Saturday, December 04, 2004

I’m not a Liberal, I’m a Reporter

Blogdom has claimed another victory. They claim that its incessant blogging has caused Dan Rather to quit. Of course, he hasn’t quit; he’s just gone to do that about which bloggers blogged so much. He quit the evening news, the hard news, and went to the newsmagazine equivalent on TV where his story on the National Guard memo started all this anyway.

I never really cared too much for Dan. I remember a time when he was referred to as “Ratta-tat-tat,” – from the old comic books – and I’ve always thought of him that way every since. (When was that?) I watch NBC, ABC or CNN or just about anything else. I believe a really good news reporter should be invisible: “I don’t remember who reported it, but it was a good story,” is about the best compliment any newscaster could receive in my book. I don’t really have a book – just a blog. So it goes.

However, I thought Dan got a bad rap. He may be liberal minded – I don’t know. He is from Texas so that’s a mark for conservative, but so was LBJ from Texas, so they could be liberals in Texas. But what ever he is or was, liberalism or for that matter, conservatism is not his or any reporters driving force. There is something much more mundane to which reporter adhere. I have complete faith that if Dan had found something just as bad for Kerry, he would have rush to report it just as he did the story behind Memogate.

All reporters, any reporter, every reporter lives to get the all important, completely exclusive “scoop.” It is the holy grail of news reporting. Nothing is more important than the scoop. A scoop has two parts, 1) a newsworthy story, at least one good news byte, and 2) no one has published or broadcasted it. The second item is what separates it from other news stories and makes it a scoop – and they are rare. That is why they are so prized. Even a good reporter can go for years – maybe even a lifetime – and never get a scoop.

“The old hog likes to out root the young pigs,” as Dan might say. This is the driving force behind Memogate. It wasn’t some liberal agenda or plot to bring down Bush by Dan. Someone else’s hidden agenda took in Dan. It was the idea of that a scoop was within grasp. The goal of getting a scoop drove Dan and his producer to forego good journalistic background checking and broadcast a story that turned around a bit them on the ass. What we got her is scoop bias not liberal bias. Of course, this will not fly for those who have a tendency to believe there are aliens in Nevada. So it goes.

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