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Geesh, Last Words on the Rolling Stone dust up

Hello. How are you doing? Here, I’m taking quite the beating from readers on Huffington post, which I usually don’t mind. At first I just shrugged and made a comment or two, but lord, my bitchiness toward Rolling Stone for trying to trash my husband when he couldn’t defend himself pissed me off even more when I saw people actually celebrating Rolling Stone’s dangerous gotcha tactics. And by the way, Thank you Jim Caruso.

I should have just followed the lead of Christiane Amanpour who deferred to David Brooks on the topic: Journalism is the last buttress against lies and propaganda, or it can quickly into tabloidism and distractions. But, you already knew that.

Christiane Amanpour Re Gen. McChrystal, what’s done is done. Check out David Brook’s Culture of Exposure column in NYTimes:

David Brooks talks about how the news culture has changed from news of the war, to internal bickering the centerpiece of "news."

But McChrystal, like everyone else, kvetched. And having apparently missed the last 50 years of cultural history, he did so on the record, in front of a reporter. And this reporter, being a product of the culture of exposure, made the kvetching the center of his magazine profile.

By putting the kvetching in the magazine, the reporter essentially took run-of-the-mill complaining and turned it into a direct challenge to presidential authority. He took a successful general and made it impossible for President Obama to retain him.

The reticent ethos had its flaws. But the exposure ethos, with its relentless emphasis on destroying privacy and exposing impurities, has chased good people from public life, undermined public faith in institutions and elevated the trivial over the important.

Another scalp is on the wall. Government officials will erect even higher walls between themselves and the outside world. The honest and freewheeling will continue to flee public life, and the cautious and calculating will remain.

The culture of exposure has triumphed, with results for all to see.

–David Brooks, NYtimes

see entire article from earlier this week at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/25/opinion/25brooks.html?ref=davidbrooks

Walter Chronkite and Hunter were interviewed by Mick O’Regan on the media report about complaints about lack of access to troops in the first wave of the Bush War. Walter Chronkite responded in one section about the days when a journalist could write anything for the record, without hurting the stategy of war:


Walter Chronkite: This is contrary to every other war we’ve fought in this country, where in World War II for instance, we war correspondents were given credentials, we went out with the troops. All we had to do was bum a ride in a jeep and we could go anywhere we wanted. Our copy was censored, but that’s the way it should be. I believe that the copy of military reporters must be censored, we can’t give away secrets of the disposition of our forces, our losses in combat and that sort of thing, to the enemy. But the censorship has worked very well in World War II. Our copy was held by the censors until those stories could be told, so that they were written at the time and they were living history of the war, so that the American people had a history of how their troops performed in action, whether they got it the next day or the next week or the next year, it was preserved and it was there.


           — The late Walter Chronkite, on the Media Report.

But let’s go to happier thoughts. Jim Caruso of Flying Dog Beer who is more focused than ever on the Gonzo Foundation’s need to make a contributuion to excellence in journalism and literature posted a Kipling Poem on his site, which I love, and will post as well. Takes the sting out of all of this: Thank You Jimmy…


IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and
nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

thanks Jim!

Yours, Anita Thompson




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