By now, most blog readers have seen the famous “news” “reportage” by Reuters.
Warning: the blatant Bush-bashing in the first sentence of the story could be bad for your blood pressure if you’re at all sensitive to journalists’ standards — especially the rule that prohibits editorializing in news stories, the rule that says a good journalist saves the snarky comments for analysis rather than “reporting.”
This is by no means the worst of the lot, but it contains the essential ingredients for a recipe of reporter-as-useful-idiot that it ought to be saved and served up in Journalism 101 at, say, Columbia’s school of journalism, that bastion from which steely-eyed, objective “journalists” are extruded every year.
|New Orleans collects dead as officials dodge blame|
|By Mark Egan|
|NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) — New Orleans began the gruesome task of collecting its thousands of dead on Sunday as the Bush administration tried to save face after its botched rescue plans left the city at the mercy of Hurricane Katrina.|
You don’t need to be told how egregious this is. But thanks to Jeff at Geopolitical Review, we now have a contact page for Al-Reuters. You can email the editors if you like. I suggest that you do so, and for this reason: complaining about something without addressing the complaint is not good for your health or for the commonweal.
Before you send your email to Reuters, I suggest you read the whole story, linked above. The writer, Mark Egan, goes on to “report” that Donald Rumsfeld toured the scene and shook hands with the doctors and not the victims. As I mentioned in my email and in the post here, he would have been unwise to come into physical contact with anyone who has been exposed to the contaminated and extremely poisonous cesspool of Katrina’s aftermath.
Egan doesn’t mention that even the reporters who were immersed in the “toxic gumbo” are also at risk. Perhaps he doesn’t even know — which, if that is the case, simply underlines his ignorance and questions his credentials for reporting on this mess.
However, Mr. Egan does manages a swipe at Condoleezza Rice by saying this:
|Rice was slammed by critics on the Internet after she attended a New York performance of the Monty Python musical “Spamalot” on Wednesday, a day after New Orleans flooded.|
Notice that he doesn’t say who these critics were, nor does he cite his source. Nor does he say why the activities of the Secretary of State are germane to policy re the Katrina clean-up.
So this is journalism, huh? This is professional? This has integrity? Scurrilous, that’s what it is. No wonder that organization has been called al-Reuters. In the interests of protecting our country, Gates of Vienna is doing its small part by posting a permanent link to Reuters’ contact page. This is not going to go away until the useful idiots understand what they are doing.
Some teacher ought to make Mark Egan sit down and write a hundred times:
I will learn the difference between reporting and opinion.
Make that a thousand times. No… make it a life-long penance in remorse for attempting to damage the commonweal. In the old days, when journalism had standards, he would have been contemned and his story would have been spiked. But those days are over and the days of the useful idiots are here.
Don’t let them get away with it.