Journalism takes down the General
Almost one year ago, TMZ broke the news of Michael Jackson’s death. The National Enquirer was first to report affairs by both John Edwards and Tiger Woods. A rabbi-blogger ended the career of journalist Helen Thomas. And it was Rolling Stone that took down Gen. Stanley McChrystal with this article.
Fallout from the magazine’s article prompted CNN’s Wolf Blitzer to ask, “Rolling Stone, who would have thought?”
Really Mr. Blitzer, does having CNN on your business card make you more credible than Michael Hastings, the Rolling Stone reporter who profiled Gen. McChrystal?
Blitzer isn’t the only one attacking Hastings. Fox News anchor Geraldo Rivera, questions Hastings’ journalism techniques, saying the reporter’s time spent with the General and staff was like “putting a rat in an eagleâ€™s nest.”
Much as I love the profession of journalism, Blitzer and Rivera represent an arrogance that exists in many news organizations. I don’t think there’s a place for that attitude in a media world where you have so many choices for information – social media, traditional media, blogs, community news sites, your neighbor down the street.
I’m curious about your opinions of the news industry today. Where YOU get most of your news? Does the source make a significant difference to you – for example, if TMZ is reporting something are you more likely to doubt its accuracy? What role does “the news” play in your daily life? We in the news biz like to think (and hope, and pretend) you need us. Do you?