Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Comm 226: Rathergate and Gannongate

John noted the power of "bloggers", a community of which you are now part. Congrats! And he noted the Dan Rather story where bloggers helped force the resignation of Dan Rather after he and his producers used a piece of false evidence in a story about President Bush's service in the Texas National Guard. There is an entire website deidicated to it titled

Conversely, I mentioned the Jeff Gannon story in the context of framing the White House news. This has not gotten even close to the amount of attention, partially because Dan Rather is a huge name in news and Jeff Gannon is, well, someone who I didn't even know of until about two weeks ago. That said, I think both The Daily Show (quicktime)(some mature content!) and this piece from Anderson Cooper do a good job detailing this issue. The issue really is about someone who seems like a fake reporter who was let in to ask "softball questions." Is this as bad as using fake evidence that you didn't properly check out? I am not certain. But that said, it's interesting that both sides are interested in framing the news.

By the way, if you are like me and are hypercritical of all media (hey it's my job!), you may want to see this video from The Daily Show (quicktime) (some mature content) on the "new journalism". It's fairly inciteful about how you should always question reporters and their motives. That does not mean you ignore reporters, rather you are always critical and you ask for evidence or question the questions they ask. Also, this is an interview that is very candid between Ari Fleischer and John Stewart of the Daily Show. Here he talks about managing the news and framing it. In many ways this is because I would like all of my students to become something of an iconoclast and thinking critically about all media images, sounds and expressions. This is what it means to be part of an active democracy!

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