Cato: right again

Adam has a great piece about freedom of the press.

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6 Responses to Cato: right again

  1. Lorrin Nelson says:

    Adam Thierer makes it sound like all is well with the press. It’s not. Look how the press has failed to inform the public that Iraq has no connection to Al Qeda. He is right to oppose having Congress meddle in invidual news stories but wrong in his rosy implications.

    I am not convinced that gaping holes in the public’s understanding of current events can be explained soley by faults in the education system, human nature, or media ownership deregulation. Misinforming a large portion of the American public imposes a cost on the wellbeing of our democracy. It’s worth investigating schemes for holding corporations liable for that cost without curtailing free speech.

  2. Freedom of the press is a good principle, but don’t think for a moment that the CBS memos scandal proves blog-hype or similar. You’re being taken by the right-winger’s fantasy of themselves as a beleaguered minority fighting The Establishment. They *are* Big Media.

    To think Fox News and all the right-wing columnists would be ignoring a chance to skewer a CBS report except for some “new media” is utter arrant nonsense (no offense meant to the fine investigative work done). There was plenty of immediate right-wing PR flacking.

  3. Rob Conley says:

    I think Adam torpedoes his own arguement.

    On the one hand CBS news was caught by the new larger and diverse groups reporting news. But the other freedom of the press is threatened by Congress applying regulatory blackmail to the tv media.

    So… if they start self-censoring themselves wouldn’t cable, blogs, and other outlets pick up the slack?

    The vulnerability of big three is that they take advantage of the publicly owned airwave frequencies to air their views. The public as represented by US Government has the right to decide who and who doesn’t use those airwaves. If you don’t like then put your message out on a medium that doesn’t has those restrictions. But then you wouldn’t have the potential to generate as much profit so…

    Rob Conley
    P.S. Yes I know there are arguements whether airwaves need to be regulated like they are. That a different arguement.

  4. Mike Huben says:

    Libertarians attempt to distract us from corporate-dominated media with the false dilemma of freedom versus government regulation.

    An obvious third alternative is to foster media that represent consumer interests, rather than corporations. We need several more PBSes, competing with each other, and heavily funded by licensing fees from corporate broadcasters.

  5. raoul says:

    ” What�s wrong with that? Nothing, if you live in Russia.”


  6. beachguy says:

    From the article:

    “Importantly, this controversy has shown the remarkable effectiveness of media to police itself and, in particular, the ability of new media outlets to act as a check on the old guard. Dan Rather�s original 60 Minutes II report wasn�t even a few hours old before many Internet websites and independent web blogs were buzzing with critical commentary.”

    Only problem is that it WASN’T the media policing itself, it was amateur bloggers. Ten years ago it would have devastated the Bush campain as they attempted to get equal time against this foo foo dust.

    The problem isn’t with having a press that has opinions. The problem is with the press that insists on disguising it’s opinions as NEWS. Everyone knows that Fox isn’t “Fair and Balanced”, and that’s just the point, everyone knows it. But what about CBS news? Exactly what process really DOES go into their selection of each night’s stories and how they are spun?

    What price will Dan Rather pay for this latest of partisanship now pawned off as sloppy journalism? Probably none. As usual.

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