November 10, 2005


The article about Mary Mapes' new book was almost a waste of time. I followed the Rathergate hullabaloo closely last year: those documents are ridiculous fakes and Rather & Mapes were reckless in rushing them to press. The article was all about poor little Mary and how unfairly she was treated. And as the violins began to fade, the last line in the article made me sneer.

Despite her career implosion, Mapes hopes to stay in journalism. "It's what I'm good at," she said. "I like making a difference."

Newsflash: Journalists aren't supposed to make a difference. They're supposed to report the freaking news, just the way it is. They're supposed to find facts and report the Five W's and that's it: give us the facts and let us make the inferences. They don't make a difference, they don't speak truth to power, and they don't create the news.

Or at least they're not supposed to.

Posted by: Sarah at 06:48 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 Have you noticed that if you ask a class of journalism students why they want to be a journalist they all say "I want to make a difference?" For a while everyone in high school wanted to be a marine scientist, a la Cousteau, now they all want to be forensic scientist. I wonder what the next fad will be.

Posted by: Ruth H at November 10, 2005 08:55 PM (s9RMb)

2 The documents were fakes, and it was shoddy reporting. Someone certainly deserved to be fired over it. What was lost in the short over the documents, though, was the substantive truth of the story itself---for which the documents were only one piece of evidence. The TANG unit's former secretary said she knew right away that the dcuments were fake, because the commanding officer would never have put such comments in writing. She also said, though, that they captured exactly what he said about Bush verbally.

Posted by: Pericles at November 13, 2005 12:15 AM (eKf5G)

3 exactly! they're not supposed to create news, just report it. gawd i hate journalists.

Posted by: annika at November 19, 2005 02:02 PM (WEXZ1)

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