Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Dan Rather and Responsibilty
Chalk another one up for Patterico.
I read him daily, for no other reason than his take on things is never short of true clarity.
He makes the case for firing Dan Rather very obvious.
I am a prosecutor. My duty is not to convict every defendant who walks hrough the door of the courtroom. My highest duty is to seek justice and ruth. In this sense, I share the stated goal of journalists, whose principal duty is also to seek the truth.
One of my most important duties is to tell the defense about any
information I learn that could help the defense in a material way.
Read the rest of his post.
As a journalist, Rather and CBS are provided with all kinds of constitutional protections and priviledges. In return, they are supposed to adhere to a set of ethical and moral standards.
It his right to have an opinion-- even to be very opionated and present his opinions. That however, does not give him the right to present those opinions, biases and agendas as 'news' or fact.
Nor does it give CBS the right to not exercise due diligence.
Reputations and livelihoods are at stake here. If CBS won't live up to it's obligations, perhaps the courts should force them to.
Broadcast licenses are given away to serve the public good, and they too, come with responsibilities and obligations. They are not simply a licence to print money and the 'public interest be damned.'