Huffington Post versus Media Matters on the AP

President Barack Obama meets with members of his national security team to discuss developments in the Boston bombings investigation, in the Situation Room of the White House, April 19, 2013. Pictured, from left, are: FBI Director Robert Mueller; Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Attorney General Eric Holder; Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken; and Vice President Joe Biden. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama meets with members of his national security team to discuss developments in the Boston bombings investigation, in the Situation Room of the White House, April 19, 2013. Pictured, from left, are: FBI Director Robert Mueller; Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Attorney General Eric Holder; Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken; and Vice President Joe Biden. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

BBSNews 2013-05-15 — By Michael Hess. A mini war has broken out within sections of the press. Not to be outdone by the wingnuts from the ‘bagger led GOP, or the misguided and supposedly well-meaning Democrats, The Huffington Post’s Jason Linkins is taking aim at Media Matters over the still congealing AP subpoena story.

To be sure, the wide-ranging seizure of phone records and real-time newsgathering information is at best troubling and at worst an egregious use of government power that could have a chilling effect on news gathering.

As a traditional journalist I have to shrug my shoulders over the whole thing and say so what?
Journalism is but a shadow of what it used to be about, the telling of truth to power, the who, what, why, when and where went away a long time ago. News organizations are these days mostly comprised of entertainment bureaus and to the extent that they do actual traditional news all of it is seen through a corporate prism more so than a government viewpoint.

To this day there has been no thorough turning over of the rocks that the Bush junior administration lived under. No true look at what led the nation into two wars of choice and what the true extent of tax cuts for the rich has done to America’s middle class, no truthful look at a main driver of terrorism around the world, the US drive to prop up ruthless dictators in the Middle East and the decades long illegal occupation by Israel of Palestine.

HuffPo has it’s own problems with egregious censorship in its comments sections so it does take a special kind of chutzpah to go after Media Matters about the unfolding AP episode that has at its heart US National Security. The traditional media was and still is asleep at the wheel when it comes to the wrongly named “Patriot Act”.

Here comes Jason Linkins, seriously pissed off by a set of talking points put out by Media Matters about the AP story, and upon reading the talking points after reading Linkins’ screed, this journalist wonders what exactly has his panties in such a bunch?
Linkins starts off by quoting none other than John King from the now seriously diminished Faux News clone CNN:

“CNN’s John King put it best: ‘When this happens, however it happens, it sends a chilling message from the government to people in our business and the AP, I think, is justifiably outraged.'”
Big deal. I’m outraged that CNN has sold its very soul – and instead of still being the venerable cable news network of yore – to be a glorified Faux News clone; I suppose in a way to garner some of those ratings points that the self-proclaimed “fair and balanced” wingnut entertainment network has because it panders to low-information-voters hungry for long-legged eye candy and flash bang drive-by sensationalism over real news reporting.

In this sophomoric cesspool of snark Linkins continues:

“I do not understand the whole ‘for a story that only tipped off the terrorists,’ part. Who is arguing that the Associated Press ‘only tipped off the terrorists?’ Surely we can all agree that the Associated Press is a global news organization, and there is no chance that their stories are somehow ‘only tipping off terrorists.’ What they do is called ‘informing the public.'”

Perhaps reading the entire quote might help:

“If the press compromised active counter-terror operations for a story that only tipped off the terrorists, that sounds like it should be investigated.”
Well? I for one am still waiting for the rest of the Valerie Plame story… When do we get to see Karl Rove “duck-walked” off to prison for whatever his part in that serious compromising of national security was?

Every one of us as journalists has been confronted with stories or situations where there is a fair chance of running afoul of the government and its ongoing counter-terrorism operations particularly in the Middle East. I’ve assumed since 9/11, and especially ever since the so-called “Patriot Act” came into being, that the US Government is listening to everything.
Well aren’t they?

So again, I assume they were listening anyway. That’s the way counter-terrorism works. The NSA, the CIA all the other alphabet soup of government counter-terror snoops are supposed to be looking for the bad people out there to keep them from blowing people up.

I want the AP to be able to get a Pulitzer for providing timely and informative news to the American public but I do not support compromising active investigations to do it.
And in the end, why should anyone care? Almost all of today’s “news” is sanitized and skewed for ratings.

This is precisely why Americans are being treated to Benghazi, the IRS and the AP non-stories instead of the ‘bagger led GOP stonewalling of jobs, and of investigating bankers, and Wall Street, and what drones overseas actually hit, and how global warming is measurable and cannot on its face be a “hoax” regardless of its cause, and that there are no jobs to be had as a result of the Keystone Excel Pipeline and none of that oil will be for the United States and it will absolutely not reduce the price of gasoline in this country, and that the US number one export is already oil, and that transnational do not pay taxes and on and on.

Instead the American people are treated to sideshows.

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Michael Hess

Michael Hess

I started writing and editing BBSNews in 1990. Before the 'web, back in the Bulletin Board System (BBS) days. My pursuit of factual and reality based information informs my worldview. The ever evolving BBSNews contains New Mexico news, national and international news, politics, space, foreign policy and in particular; news and facts about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. See our About Us page for more details.