Posts from November 18, 2004

Is anybody a journalist?

Is anybody a journalist?

: In a word: yes. Anybody can witness and report and now publish news.

LawDork responds to this question on last nights’ West Wing (which, unfortunately, I couldn’t see). See this post on the show and then this post that uses my little FCC FOIA expose to prove the point. See also this quote on the topic from Glenn Reynolds yesterday.

And see today’s NY Times on Kevin Sites in Iraq — keeping silent on the video he shot of a soldier shooting an Iraqi — that ends with this:

His Web site describes Mr. Sites as a “pioneering, multimedia journalist” who has worked in Afghanistan, Latin America and Eastern Europe as well as the Middle East….

Mr. Sites has worked for several networks and has a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, according to the site.

Thus The Times blesses his credentials. But he’d be a journalist without them. He’s the guy who shot the video that is news.

Off the air

cnntwoshot.jpg

Off the air

: On Aaron Brown’s show tonight, they had to pair me up with somebody from the Heritage Foundation who — oddly for a conservative! — wants more government regulation, interference, and bureacracy … when it comes to regulating her definition of morality, that is. She wants more FCC regulation. I say the FCC has no business regulating our speech; it’s just plain unconstitutional.

Aaron did a good job balancing, but I also told him that it was a bogus assumption, which he read earlier in the segment, to say that America was “outraged” at the Desperate Housewives promo. That’s what they said when Married by America got fined $1.2 million based on the work of three prigs who wrote letters and 20 who Xeroxed them. Outraged? No. It’s time that we challenge these assumptions, made and spread in media. To say that and to show the Housewives promo 25 times tonight is sensationalism, I said.

Aaron tried to agree with the woman that the culture is too coarse. To his surprise, I said, no, it’s our culture and we all have values and we all have taste and I won’t insult the American public by generalizing that we’re all coarse.

Two soundbites:

: I go to church every Sunday and I listen to Howard Stern every day and that is not incompatible.

: When the lady went on about what offends her, I said that the homophobia on the 700 Club offends me, but I don’t suggest it should be taken off the air or fined by the government. I change the channel. Pick up the remote, I said.

When I got out, I had email on my Treo from some church lady named Sherry using her work email at Lilly.com (tsk, tsk) with this charming bit of evangelism:

You have no morals and I feel you are pathetic.

Mighty Christian of you, Sherry. And here’s another one:

I submit to you that you lack moral values and you church attendance proves nothing.

Mighty grammatical of you, Josh.

But I also got some nice emails from Canadians. And Jeremy Brown did me the favor of capturing the picture above. Caption away. But be nice….

: UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds says:

I saw the commercial for the first time in that broadcast, and I have to say that it was an absolute disgrace, and that it should not have been allowed to air. It didn’t show nearly enough of Nicolette Sheridan to justify all the hoopla, and that’s a tragedy because, despite her perhaps overdone plastic surgery, she’s still hot.

He says much more. As he would tell you, go read the whole thing.