What He Said: Journalists: Stop being loudspeakers for liars

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Dan Gilmore wrote a great piece on Medium that everyone should read:

An open letter to my friends and colleagues in journalism:

Please, just stop.

Please stop giving live airtime to liars. Stop publishing their lies.

Please examine what you’re doing. You are letting liars use your traditional norms — which made sense in different times and situations — to turn you into amplifiers of deceit. You know you are doing this, and sometimes you even defend it.

Please stop.

Your job is not to uncritically “report” — that is, do stenography and call it journalism — when the people you’re covering are deceiving the public. Your job is, in part, to help the public be informed about what powerful people and institutions are doing with our money and in our names.

…and it goes on from there. He not only admonishes for putting Kellyanne Conway on the air (and other known liars), he gives a pretty good class in how to report the truth in an age of blatant liars.

Full disclosure: I met Dan a couple of time when he was working for the San Jose Mercury News. I wouldn’t say we were friends or even acquaintances, but I’ve admired his journalism for years.

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10 Responses to What He Said: Journalists: Stop being loudspeakers for liars

  1. Big Bad Bald Bastard says:

    The media really needs to stop being complicit in this horrific farce.


  2. RWW says:

    This x 1000

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Parfigliano says:

    Never happen. Our national media “journalists” have a vested interest in reporting that which they know to be lies. If they didnt they wouldnt get paid like they do or be invited on the TV or to the DC cocktail parties.

    They are whores, know they are whores, and
    dont care. This arrangement works out great for them and fuck everyone else is their only operating principle.


  4. osirisopto says:

    Entertainers, of course.

    No real journalist is going to get paid a seven figure salary with a five year contract.


  5. purplehead says:

    We have been here before


  6. Abu Scooter says:

    When I lived in the Bay Area many moons ago, Gillmor was a big reason I kept subscribing to the Merc. Glad to see he hasn’t lost his edge.


  7. Randall says:

    A step further…
    EVERY time a politician in on your television program you post the amount of money the particular lobby has given that politician. For example: John Thune (R-South Dakota) talking about net neutrality – a graphic at the bottom of the screen shows that the Telcoms have given Thune $225,200.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tengrain says:

      Randall –

      That’s an excellent idea, and the info is so easily available, and the producers know who they have invited on the shows so they could have the chyrons all set and ready to go.

      Love the idea.




  8. MDavis says:

    Don’t read the comments at the article unless you want to be frustrated and discouraged, or if you are looking for examples of some sort of diseased thinking.
    Person starts comment by saying something about journalism once being a respected profession, then goes on to bitch about, let’s see, how can we even know what the truth is or something because journalists are just saying what they think the truth is…
    And then the comment goes here: “They willingly turn their 15 minutes of fame into endless hours of negative coverage simply because they don’t like him personally or as President.”
    I got to ’15 minutes of fame’ and jaw-dropped then the rest of that sentence had me stepping on said jaw.
    Half the comments are like that.


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