Mainstream Media And Internet Gatekeepers
July 28, 2010 by Bob Livingston
Members of the mainstream media, increasingly frustrated that people are turning away from them and to alternative media for their news, are now beginning to call for regulation of the Internet.
It happened again last week on CNN as anchors Kyra Phillips and John Roberts discussed the Shirley Sherrod firing fiasco. In case you missed it, Sherrod was fired from her job at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) after Andrew Breitbart posted a video in which Sherrod told a story about not giving full assistance to a farmer because he was white.
The video stopped before Sherrod continued her story to demonstrate that she had learned as she worked with the man that it wasn’t a black-white issue and later became friends with the farmer and helped him to avoid foreclosure on his farm.
The controversy erupted after the NAACP issued a statement calling Tea Party members racists. Sherrod had recently spoken at a NAACP rally.
“There’s going to have be a point in time where these people have to be held accountable,” Phillips said. “How about all these bloggers that blog anonymously? They say rotten things about people and they’re actually given credibility, which is crazy. They’re a bunch of cowards, they’re just people seeking attention.”
Phillips then asked if “there’s going to come a point where something’s going to have to be done legally" about anonymous bloggers. Roberts responded that anonymous blogging might benefit from “checks and balances.”
But in light of the Journo-list fiasco—a list serve group of mainstream media members that has been exposed by The Daily Caller and proves that the mainstream media has colluded in framing stories to further a liberal agenda—the mainstream media can’t be trusted to tell the truth either.
And their criticism that Breitbart edited the video is at the very least hypocritical. There are a number of instances of supposed legitimate news organizations—NBC News, 60 Minutes and CNN to name a few—that have edited videos and run them to frame a story in a certain way.
The difference is Breitbart makes no claims to be a journalist. He comes with a known and stated agenda.
Journalists like Phillips and Roberts claim to be non-partisan and neutral.
Internet bloggers have done the country a wonderful service in exposing information the main stream media has ignored. And anonymous writing has a storied history in our country—dating back to colonial times and the fight for independence.
The Internet doesn’t need gatekeepers. But America would benefit from a legitimate mainstream media doing its job properly and without a leftward agenda.