Posted from the U.S
An unfortunate byproduct of Easongate is a strong feeling, mostly from the Left, that freedom of speech has been trampled.
A comment from the dailykos blog struck me:
|Jordan brought up a serious topic and discussed it at a panel among other journalist in a private discussion explicitly off the record and purposely without a transcript. |
It was not part of a report, on TV, in the paper, on the internet, or anywhere outside of the private conversation between him and the other panelists. The conversation was meant to be kept confidential within the walls of the room they were in.
The only reason his words got out was because of the Right Wing Noise Machine.
And he is forced to resign over this?
This means any discussion of a potentially charged controversial topic is off-limits, and anyone who has built any sort of name for themselves (journalist, political figure, whatever) will be forced to resign for even suggesting them?
|by avi on Sat Feb 12th, 2005 at 02:37:39 PST|
A response to this blogger's thoughts:
- A private discussion explicitly off the record...
The World Economic Forum's policy was that "All sessions that are broadcast or webcast are ‘on the record’ (for 2005 that means all sessions in the Congress Hall or Sanada 1 and 2)". The audience numbered in the hundreds, and included major world figures and media. Attendee Bernard Rappaz, a Swiss journalist wrote about it, as did attendee Bret Stephens, of The Wall Street Journal. In a recent radio interview Bret said that "My understanding is that the meeting was on the record".
- The conversation was meant to be kept confidential within the walls of the room they were in...
Really? Was that why the session was being filmed in a broadcast room? Were hundreds of disparate leaders from all over the world supposed to keep his remarks to themselves? This argument is the seasoned stripper expressing shock at being naked in front of a gawking audience - this was no private conversation. It was an open talk in front of hundreds in a broadcast room.
- The only reason his words got out was because of the Right Wing Noise Machine...
His words got out to hundreds of people, who probably discussed it with enough others to reach thousands. Blogging amplified the discussion to millions. This had nothing to do with a "Right Wing Noise Machine". It had to do with asking for evidence and truth, and not being biased about which way the truth turned up. In this case the supposedly left-wing and liberal CNN and other media were pretty silent, other than some poor spin. I would not blame the Right - I would blame the Left for selling out Jordan. Who really came to his defense? From my seat it was pretty quiet, other than a flurry of statements about him not saying what we (in the room) all heard him say, and the continued suppression of a tape which has him saying it.
- And he is forced to resign over this? This means any discussion of a potentially charged controversial topic is off-limits, and anyone who has built any sort of name for themselves (journalist, political figure, whatever) will be forced to resign for even suggesting them?
No! What happened was not a hypothetical discussion of a potentially charged controversial topic - "I think..." or "My opinion is...". This was a respected media authority figure telling us something in a factual, authoritative manner, and we were led to believe that he had substantial facts and evidence to back up bold assertions. I think he was forced to resign because the blogging world appears to be intolerant of spin, coverups, and overall B.S. Confronting the bloggers with a much more open dialogue and releasing the tape would have probably quieted the storm.
We must be free to openly criticize the government, the military, and all of our leaders without the fear of repercussions. That is a cornerstone of our democracy, and of any healthy democratic and free institution. The Left (and the Right) need to wake up to the reality that widespread blogging presents a threat not to freedom, but to the entrenched Powers That Be. The freedom of an individual citizen to directly and openly challege those in control is an overwhelming sense of empowerment. The masses will learn to have their own voice. No longer will a senator or congressman or reporter be required to serve as a proxy. Speaking for yourself is the ultimate expression in free speech, and the technology which makes your voice heard is here and now.