Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How journalists get played

Here's how Karen Tumulty responded to the story yesterday about Stephen Jin-Woo Kim leaking classified information to Fox News reporter James Rosen.
Now, I'm not a paid reporter. But even I can imagine that there are alternatives somewhere in between just writing what the government tells you and just writing what a leaker tells you.

Imagine this...what if a journalist actually knew their history and had a bit of curiosity? For example, what if they had questions about why a State Department employee was interested in sharing classified information only with a Fox News reporter? I know real journalists aren't supposed to ask those kinds of questions. But everyone with even a modicum of a brain knows that Fox News has an agenda. There's a story there and only the willfully blind would ignore that.

The next place a little curiosity might take you is to wonder just who this Stephen Jin-Woo Kim is. As even I was able to find out from a simple look at wikipedia, he was an employee of a federally funded research and development center that consulted with Rumsfeld via the Defense Policy Board - which was chaired by Richard Perle. In 2008 - just before the Obama administration began - Kim went to work for the State Department. One might be curious about that.

The history journalists might want to keep in mind is how the likes of Cheney, Rove and Libby used leaks to the media to both further their lies about WMD in Iraq (ie, Judith Miller) and to undermine their opponents (ie, Valerie Plame).

Wouldn't a curious reporter want to look into these kinds of things? Apparently not. I haven't seen anyone else who seems to be asking these kinds of questions. If you have, please let me know. The result is that reporters are left with merely being stenographers for the administration or the leakers. That's how they get played.


  1. tumulty is just an extra-idiotic variation on the "either journalists can do anything they want, or else ZOMG NO PRESS FREEDOM"

  2. I've honestly come to believe that today's journalists - at least those in WDC - cannot think, have no understanding of the importance of the reporting they OUGHT to be doing, are politically ignorant and are basically lazy besides. They function 'best' (only?) when info/talking points are handed to them. I think Ms Tumulty simply acknowledges THEIR reality in this tweet. One has only to listen to the kinds of questions the WHPC asks PBO's Press Secretary, and the President himself, and the repetitious nature of those questions to realize the truth of this. Have you noticed that even when US media travel abroad with the President or his admin their questions rarely if ever reflect the content of the speeches given? IMO other alternatives exist for those journalists willing to DO THE JOB with honesty and integrity. These guys/gals just aren't. Or maybe they truly don't know how. They are basically REPORTers in a literal sense; gossipers, if you will. Channeling Scott Pelley [real] 'Journalism was invented as an antidote to gossip'.

  3. Tumulty is just being stupid in her tweet. Kim was part of the government and Rosen actually functioned as a stenographer. He didn't vet the source nor the intelligence and certainly didn't consider the consequences of publishing the leaked information.