthinkable outrage promptly revoked their membership in an Old Media that clearly did not share their values. According to the Pew Research Center, those who believed news organizations were “immoral” tripled from 13% to 38% — a level it has maintained since, dipping momentarily only in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 when the media did share the values of a united America.

Now that news is converging onto the internet, which will provide a multitude of “news associations,” the Old Media outlets will likely never be able to reunite us in a single news community with shared values. Certainly, not those Americans who are convinced they sold their soul to a devil with a blue dress on."

- From Steve Boriss, writing on Pajamas Media

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