Helen Thomas, the trailblazing White House correspondent, saw her career come to an ignominious end last year after she made hostile comments about Israel to a rabbi who filmed the encounter and posted it on his personal Web site.
This is a story which I had a personal involvement with as I was the one who took the video and made it go viral. Rabbi Nesenoff came to me only after the mainstream media refused to even look at the video. Within hours of my posting the story and video on my site, The Lid, here on Big Journalism and Breitbart TV, and submitting the story to be linked by Instapundit, and Drudge, the Helen Thomas story was all over the mainstream media. The Thomas indecent was not big news because her comments were hostile to Israel, but because they were anti-Semitic.
Thomas’ Antisemitism (which she continues to spew) needed to be revealed to show her readers that she had an obvious bias so they could put her writing in context. Personally, I do not believe that Thomas should have been fired, but I do believe her readers should have had the opportunity to understand where she was coming from.
CNN fired Octavia Nasr, its senior editor for Middle East affairs, after she composed a 19-word Twitter message expressing sadness after the death of a Hezbollah leader.
Some reporters have even found their personal e-mails leaked and used against them. David Weigel, now a columnist for Slate, was pressured into leaving his job at The Washington Post last year after he attacked conservatives in private messages that found their way to a right-leaning Web site, The Daily Caller.
JournoList was not about personal emails but correspondence with an on-line message board composed of major “Journalists” and academics. It was revealed was these people were colluding to skew the news to help the liberal point of view. As for Weigel his job at WAPO was to be the “house conservative,” and report on conservative news in a “gossipy” kind of way. His Journalist letters proved he had a true disdain for the people he was writing about and had misrepresented himself to his editors and to his readers.
The NY Times warning was correct in this respect, there are many conservative bloggers (myself included) who are looking over the shoulder of the mainstream press. It remains an easy task because those liberal media organizations believe that we are looking to embarrass them personally. To be honest, we don’t care if they spend their days goofing off, smoking joints, and/or sleeping with sheep. We are looking to see if their stories are truthful and fair. If they cover Michele Bachmann’s religious beliefs, they should cover Barak Obama and Jeremiah Wright. If they publish Rick Perry’s college transcripts, then dig up the president’s also. When they find that one crazy person who may show up at a tea party rally of thousands, then they should also cover all of the Nazi signs at the Wisconsin Union protests.
And Be truthful ! Just in the three examples the NY Times used in their message to young reporters, it misrepresented the truth. Keep in mind the basic warning of the article, we are there with you, not to trip you up but to be quality control agents for the public, a role the mainstream media discarded a long time ago.
To paraphrase Harry Truman, “We don’t embarrass them, we just point out the truth they are ignoring, and they find it embarrassing.”