On Tax day, CBS newsreader Katie Couric was given the Walter Cronkite award by journalism school at the University of Southern California which until that moment was a very prestigious award. Couric was recognized for her biased interview of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, during the recent presidential campaign (which in itself is a sad commentary on the state of Journalism.
As people were filing into the awards ceremony journalist John Ziegler who created a documentary movie about the treatment of Governor Palin called “Media Malpractice” As a follow up, he was standing outside the theater where Couric was to receive the award with the purposed of asking people why Couric won an award for a biased interview.
The Journalism School decided to ignore freedom of the press by having Ziegler arrested, handcuffed and thrown off campus (video below).
As Ed Morrissey of Hot Air (and host of one of the truly fun hours on the internet the M-F Ed Morrissey show on Ustream) points out:
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When will Reporters Without Borders lodge a protest against the Annenberg School of Journalism for having journalists arrested? Would Walter Cronkite have approved of police locking up reporters for merely covering an event and walking on property that is very obviously open to the public in doing so?
The Annenberg School of Journalism … teaching journalists how to stonewall and intimidate … journalists.
K Daniel Glover of AIM has come up with a great Idea to protest the man-handling of Ziegler. Since Couric bragged about her award on tweeter maybe we should send her a tweet and let her know what we think about Journalistic bias, and what happened to Mr. Ziegler:
Couric uses the mini-blog service and “tweeted” about her award Wednesday. Everyone who uses Twitter should let Couric know that Ziegler was unfairly prevented from doing the kind of work she does every day. Ziegler had a right to ask questions, and if Couric and the people trying to educate the next generation of journalists can’t appreciate that, none of them should be giving or getting awards.
Everyone needs to voice their outrage, and @katiecouric is a great place to do it. Even if she never reports the news of Ziegler’s mistreatment, searches of @katiecouric on Twitter will let everyone know that she chose to hide and stay silent about a breach of journalism ethics on the campus of one of the nation’s most prestigious journalism schools.
Some folks already have contacted Couric. Here are their tweets:
Will you be covering John Ziegler’s scuffle outside your awards ceremony? He had a right to be there.
Who is John Zeigler and why was he arrested?
Katie, any comment on the John Ziegler handcuffing on the USC campus while you were getting a journalism award? Press freedom?
Others who are part of this tweet campaign include @godandculture, @CO2HOG, @djdunn and @rockinrandall. Join them. Go tweet Couric. And if you’re not already using Twitter, this is a good reason to start.