Friday, May 19, 2006

"We're journalists, not bloggers"

Well it looks like someone has a chip on his shoulder and that someone is Brian Ross and he's a journalist. So there.

ABC News has him on a web site called 'The Blotter', and just to make sure everyone knows he's not a blogger he says it twice.

We're journalists, not bloggers. But we do have a blotter.

We decided to create this space as a place to break stories, update stories and feature analysis and outside comment. We also want to recognize the excellent investigative work done by other journalists elsewhere.

It's meant to be our take on the old-fashioned police blotter, where events of note were recorded as they unfolded.

We have one of the most accomplished groups of investigative reporters in the business and this space gives us another outlet to bring important stories to the public.

One of the 'investigative' stories is about the new Apple iPod Store (?) and another about a disgruntled air marshall.

Not a blogger, not blogging. Posted by Picasa

In an exclusive interview with ABC News' Brian Ross, to be featured on ABC News' 20/20 broadcast tonight, Pickard says he cannot perform his undercover mission to safeguard American aircraft from terrorist attack because of poor management policies.

"I'm here because the people need to know if the terrorists do their job right and prepare like they did before 9/11, they will figure out a way to win because we are not undercover," Pickard tells Ross.

Pickard tells Ross that air marshals can be easily identified during boarding procedures at airports and that his efforts to bring about change within the service have gone unheeded.

And Pickard is not alone in saying that, as we found in a three-month 20/20 investigation going undercover and talking to dozens of current and former air marshals and high ranking officials, including the former head of the Atlanta office Don Strange.

"I would say that any well trained terrorist or organization could identify every air marshal at every airport," Strange told Ross.

Ross managed to mention himself four times in five paragraphs. I guess that would be the J school training on display.

The premise here is that a highjacking is more likely if the air marshall is visible. This makes no sense to me but I'm not a journalist. Are bank robberies more likely in banks with armed guards standing around? I don't think so, a visible presence is a deterent. So the complaint by the air marshall stikes me as flawed from the get go.

The real goal of this story appears to be bash the government. Read the comments; sheesh. They all dump on the Gubmint and M. Bush for not being able to protect the people. Gubmint bad.

Journalist Ross screens the 'outside comment' and only publishes the most recent ones which agree with the premise or trash the government. I left a comment at 8:04 PM, however it never made the cut. The next comment was at 8:24.05 PM and was supposedly by another air marshall who withholds his name out of fear of reprisal from the government. Government bad.

My comment;

"The last highjackers were prevented from accomplishing their goal by The Flight 93 Militia not flying policeman. The next one will be stopped by the passengers also. Only fools and Europeans think the Government can protect them."

Ross is correct about one thing. He's definately not a blogger, bloggers don't screen comments to weed out opposing views, we may delete them later but for the most part even the snarky ones tend to remain.

Apparently he's won journalism awards.


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