Thursday, December 9, 2010


Press Atrophy

“There is a very simple reason WikiLeaks has sent a furious storm of outrage across the globe and it has very little to do with diplomatic impropriety. It is this: The public is uninformed because of inadequate journalism. Consumers of information have little more to digest than Kim Kardashian’s latest paramour or the size of Mark Zuckerberg’s jet. Very few publishers or broadcasters post reporters to foreign datelines and give them time to develop relationships that lead to information. Consequently, journalism is atrophying from the extremities inward and the small heart it has will soon become even more endangered. So, long live WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. And if Pfc. Bradley Manning is the leaker, he deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”

—James Moore, former TV journalist, author, columnist, “Wikileaks and the Myth of Journalistic Objectivity,” Huffington Post, Dec. 3, 2010

Editorial Comment: Bad watchdog!

PeezPix: Winter ReflectionsA wintry Bear River Range reflected in Cutler Marsh, northern Utah


  1. a very thoughtful column; thanks for running it

  2. So, let me see if I understand this … Pfc. Manning ILLEGALLY downloads and distributes classified documents from his position of trust at the Pentagon. WikiLeaks, owned and operated off shore by an alleged rapist, takes these documents, without regard to their efficacy or security level, and shares them first with international media outlets and then with the world. And this clown equates this with problems in the conventional media (which, by the way, despite the decline in PRINTED media, is so ubiquitous as to be almost pervasive), and suggests that both deserve our respect and admiration? Reminds me of the “Dapper Don” defense … yeah, he kills people, but he donates to the church. We are so lost.


  3. Ted
    Again a great one. Hope your students read the article in it's entirety. It has a couple more gems.
    What a great time to be teaching J school!

  4. I just want to kick this guy's ass... enough said

    Romina Nedakovic

  5. You bet it’s bad. Kudos to Moore and whoever spotted this. Sure, there’s room to argue on this, but in my view, when it’s openness v. secrecy, it’s openness that must be “presumed innocent”, not the other way around.
    Ann Berry

  6. The remarkable irony in the government’s outrage at Wikileaks is the fact that our government (and its lapdog media) routinely utilizes leaks as part of its daily stock and trade. That’s the currency in Washington with its shadow system of barter between leakers and scribes. If the leaks are not intended for printing, they call them off the record or background, but there are plenty of leaks that are leaked with the express intent of having them printed; sometimes as salvos in a turf war and sometimes as a way to float trial balloons, spin public opinion, or signal the opposition. Bob Woodward ascended to his throne as the Dean of Washington “journalists” on a mountain of leaks. The genesis of the Valerie Plame scandal was a deliberate leak routed from an office on Pennsylvania Avenue. Quite simply, the vast majority of the stories reported in the media that are not attributed to a named source are... wait for it…. leaks.

    The outrage in Washington about Wikileaks is not that there are leaks per se; it is that the leaks were not sanctioned by the usual leakers, and further, the leaks were released without first passing through the usual gatekeepers in the media. The government is primarily angry that it was not in control of these leaks, and the press mainly upset that it got scooped.

    Although by now long clichéd, the harrumphing over Wikileaks is precisely akin to Captain Renault’s famous outrage at the gambling going on down at Rick’s cafe.

    The main sin of Mr. Assange is that he ventured outside the approved channels.