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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Journalism's lone Wolf(ves)

A must read from Monday's Miami Herald is Edward Wasserman's media column, "The vanishing art of standing firm."

Wasserman, the Knight professor of journalism ethics at Washington and Lee University, contrasts the lone ranger efforts of unknown independent journalists such as Vanessa Leggett and Josh Wolf at protecting the principle of the First Amendment with the marquee "singing journalists" who testified at the Scooter Libby trial. The latter were quick to tell Frontline all about the need to protect the principle, but here are two people who have done time -- walked the walk if you will.
Wolf, 24, has been behind bars nearly six months, said to be longer than any other journalist in U.S. history. The previous record was held by another journalist you never heard of, Vanessa Leggett, who spent 168 days in federal lockup in 2001 for refusing to turn over notes for a book about a murder in Texas.

Maybe it's a cheap shot, but the contrast is irresistible between their dogged refusal to talk and the glamorous parade of marquee journalists that queued up in Washington to testify at the trial of Lewis ''Scooter'' Libby, Vice President Cheney's ex-chief of staff.

And later
What happened is that these journalistic heavyweights -- and their employers -- just didn't have the stomach for a fight.

Meanwhile, bantam-weight blogger Josh Wolf languishes in jail to protect some ordinary people and a principle: That reporters have to be able to assure people that they're independent, that they'll stand up to bullying, that they won't be dragooned as helpmates to police, prosecutors or grand juries.

The cruelest irony is that Wolf's tormentors deny he's a journalist at all. To me, if he's independently gathering publicly significant information for the purpose of making it widely known, he's a journalist.

The question is what we call the songbirds at the Libby trial.

21 comments:

Kimball said...

Check out Lance Dutson's MaineWebReport.com

Kimball said...

Good on ya'. Now look at his Big Black Kettle thread, please.

Kimball said...

Sure, Wolf's a journalist. Who isn't?
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Maine Real Estate Fraud said...

By congratulating Lance Dutson, this blogger has just sacrificed her own credibility.

Please see this:

http://truthaboutlewis.blogpsot.com

If only even a few in this medium would exercise some personal responsibility, the world might be a little bit better.

Kimball said...

I would guess that she was congratulating him for his appearance on TV, and nothing else, thus sacrificing no credibility.

You, mref, however, destroy your credibility with hyperbole and ad hominems.

Now, with that intro, I'll attempt to look at your link with an open mind.
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Kimball said...

Whooey, hyperbole alert. Polished hyperbole alert. That stuff is enough to make me gag. Why aren't we carving graven images for this Lewis fella, who parachutes into gravy.
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Maine Real Estate Fraud said...

Ouch--I know. That's an old moniker. I was in a hurry and forgot that Blogger still saw me that way.

Over a year ago, I whipped off a posting without ever having read anything about a blog . I got my name mixed up with the title, and then had so many hits that I was stuck with it. It's gone now, but the name sticks. I should have changed all, but I 'm working a lot of double shifts, and was in a huge hurry.

It's been so buggy since I switched to the new beta app and now I'm going to have to change platforms anyhow.

I finally did read all of your comments. Before I posted this comment here, I did not see the MediaBlogger icon on the page. (!!!)

LOL - troll alert. I have nothing at all nice to say about Cox. My skin crawls thinking of him. (I'm an honest adult.)

Dann's a bit old fashioned, yes, but there really is nothing AT ALL wrong with having integrity, even if it offends YOUR erudite sense of "Cool".

If you bristle at the integrity of another person, then in the long run, you will never allow yourself to have any of your own.

"Clever" doesn't get you any points in God's reality. "Good" does. Sorry, kid.

Good luck! ;-)

Maine Real Estate Fraud said...

OK - I misread your post. The print is too small for my old eyes....I just blew it up, and now I see it.

Alas, SO human....

LOL - I know how trolls react. (though I could care less....)Ignore my comments about the old name.

Kimball said...

So tell me in plain English what is 'good' about your fella.

It's cool that you know what I think is cool.
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Kimball said...

You're messin' me up here. I'm supposed to go research this myself? Fugeddiboutit, that trail is hopelessly befuddled, tangled, bothered and bewildered. It makes me suspicious that you'd direct me to the record.

Speak, I'm all ears.
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Kimball said...

Well, we may just sniff, even longingly, at the record, but I'll find my own way there, thank you. Now tell me what is so 'good' about your fella.
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Kimball said...

OK, what did I do wrong? How can I not shut this fella up?
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Maine Real Estate Fraud said...

Hi...I'm confused...I imagine someone is deleting commments, and that's why you appear to be talking to yourself.

(You should get a dog, and then, when you get caught talking to yourself, you can pretend to be talking to the dog...)

Is it Dann you're talking about? Dann is just incredibly old fashioned. Bob Cox has just threatened to sue us, and Dann is still talking about giving Cox one more chance to do the right thing.

Dann refused to let me post Cox's emails online, because it was "Unethical" But that's exactly how Dutson made his splash and destroyed Dann.

Dann is just a very nice, honest person. He was brought up with Boston Blackie and the Lone Ranger, and he lives that stuff.(I used to, as well, but I've learned the hard way....I'm 9 years younger)
.
Dann really DOES go way out of his way to help anyone who needs it.

Dutson has absolutely no proof about his accusations; the state even did a very exhaustive investigation into Dann themselves, and of course, they could find NOTHING wrong - only the opposite.

You chided me for hyperbole (I KNOW I get too flowery in my speech...!)

But Dutson's blog is basically lies, and most of the time, he knows it.

I strongly suspect that he's a very nervous blogger at this point, because, sooner or later, someone is going to sit down and actually READ that blog.

In the meantime, I'm writing the book.

Maine Real Estate Fraud said...

(Forgot to post this:)

http://coxstuff.blogspot.com

Kimball said...

Thank you for answering. Talking to myself is the only way to ensure an intelligent conversation.

What about the back-up magnetic tapes detailing the effort at suppression?

You are starting to make me curious enough to go sniff. But only because you seem to have lost the gift for hyperbole and ad hominem. Your last posts were in compelling English.
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Kimball said...

Hey, I am a dog. But on the internet no one believes me.
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Kimball said...

What smells bad to me is the need to go to the back-up tapes. Why wasn't the email record readily available? Did Tonto not tell that masked man about tape back-ups?

Kimo sabe?

I mean, c'mon, once upon a time I thought Josh Marshall had a big scoop about the origin of the Yellow Cake forgeries; then Joe Wilson's literary flair was placed on display. I can change my mind. Give it a shot. Ingenuosity about what is 'unethical' isn't going to get it. Is showing the record 'unethical' or is it merely frought with difficulty?
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Kimball said...

The wind has shifted a little, so I'm off track, but had time for a thought, sort of a corollary to your little gem about bristling and integrity; if he can be good to you, he can be good. Remind him.

Me dog's 'r barkin', too. Forgive them and the rest of me.
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Maine Real Estate Fraud said...

What email record? Available to whom? I DID post most of Cox's emails (All I could find so far)

None of this came out before, because Dann was gagged, and Sherry was terrifed of Dutson. And when Cox called them and started screaming at them about me (He never calls ME....?)then Dann gagged ME again.

If you're talking about emails in Augusta, there were none deleted. The foaa request only allow emails pertinent to the subject at hand, although they sent Dutson much more.

and Augusta has no spam filters. Most of their emails are Viagra ads.

And the rest is personal stuff. (At least, it USED to be...) Dutson even got ahold of some very compromising medical photos when Sherry had a cancer scare. (She was a basket case over that....thank God he didn't post them, as he did post her unlisted phone number, her license plate, her private email and home addresses....)

I guess posting those photos would have garnered sympathy for Sherry, and he couldn't have that.

Sherry is a VERY attractive older lady. So is Dutson's wife. (She's 9 years older than him, and supports him)

Oh, and for the record, Dutson started out seeking sympathy by attributing this quote to his "Kids":

"Daddy, daddy, why are those people trying to hurt us?"

But those "kids" aren't Dutson's... they are the product of his wife's -either first or second marriage. If she's 45, then how young can those kids be?

I'm from an older generation....I don't really talk your language yet, so I have trouble understanding you.

Wendy Hoke said...

Okay! That's enough! Would you both please take your discussion off my blog. It's clogging up my email and I'm working on deadline. Thank you, kindly.

Wendy Hoke/proprietor/Creative Ink

Maine Real Estate Fraud said...
This comment has been removed by the author.