Drudge points to this Oregon Daily Emerald article on a presentation by Los Angeles Times editor John Carroll, who complains about "pseudo-journalists" and calls for speech restrictions.
In a scathing critique of Fox News and some talk show hosts, such as Bill O'Reilly, Carroll said they were a "different breed of journalists" who misled their audience while claiming to inform them. He said they did not fit into the long legacy of journalists who got their facts right and respected and cared for their audiences.Weapons of mass destruction like this? Collaboration with al Qaeda like this? And gee, I'm really sorry that France and Russia (i.e., "the world") are pissed because we eliminated one of their largest arms partners and their source for cheap, illegal oil.
Carroll cited a study released last year that showed Americans had three main misconceptions about Iraq: That weapons of mass destruction had been found, a connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq had been demonstrated and that the world approved of U.S intervention in Iraq. He said 80 percent of people who primarily got their news from Fox believed at least one of the misconceptions. He said the figure was more than 57 percentage points higher than people who get their news from public news broadcasting.
"How in the world could Fox have left its listeners so deeply in the dark?" Carroll asked.Ah! Sweet, sweet irony.
As he addressed some of the hard hits journalism has taken in the field of ethics, Carroll noted that anyone could be a journalist because, unlike other fields, journalism had no qualification tests, boards to censure misconduct or a universally accepted set of standards.And unlike other fields, no actual knowledge is required about the subject being reported on -- just a pretty face or a clever sneer. Apparently only some people are qualified to exercise their right to free speech, but I'm relieved that Mr. Carroll isn't entrusted with the responsibility of determining who.