Friday, September 10, 2004
CBS, Bloggers and Lawyers
Watching the CBS saga unravel, I was struck by how many people has relevant things to say. I was also struck by the depth of knowledge found in the blogshere, as well as the well considered opinions and ideas of people who knew what they were talking about.
It would seem that bloggers are the new class of 'trust buster' lawyers. News monopolies, no matter how well funded and no matter how widely distributed, are at the mercy of people who know what they're talking about.
It really is the application of basic economic theory and principle at it's best. The market decides who it trusts and who is really credible. It's that simple, really.
The days of agenda based editors deciding what or who is or what and who aren't important, has ended. Issues deemed 'important' or 'relevant' won't be decided by editorial boards. The idea of bestowing credibility on a candidate for office simply because of an particular agenda has ended. The market of free thoughts and ideas have supplanted the 'campaign strategies' and 'political fixers.' If you're a fraud or deceitful, we're going to call you on it.
When the NYT browbeat itself over the Jason Blair episode, it was an example of self serving piety. Somber 'mea culpa's' were designed and served only to reinforce the idea that the Times was indeed, an honorable broker in the dissemination of the news. The NYT was big enough to humbly admit their failures and correct them. From now on, the Times was going to be above reproach. That 'Holier than Thou' attitude will cost theNYT dearly, I predict. Whether it be in regard to accuracy and/or agenda, the NYT and MSM are on notice.
A friend who is a lawyer said something interesting to me this morning.
One day, he said, lawyers, inspired by bloggers, will go after the MSM outlets and hold them accountable for their knowing misrepresentations and shoddy practices. Journalists have a responsibility. If they demand constitutional protections, they have to live up to the ethics of their profesion. Libelous, fraudulent and deceitful behavior has to come at a cost.
He pointed out that 600 blog inspired lawyers, across the country could break any news organization and force them to live up to the standards of their profession.
With such an action, the legal profession could redeem itself.
As the CBS debacle continues to unfold, the MSM will have more sleepless nights, for sure.