I don't know... I don't feel that dangerous. But, gee, I guess I am? Well I might be, at least according to Helen Thomas, one of the most uncivil "reporters" in all of journalism. Apparently she has proclaimed that citizen journalists and bloggers are "dangerous" on a HuffPo blog of December 4. HuffPoster Seema Kalia reported an exchange with the equine visaged Thomas where she raised alarm over her fear of the common American citizen and that terribly annoying Internet thingie. Yes, folks she thinks that if you are a blogger or Internet writer you have no sense of "ethics" and you are "Dangerous." One wonders if she really knows any journalists at all if she thinks they show any sign of "ethics"?
As Tim Graham reported, Seema Kalia, relied on Thomas for her first entry in a proposed series titled "My favorite mistake" in which folks Kalia deems worthy of her focus will recount the mistake that "taught them the most." Ostensibly this little foray into feels-goodism is meant to "teach" us all something it appears. Unfortunately for Kalia, Thomas miserably fails to give the entry any pop psychological umph for her fist little attempt. It seems that the woman who is constantly badgering government officials to admit their mistakes has proclaimed that she, herself, has been entirely perfect since she began her career some time in the late Pleistocene period.
Helen Thomas: I don't have any mistakes to tell you about.
No? Nothing? Not even her sense of fashion is a mistake? At least as far as she is here to tell you, anyway.
But, while the interview fails to perform to the stated purpose of making us all warm and gushy inside because our favorite personages can admit that they are fallible, it does succeed at one thing. It is a wonderful showcase of Thomas's arrogance along with her hyper sense of paranoia.
After telling us she has never made a mistake, Thomas goes on to suspect a HuffPo blogger of trying to make her look bad. Kalia tries to explain the purpose of the article to the aged scribe. "The spirit of this interview is really to explore the role of mistake-making as part of the growth of people who are really successful at what they do," Kalia says. But Thomas is having none of it. "No, no, no...you're looking for something else; you want people to flagellate themselves," she suspiciously replies. To which our sycophantic HufPoster assures her that, "There are many people I'd like to see flagellated in Washington, but you are not among them."
I won't go much further into Helen's hypocrisy on that point as Tim covered this part of the Kalia/Thomas interview well and, of course, most of the interview is meaningless jabber. But one short exchange from this leading figure of the fossilized media establishment does reveal the same sort of arrogance that we chronicle here every day.
After Kalia discusses reporter's mistakes she asks Thomas about the new media.
Kalia: Do you think technology is changing that? That a good reporter will always find a venue because there are so many media outlets now?
Thomas: No, but I do think it is kind of sad when everybody who owns a laptop thinks they're a journalist and doesn't understand the ethics. We do have to have some sense of what's right and wrong in this job. Of how far we can go. We don't make accusations without absolute proof. We're not prosecutors. We don't assume.
Kalia: So if there's this amateur league of journalists out there, trying to do what you do...
Thomas: It's dangerous.
There you have it Newsbusters. YOU have no ethics... and coming from one such as Thomas that really means something. I guess we can't even use those wretched laptops to look the word up on Wikpedia, huh?
So, let me take a moment to revel in my "dangerousness."
OK, I'm done for now. But I'll have to warm my pusillanimous 'puter up to find some more trouble later, though.
In any case, this is precisely the sort of attitude on the part of the old media that has driven their market share to an ever dwindling number of customers over the past 10 years. The arrogance that Thomas displays against you, the average American, is palpable. Even CBS News blogger Matthew Felling was a bit amused by this business on his Public Eye blog post of December 6.
Felling joked that Thomas wasn't at all going for the everyman as a journalist theory. (Emphasis in original)
Well, not that it should come as too much of a surprise, but old school White House scribe Helen Thomas isn’t drinking that “everybody’s a journalist!” kool-aid.
So, you untrained, ethically confused bloggers should give up the notion that you could be in any such exalted position as being considered a "journalist." You should leave the real writing to the professionals, doncha know? After all, you wouldn't want to be "dangerous" now would you?