A blogger with an actual name–Andrew Breitbart–posts an edited video that leads to the firing of an employee at the U.S. Department of Agriculture–Shirley Sherrod–due to the constant media pressure from Fox News and other mainstream television outfits.
When the full, unedited video came to light, Sherrod was vindicated. Despite this, Breitbart refused to apologize, constantly shifting his rationale for releasing the edited video. All of this happened and now CNN talking heads are calling for a “gatekeeper” to watch over anonymous bloggers. They want to regulate anonymous blogging:
“There are so many great things that the internet does and has to offer, but at the same time, Kyra, as you know, there is this dark side,” Roberts said. “Imagine what would have happened if we hadn’t taken a look at what happened with Shirley Sherrod and plumbed the depths further and found out that what had been posted on the internet was not in fact reflective of what she said.”
But Phillips replied that the mainstream media “can’t always do that.”
“There’s going to have be a point in time where these people have to be held accountable,” Phillips said. “How about all these bloggers that blog anonymously? They say rotten things about people and they’re actually given credibility, which is crazy. They’re a bunch of cowards, they’re just people seeking attention.”
Phillips wanted to go even further, asking if “there’s going to come a point where something’s going to have to be done legally” about anonymous bloggers.
“There has to be some point where there’s some accountability. And companies, especially in the media have to stop giving these anonymous bloggers credit,” she said.
So, first things first: Andrew Breitbart isn’t an anonymous blogger, he has a name and he’s on television all the time. If Phillips believes that the media should stop giving bloggers who commit factual errors credit, she has the power to do that.
Second, why can’t the media check out allegations posted to blogs, online news sites–anonymous or not–all the time. Aren’t they supposed to be checking the facts before reporting? Obviously they feel like they need to waste our time reporting on Lindsay Lohan and who was or wasn’t invited to Chelsea Clinton’s wedding instead of spending time fact-checking.
Third, we have a legal process called defamation. Sherrod could file a defamation suit against Breitbart, but, believe me, it is –ing impossible to win one of those in America. (BTW, I wonder how the media felt about this the last time this happened and wound up in court.)
So, let’s wrap this up:
No anonymous bloggers: check
CNN anchors attack anonymous blogger strawman: check
CNN anchors call for regulations to punish anonymous blogger strawman: check
CNN anchors ignore the fact that they gave credence and credibility to claims without checking them: check
Go back to sleep America, your media is in control.