In media scandal, British debating how far is too far

From the AP:

LONDON — Britain’s phone hacking scandal intensified Wednesday as the scope of tabloid intrusion into private voice mails became clearer: Murder victims. Terror victims. Film stars. Sports figures. Politicians. The royal family’s entourage.

Almost no one, it seems, was safe from a tabloid determined to beat its rivals, whatever it takes.

The focal point is the News of the World — now facing a spreading advertising boycott — and the top executives of its parent companies: Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, and her boss, media potentate Rupert Murdoch.

In his first comment since the latest details emerged, Murdoch said in a statement Wednesday that Brooks would continue to lead his British newspaper operation despite calls for her resignation.

The scandal, which has already touched the office of Prime Minister David Cameron, widened as the Metropolitan Police confirmed they were investigating evidence from News International that the tabloid made illegal payments to police officers in its quest for information.

The list of potential victims also grew. Revelations emerged Wednesday that the phones of relatives of people killed in the July 7, 2005, terrorist attacks on London’s transit system, as well as those tied to two more slain schoolgirls, may also have been targeted.

As a journalist, I’ve always been intrigued by the cultural and legal differences between my craft as practiced here in the States and the way it’s practiced in Britain. Libel cases, for example, are much easier for media subjects to win in Great Britain, which lacks the “public figure” protection granted media here in the United States. And British courts have much more power to dictate what the media can and cannot report than they do here at home.

Conversely, the British press is typically much more rowdy and colorful than its American counterpart. The boys and girls of Fleet Street do things as a matter of course — half-naked women on Page Six, for example — that most American outlets would never even contemplate. They are also much more willing to invade personal privacy.

At first glance, a media decision to hack into the phone account of Milly Dowler, a 13-year-old missing girl, back in 2002 and even delete some taped calls, would seem to have been one step over the line even by British standards. But to an American journalist, it’s remarkable that such an invasive tactic had apparently been more or less accepted in Britain for so long, and is drawing censure and investigation now only because it involved a murder case involving an innocent young woman. (Back in 1993, you may recall, a British magazine published a transcript of a salacious phone call — something involving Tampons — between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles that it had somehow acquired.)

Public outrage over newspaper actions in the Dowling case has grown so strong that it is threatening government approval of a deal by Murdoch to purchase the British Sky Broadcasting Group.

As the WSJ, another Murdoch outfit, reports:

“At the same time, another arm of the U.K. regulatory bureaucracy sounded a cautionary tone on Wednesday. Ofcom, the U.K. communications regulator, issued a statement that serves as a reminder that it effectively has the power to block the deal even though it has already reported to Mr. Hunt that it’s satisfied the transaction wouldn’t harm media plurality in the country.

Ofcom has the authority to take away the broadcasting license of an entity it deems unfit to hold it. Should Ofcom decide that as a result of the phone-hacking allegations News Corp. is unfit to hold a broadcasting license, that could make its takeover of BSkyB, a pay-TV operator, a practical impossibility.

“In the light of the current public debate about phone hacking and other allegations, Ofcom confirms that it has a duty to be satisfied on an ongoing basis that the holder of a broadcasting licence is ‘fit and proper,’” Ofcom said. “We are closely monitoring the situation and in particular the investigations by the relevant authorities into the alleged unlawful activities,” it added.

Personally, I think we’ve found the better balance here. We have more legal leeway to cover affairs of state aggressively, but as a rule are more respectful of the law and personal privacy. On the other hand, in an Internet age, the ability of the industry as a whole to discipline itself in such matters is fast eroding, and there’s not a whole lot that the traditional media can do about that.

– Jay Bookman

213 comments Add your comment

Midori

July 6th, 2011
5:32 pm

Murdock is a jackal

Midori

July 6th, 2011
5:32 pm

Brad Steel

July 6th, 2011
5:41 pm

As a tangent topic on media, kudos to the AJC for exposing the APS cheating scandal. Fine example of local news-worthy investigative reporting.

Exposing the APS’s corrosive, toxic culture is a good place to start fixing a screwed-up institution.

Ddi anyone hear more about that teacher under the table at the cheatin’-meeting?

Dave R.

July 6th, 2011
5:42 pm

“At first glance, a media decision ”

This what I don’t get, Jay.

Was this a “media” decision, or a personal decision by someone in the media? I haven’t been able to nail that part down.

Jay

July 6th, 2011
5:47 pm

Dave R., it was apparently a media decision made by the paper’s top editors in multiple cases. It wasn’t one lowly reporter making a bad decision on his own.

AmVet - A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

July 6th, 2011
5:47 pm

Very titillating.

Speaking of which, it is The Sun’s Page 3 girls, Jay.

As for their media, the House of Commons, etc., for such a supposedly staid people, the Brits can be incredibly obnoxious…

Dave R.

July 6th, 2011
5:47 pm

Don’t get me wrong. I think both are egregious. But I’m just wondering if they are aiming at the proper target in this case.

Jm

July 6th, 2011
5:48 pm

Sounds like a license needs to be revoked. And more appropriately, some prosecutions need to occur if a law was broken. But I’m no expert on British common law.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

July 6th, 2011
5:48 pm

Computer capabilities, the internet and lax privacy rules means that more and more information that most previously thought would be buried in the volume can now be found and collected. However hacking into personal accounts does have a certain distaste as well as resulting in impacting evidence in a criminal matter. I dont personally know the rules in UK in depth but it would seem from the uproar in the UK that Rupert has step into a mess and its a shame Rupert continues to tolerate this. Illegal payments to law enforcement however should never be tolerated.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

July 6th, 2011
5:49 pm

Well, this nosy stuff is one reason I always look into the toilet before I use it. You never can tell what prevert will want to get a picture of the missus’s bottom and Private Parts. It’s just awful somebody would go to the trouble of getting into somebody’s private phone messages and even looking up Dave R’s real last name and publishing stuff he’s published. It just ain’t fair to use a guy’s own words against him. Ain’t nothing Sacred anymore.

Anyhow, if this wasn’t a Fox-owned outfit I’d be for pulling that rag’s liscence. But we got to have the Truth and we can’t have that if only the librul rags are left.

P.S. Did they find anything kind of salty in those messages they listened to and then deleted? We got a Right to Know, you know.

Dave R.

July 6th, 2011
5:49 pm

“Speaking of which, it is The Sun’s Page 3 girls, Jay.”

Or so you’ve been told . . . ;)

Joe Mama

July 6th, 2011
5:49 pm

Jay — “it is threatening government approval of a deal by Murdoch to purchase the British Sky Broadcasting Group.”

Jay, does Murdoch own any British media properties already?

Jay

July 6th, 2011
5:51 pm

It gets complicated, jm, because one of the editors allegedly involved went on to serve as the current prime minister’s top communications guy, and the current gov’t has strong ties to Murdoch. An earlier police investigation into the practice went nowhere, allegedly because the gov’t didn’t want to find out what was going on.

That’s in part why the reaction to this latest case has been so strong, the sense that justice has not been done.

Dave R.

July 6th, 2011
5:53 pm

Given the British government’s ability to approve licenses for media outlets, I’d certainly be a bit more cautious in what I’d allow my editors to do.

Speaking as a person who’s privacy has been violated, I’d arrest and prosecute.

Jay

July 6th, 2011
5:53 pm

Joe Mama, Murdoch owns a very huge chunk of British media — newspapers, TV, satellite TV….

@@

July 6th, 2011
5:54 pm

On the other hand, in an Internet age, the ability of the industry as a whole to discipline itself in such matters is fast eroding, and there’s not a whole lot that the traditional media can do about that.

They can, at the very least, deal with it on their personal blog!!!!

Computer capabilities, the internet and lax privacy rules means that more and more information that most previously thought would be buried in the volume can now be found and collected.

Who would know better than Keep, eh buddy?

I’m outta here.

Jay

July 6th, 2011
5:54 pm

Times of London, The Sun, News of the World ….

Doggone/GA

July 6th, 2011
5:56 pm

“Speaking as a person who’s privacy has been violated”

Maybe someone should start taking bets on how often we hear this whine from now on.

Dave R.

July 6th, 2011
5:57 pm

“It gets complicated, jm, because one of the editors allegedly involved went on to serve as the current prime minister’s top communications guy, and the current gov’t has strong ties to Murdoch.”

Kinda like Hope & Putt ™ bringing those journalists into the fold like Jay Carney and the one who was brought over to sell Obamacare to the masses. I forget her name.

@@

July 6th, 2011
5:58 pm

From downstairs:

@@, you still here? I thought this was boring or something.

Just trying to help you out, jay. No need to thank me.

Jay

July 6th, 2011
6:00 pm

Right, Dave R.

But remind me again: How was Carney implicated in illegal or unethical actions as a journalist that may have been covered up by the government to protect him?

You know, to make it parallel to the British case?

Dave R.

July 6th, 2011
6:00 pm

“Maybe someone should start taking bets on how often we hear this whine from now on.”

Feel free to let us all know how you feel following YOUR first death threat received, Doggone.

Your flippancy might just drop down a notch or two.

@@

July 6th, 2011
6:01 pm

One last comment.

Who is David Kernell?

A self-proclaimed Obamacrat and a notorious e-mail hacker.

schnirt

josef

July 6th, 2011
6:01 pm

I’ve never been able to get a handle on the Brits and the press…like Jay says, on the one hand they have a lot more, well, censorship, than us, but then they do a much better job of taking on those public figures with a good left-handed jibe…

BRAD
Go read the report…

Jay

July 6th, 2011
6:02 pm

how can we miss you, @@, if you never go away?

Oh, and let’s move on from the recent unpleasantness, shall we?

Dave R.

July 6th, 2011
6:03 pm

Jay, I’m just pointing out how, well – embarrassing – it might be for journalists to attempt to retain any semblance of objectivity after having agreed to work in the public sector.

It’s not as if they get some lifetime appointment, you know.

A person who's privacy has been violated

July 6th, 2011
6:04 pm

Well I never!!!!!!!!!

getalife

July 6th, 2011
6:05 pm

Not familiar with England’s politics but they should get murdoch were it hurts.

Sue him for billions.

SKH

July 6th, 2011
6:06 pm

While I often disagree with your PoV, Jay, let me say this was a great post – very thoughtful I felt.

AmVet - A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

July 6th, 2011
6:07 pm

Hell, we have giant corporations “legally” authorized to spy on us in this country these days.

And habeus corpus is an inconvenient obstacle in the war on terror.

So what’s a little wiretapping by the English paparazzi?

@@

July 6th, 2011
6:07 pm

jay:

Can you show me where I asked to be missed?

Do you want me to go away?

Shutting down in 3….2….1

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Joe Mama

July 6th, 2011
6:08 pm

Dave — “Jay, I’m just pointing out how, well – embarrassing – it might be for journalists to attempt to retain any semblance of objectivity after having agreed to work in the public sector.”

Many White House press secretaries have gone back to work in commercial media after working in government; I suspect there are also large numbers of press critters who worked for Senators or Congressmen — or even at the state government level — as well. Are you suggesting that they *can’t* be objective or perhaps that they can’t be trusted? Or simply that there’s a presumption of bias on their parts that they will have to overcome?

And there’s no need to be snippy or accuse me of poor reading comprehension, Dave — I’m just trying to get some clarification on what you’re expressing here.

Left wing management

July 6th, 2011
6:09 pm

Surprised you didn’t mention the Fairness Doctrine, Jay, and the rise of Fox News in recent years.

Things are not well in the American media landscape.

getalife

July 6th, 2011
6:10 pm

Hugh Grant wore a wire to get a reporter to admit he hacked him.

Sounds like a movie.

Tabloids out of control.

Dave R.

July 6th, 2011
6:11 pm

LWM, do you actually watch Fox NEWS, or just their opinion programs?

And how do Fox opinion programs differ in any way from MSNBC opinion programs except that one comes from the right while the other comes from the left?

Joe Mama

July 6th, 2011
6:12 pm

LWM — “Surprised you didn’t mention the Fairness Doctrine”

The Fairness Doctrine was done away with toward the end of the Reagan Administration, IIRC.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

July 6th, 2011
6:13 pm

The laws of privacy are constantly evolving and what corporations can collect and sell. Of course, some may not have much to complain about. Using a Kroger card or similar discount reveals a great deal of information. Not using privacy filters on your web browser can reveal a lot. If you voluntarily disclose information, do you retain a right to privacy? Who’s responsible for your “choice” of disclosure? Again, if you have to hack into a system, there may have been a privacy expectation. If you take your trash to the street, its long established that you have no expectation of privacy.

Remember there is a group with the refrain “regulation bad”. Guess they are beginning to see the consequences. Who draws the lines for balance when you dont like it?

SKH

July 6th, 2011
6:13 pm

Dave R., Doggone/GA, Joe Mama, et alia (my apologies for omitting anyone, LOL): let’s please let it go now. Then, in just a few days (eons in Internet time), this will all have faded into oblivion ;-)

kayaker 71

July 6th, 2011
6:15 pm

And you don’t think that all of this hullabaloo wouldn’t exist without a profit motive? Fox, MSNBC, even the Today Show, which is fluff at it’s best/worst, exist on ratings and a bottom line. They are appealing to what the average dumb reader wants to hear. Ernie Kovacks, a popular 50s comedian, once said that the American viewing public was so dumb that they would break their arms turning to the Ed Sullivan show to watch some dog fart the Star Spangled Banner. Things haven’t changed much in 50 years.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

July 6th, 2011
6:16 pm

dogs farting the star spangled banner….is that on youtube? :D

Joe Mama

July 6th, 2011
6:18 pm

Keep — “….is that on youtube?”

Look around a while and I bet you can find it. I have constantly been amazed and appalled at what you can find on there.

A person who's privacy has been violated

July 6th, 2011
6:21 pm

“Remember there is a group with the refrain “regulation bad”. Guess they are beginning to see the consequences.”

Hoist with my own petard.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

July 6th, 2011
6:22 pm

Joe, it does have that polarized “best of” and “lowest common denominator” nature to it. But that’s always been true of media, its just one of the latest forms.

Doggone/GA

July 6th, 2011
6:22 pm

“Feel free to let us all know how you feel following YOUR first death threat received, Doggone”

No need. People who have been here long enough already know.

Left wing management

July 6th, 2011
6:22 pm

Joe Mama: “The Fairness Doctrine was done away with toward the end of the Reagan Administration, IIRC.”

That is correct I believe.And we’re the worse for it.

kayaker 71

July 6th, 2011
6:22 pm

Keep,

The amazing thing is that you would probably watch it.

godless heathen

July 6th, 2011
6:24 pm

Let’s not forget the way the US media has been after the lovely Huntress from Wasilla. Pounced on her emails like a pack of jackals when they were released, they did, Mighty disappointed they were when there was nothing salacious or damning in them. Any number of “legitimate” news organizations on this side of the pond would not hesitate to hack her personal accounts if they had the chance.

Dave R.

July 6th, 2011
6:24 pm

Off to feed the canines and ME!

Mighty Righty

July 6th, 2011
6:24 pm

“Personally, I think we’ve found the better balance here. We have more legal leeway to cover affairs of state aggressively, but as a rule are more respectful of the law and personal privacy. On the other hand, in an Internet age, the ability of the indusstry as a whole to discipline itself in such matters is fast eroding, and there’s not a whole lot that the traditional media can do about that.”

Jay, you wouldn’t endorse going through Sarah Palin’s trash would you? How about the New York Times soliciting volunters for the sole purpose of turning up dirt on Sarah? Is the gray lady traditional media? I guess I gave trouble seeing the diference between legitimate news media and scandal raking rags.

Joe Mama

July 6th, 2011
6:27 pm

Heathen — “Let’s not forget the way the US media has been after the lovely Huntress from Wasilla. Pounced on her emails like a pack of jackals when they were released, they did, Mighty disappointed they were when there was nothing salacious or damning in them.”

My wife and I were discussing this over the holiday weekend, and I wouldn’t be so sure. Just because nothing’s come out doesn’t mean there’s nothing in them — absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

I suspect that if Palin declares as a Presidential candidate and gains traction, you will see some things coming out of those e-mail messages. I feel certain that there’s oppo research on both the Democratic and GOP sides looking into those archived e-mail messages.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

July 6th, 2011
6:27 pm

k71…. nice try but not me. I would appreciate the quality of the training of a dog to perform the trick to a specific tune. Dogs have the mentality of a 4-5 yr old and they can do many things (open doors, turn on/off lights, pick up things on command). Recognizing a tune, controlling bodily function and performing that on command would be an accomplishment. I’d personally prefer the 1812 Overture for the song selection.

stands for decibels

July 6th, 2011
6:28 pm

About the Page Free girls? and UK tabloid journalism in general? I think these lads put it all in the proper perspective…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc7L6JTHQNU

Today what every man desires
Tomorrow you’ll be lighting fires
Or masking off as someone paints his car…

Thomas

July 6th, 2011
6:30 pm

I would let the JournOlist group handle this issue. I prefer very biased reporting done behind closed doors.

getalife

July 6th, 2011
6:32 pm

The guy that hacked palin’s yahoo went to trial here.

Nice deflection cons.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

July 6th, 2011
6:33 pm

Palin’s emails that were required to be disclosed were emails she sent or received from her personal account (in violation of law) from/to state officials. By law those personal accounts were not to be used, her official state account was to be used. She chose to violate the rules. She was not however required to disclose personal emails to personal friends about personal matters.

kayaker 71

July 6th, 2011
6:33 pm

“Credible Journalism” in this day and time appeals more to the watchers of American Idol and MTV rather than a thinking and interospective public. The more sensational you can make it the better the ratings. And ratings attracts the advertisers which is the bottom line. The viewing public is no more than the tail wagging the dog.

Left wing management

July 6th, 2011
6:33 pm

Dave R.: “And how do Fox opinion programs differ in any way from MSNBC opinion programs except that one comes from the right while the other comes from the left”

Oh come one. Am I gonna have to play my Jon Stewart to your Chris Wallace here?

MSNBC is not the opposite to FOX News, though it tries to mimic its formula, because the left is not the opposite to the right. On MSNBC, try as they might to be partisan, they can’t help themselves, they show their true colors when they appeal to general objectivity, free of partisanship, something FOX News never does.

SKH

July 6th, 2011
6:34 pm

“Who draws the lines for balance when you dont like it?”

I do, of course ;-) Seriously, though, a good question. I try (not successfully all of the time) to follow certain principles where there is no clear legal right or wrong. Like the so-called golden rule. I may overhear someone at the reveal that they were arrested for driving drunk. I have a personal choice now as to what to do with that information. I can blab it around or keep it to myself, hoping someone else will do the same when I stupidly or unwittingly divulge something embarrassing about myself.

If we all did that, laws would not matter so much. But it is really hard to legislate morality – it’s almost like nailing jello to the wall. As soon as you think you’ve covered all the contingencies, someone bent on doing wrong will find a way to skirt the law. That, to my mind, is one of the dangers of a democracy like ours (as opposed to an oligarchy or monarchy): once people feel they are free to do any number of things without consequences, they tend to through off all restraint it seems. Simply consider how things have changed in our nation since WWII. Some very important changes have been made (like the elimination of institutionalized racism and the hiding from public view wrongdoing by politicians and celebrities), but it seems the proverbial baby has been thrown out with the bath water.

godless heathen

July 6th, 2011
6:40 pm

getaclue: Your post was a deflection. The point was that a Democratic operative did the deed and found nothing incriminating. If he had, do you doubt that the “legitimate” media would not have reported what was found?

Keep Up the Good Fight!

July 6th, 2011
6:43 pm

SKH… Like the so-called golden rule. I may overhear someone at the reveal that they were arrested for driving drunk. I have a personal choice now as to what to do with that information. I can blab it around or keep it to myself, hoping someone else will do the same when I stupidly or unwittingly divulge something embarrassing about myself.

And what do you do when they say in the same conversation “I drive a school bus every day. Glad the school district did not find out about my drinking”. Keep quiet?

There are very few matters in laws that are absolute black/white clear cut answers. Most are drawing the lines on the sliding scale. Many believe “killing” is wrong. That is not absolute though. There are “justified killings” – self-defense, war, protection of others, punishment for some crimes.

RW-(the original)

July 6th, 2011
6:44 pm

how can we miss you, @@, if you never go away?

Sounds like finch has been reanimated.

SKH

July 6th, 2011
6:44 pm

“I suspect that if Palin declares as a Presidential candidate and gains traction, you will see some things coming out of those e-mail messages.”

EVERY presidential candidate should be heavily scrutinized. Obama certainly was. Yet I really think that Palin (and I would not want her to run as I don’t think she’s presidential) has been unfairly scrutinized. It’s almost like there’s some kind of pathological hatred of her as a person that is way out of proportion to her political stature. I mean, let’s face it – the chances of her going anywhere are pretty slim. So why keep mocking and hammering her? What is it about her that MERITS that kind of hatred? Is she a mass murderer? Has she abused countless innocent children? What is it?

Doggone/GA

July 6th, 2011
6:46 pm

“What is it?”

How about: there’s no such thing as bad publicity

The proverbial baby

July 6th, 2011
6:47 pm

So THAT’S where my bath water got off to.

getalife

July 6th, 2011
6:50 pm

godless,

The point is mudoch’s rags hacking not palin silly.

kayaker 71

July 6th, 2011
6:57 pm

“As a journalist” is often the intro to a piece like this blog today. With this comment, we are presuming a great deal sometimes. Sort of like a professor in a university with tenure lecturing to a young class on how to be a better liberal. The media has a lock on public discourse. They control the airways, the funding for control of the programs that they choose to air and what passes for “journalism” in this present day. Personally, I got a lot more from watching Chroncite, Rooney, Severide and Murrow. The face of so called journalism has changed so dramatically that I sometimes wonder where it went. I would love to be a student of journalism in a liberal university today. Just think of the fun you would have.

Dusty

July 6th, 2011
6:59 pm

Well, I see that breaking the rules here means nothing . Oh yeah. Rules apply only to those who march to the wrong drummer.

Let it all roll down hill. Luckovich did. Look what happened to his blog? It’s GONE.

Read the posts on the blog before this one. Rules? What rules? Some people just don’t know how to play a good game.

SKH

July 6th, 2011
7:00 pm

And what do you do when they say in the same conversation “I drive a school bus every day. Glad the school district did not find out about my drinking”. Keep quiet?

Well, in that case, it is hard to imagine the school district not finding out about it. But, to be sure, I might also call the Principal or Superintendent and inform them that I had that learned a bus driver had been recently arrested for DUI. They could then do the homework to find out who he or she was. I would do that because I would hope someone else would do the same were my child riding that bus. But I still wouldn’t blab it around, especially since a verdict had not been reached by a court. He or she will face consequences enough without becoming public enemy number one – that causes people to lose hope and become irredeemable.

Wow, a talking baby!

July 6th, 2011
7:01 pm

“So THAT’S where my bath water got off to.”

Mighty Righty

July 6th, 2011
7:02 pm

kayaker 71

July 6th, 2011
6:57 pm

I agree. You and I must be in the same or nearly the same tree ring.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

July 6th, 2011
7:04 pm

The media has a lock on public discourse.

Do you think it is Jay personally that is the “media” in charge. Does he control newspapers, TV, Cable, the Internet, town squares and the cell phones w/ video.

Sorry, not even Iraq, Eqypt or China has been able to “control” the the flow of information. “The media” conspiracy must involve hundreds of thousands and I guess Fox is a part. We have moved far from the days of 3 networks.

how to be a better liberal 101 or 102?

Keep Up the Good Fight!

July 6th, 2011
7:10 pm

SKH…so your golden rule is slipping. You would report it and keep it quiet. So now it turns out that the person you reported it says “we aren’t doing anything until there is a conviction”, you going to put your kid on that bus? You allow others to put there kid on that bus? What if the school officials decide not to do anything because they like the driver? What are the rules they should follow….wait to conviction, suspend pending conviction? What if the bus driver had an accident the week before and kids were injured, do you tell the parents that perhaps there was more involved that should be investigated rather than just accepting “accidents happen”. What if it turns out that the school already knew but was covering it up?

“Golden rules” sound nice. Reality is that there are a lot of nuances some of which can be addressed by law.

kayaker 71

July 6th, 2011
7:12 pm

Righty,

I can still see Murrow smoking his endless cigs and telling the American public how “it was” in Patton’s advance across Europe. He was undoubltly a showman, as they all were, but you sensed a modem of fairness, a sense of excellence and yes, a certain responsibility to get it right. Tim Russert was as close as I can come to present day journalism. The rest, including Bookman, have a need to publish only those things that advance a personal belief. They seem to ignore that there are other viewpoints out there that might be worth listening to and the truth is sometimes a fleeting thing.

Wow, a talking baby!

July 6th, 2011
7:13 pm

“How to be a better liberal 101 or 102?”

LOL. No, Kutgf, I think that was a graduate level course – Advanced Studies in Leftist Ideology if I memory serves me correctly ;-)

BADA BING

July 6th, 2011
7:20 pm

Congratulations APS, you made the national ABC Evening News @7PM. Another blow to ATL’s image. No surprise to long time ATL residents who have watched the tragedy unfold for many years.

Mighty Righty

July 6th, 2011
7:24 pm

kayaker 71

July 6th, 2011
7:12 pm

I agree. Journalism is dead. I doubt there are many who even know the meaning of the word.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

July 6th, 2011
7:25 pm

graduate liberal classes…..oh my. I wonder if I can just have practical experience count for class credits. I need some more alphabeta after my name. Liberal PhD.

Public enemy number one

July 6th, 2011
7:27 pm

Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate

kayaker 71

July 6th, 2011
7:29 pm

“Journalism” has become so polarized as to do nothing but expouse a certain political philosophy that backs up what you believe. There is no room for debate, exchange of ideas, honest dialogue….. it centers on hipe, personal advancement, circus and numerous other things that make discourse difficult, if not impossible. Murdock makes money just as MSNBC makes money. The third estate has degenerated into the bucket but the sad thing is that most of the viewing public doesn’t take time to realize what they are viewing and listening to. And they can vote.

josef

July 6th, 2011
7:30 pm

BADA

From the report…

“Unknown to Ms Payne, on July 6, 2009, Dr. Hall signed the letter without Ms. Payne’s suggested changes. (Ex 26). It was not until a year later, in 2010, when Payne was preparing to testify at a PSC hearing related to Deerwood Academy that she saw a copy of Dr. Hall’s July 6, 2009 letter. Payne’s response on reading the letter: “Oh shi t.” She realized that, in spite of her verbal and written warnings to McKee and Augustine that the investigation was not complete, they had allowed the false and misleading letter to be sent to Kathy Mathers, executive director of GOSA.”

“Oh shi t?” Maybe that should be the title of this whole report.

SKH

July 6th, 2011
7:34 pm

“SKH…so your golden rule is slipping”

I don’t know about that; you keep changing the scenario on me to prove me wrong. I didn’t make up the golden rule, as I am simply not that smart or wise. Don’t get me wrong; I think you’re right in that some ethical situations can be very hard to sort out. I think one of my points was that it is nearly impossible for lawmakers to stem the tide of wrongdoing that seems to be sweeping our nation. Just think of how many trespasses you witness daily (on the roads, in movie theaters, at work, in our schools, in the cities, ad infinitum). There’s not enough policemen to enforce the laws and not nearly enough laws to cover all of the wrongdoing you see.

Now I am not ignorant of history and realize the the history our nation is a spotted and often ugly one. But it seems that the zenith (all things considered) of our history was the mid 20th century and we have been on a downhill slide since. So when the law fails to evoke decent behavior from people, the personal desire to “do the right thing” (as Spike Lee might say) fills that void wonderfully.

The Gipper

July 6th, 2011
7:39 pm

Graduate level “liberal” classes are sure to be of more value than the typical conservative education. By the way, what does one learn in order to obtain a PhD in Intelligent Design and what does one do with it afterward, from a practical standpoint. Do you teach people to be patient and just have a little faith that everything will work out.

Mighty Righty

July 6th, 2011
7:41 pm

The APS situation is a tradgedy of immeasureable proportions. The people who were actively involved in this scandal should be imprisoned. I don’t buy the argument they were coerced and feared for their jobs. When has it become aceptable for anyone to violate laws because they were threatened? Nuremburg anyone? With all the time the Administrators and teachers spent erasing and changing answers it doubtful they had time to teach at all. These are the people we rely on to educate our youth. When they want more money they tell us how concerned they are for the “children”. It’s all about the “children”. Then we find out the real story is the children don’t matter at all. It’s all about the “educators. My God, these poor children will never recover from this and some will have or have already had their lives destroyed by uncaring “educators”. What about the school board? Who hired and supervised these frauds? Where is the accountability?

Dante

July 6th, 2011
7:42 pm

I didn’t mean this forum – no, no, no. Jay is a personal friend, after all (though I am wondering if I could swell the ranks with – never mind).

Jay

July 6th, 2011
7:44 pm

Of course, if journalism were dead, as you claimed earlier, MightyRighty, you never would have learned about that “tragedy of immense proportions.”

Journalism is far from dead. It is more necessary than ever. Your error is in mistaking what happens on TV talk shows for journalism, which it is not.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

July 6th, 2011
7:46 pm

SKH, yes I am tweaking the situation but that is because life does not offer one simple version. You golden rule sounds easy to apply to a single situation, but even in a small city it has to be applied thousands of times and each situation has different circumstances and not always clear answers. “Do the right thing” makes a nice bumper sticker but its not always clear. You and I may disagree on what the “right thing” is. We may both believe we are right and that based on our values our particular answer is right. Religion may have some impact on our viewpoint. Past history also. Someone who is a victim of a DUI may have stronger feelings about what should be done after they have lost a family member.

Whether there is a downhill slide or not is a debate for another day. You may find the statistics do not hold up or you may find that the crimes were always there but the reporting to authorities is improved and the record keeping. Law is not intended to evoke decent behavior. It is intended to help provide some lines for guidance that a society determines appropriate. Its hard to apply those “golden rule” standards to corporation, its often a minimum behavior and not necessarily the highest of standards. Its a system that constantly needs to change and evolve and is often well behind were we are as a society and does not always reflect diversity well. Its imperfect and always will be. It is frustrating in its imperfection.

SKH

July 6th, 2011
7:48 pm

“I wonder if I can just have practical experience count for class credits.”

That would be a liberal (as in generous) policy, but they may desire money more than your undying appreciation ;-)

Mighty Righty

July 6th, 2011
7:48 pm

josef

July 6th, 2011
7:30 pm

You will be receiving something from me tomorrow.

AmVet - A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

July 6th, 2011
7:49 pm

So now covering up for cheating on tests is the equivalent of complicity in mass genocide?

Some of the hyperbolic rhetoric here goes beyond the staggeringly inane to the truly repulsive.

SKH

July 6th, 2011
7:52 pm

“Graduate level “liberal” classes are sure to be of more value than the typical conservative education.”

And you know this how, objectively?

“By the way, what does one learn in order to obtain a PhD in Intelligent Design and what does one do with it afterward, from a practical standpoint.”

I wasn’t aware such a degree existed. Who offers it?

josef

July 6th, 2011
7:53 pm

Mighty

You can bet your bottom Judah P that those the most responsible will never face proper retribution and those of us on the front lines who are ethical and have the best interest of the kids at heart and soul will be the ones who suffer the slings and arrows. The movers and shakers are still far more concerned with the PR effect and are in “damage control” mode.

And why do I hear the ghost of Richard Nixon…

josef

July 6th, 2011
7:55 pm

Mighty

Loolking forward to it…

SKH

July 6th, 2011
7:55 pm

“So now covering up for cheating on tests is the equivalent of complicity in mass genocide?”

LOL. How can you not see the connection??? Although I hardly think that was what Mighty Righty was intimating (and you’re smart enough to know that).

Mighty Righty

July 6th, 2011
7:55 pm

Jay

July 6th, 2011
7:44 pm
Of course, if journalism were dead, as you claimed earlier, MightyRighty, you never would have learned about that “tragedy of immense proportions.”

Journalism is far from dead. It is more necessary than ever. Your error is in mistaking what happens on TV talk shows for journalism, which it is not

I stand partially corrected. I consider omission a journalistic weakness and burying opposing points in back pages less than stellar journalism.

AmVet - A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

July 6th, 2011
7:57 pm

Let’s just say that I have exceedingly personal reasons for commenting when some lamebrain comparison involving the holocaust is made…

josef

July 6th, 2011
7:58 pm

ZamVet

I’m not so sure…it’s that same “just following orders” mentality/defense. I don’t think the allusion was to the genocide per se…

getalife

July 6th, 2011
7:59 pm

“You will be receiving something from me tomorrow.”

Sounds like a threat MR.

Mighty Righty

July 6th, 2011
8:01 pm

josef

July 6th, 2011
7:53 pm

We can’t let the APS issue get swept under the rug. We must be vigilant. The cover up, not the crime got Tricky Dick. This is similar.

The Gipper

July 6th, 2011
8:04 pm

My use of artistic license coupled with a dash of hyperbole has left SKH wanting and I did not even need graduate level “liberal” classes to pull it off. If I were to employ more complex techniques, I could demand my own price and time slot on cable TV. Perhaps a theme along the lines of “Who is that Masked Blogger,” where anonymouse bloggers go at each other in daytime shock show fashion behind the assumed safety of their hidden selves, not knowing that they are separated from each other by a mere few feet. The drama. Is anyone writing this down. I think I could be on to something here. Where’s Dr. Phil. I need to make an appointment.

Dusty

July 6th, 2011
8:04 pm

Journalism is NOT dead. Just GOOD journalism. Therein lies the rub..