Just Asking: Media Outfoxed on Spate of Bizarre Shootings?
2013 04 16

By Russ Baker | WhoWhatWhy

Perhaps you’ve heard that a Fox News reporter could go to jail for protecting confidential sources in the Aurora, Colorado, mass shootings. This has generated a debate: are “liberal” media unwilling to go to bat on a Freedom of the Press issue for a reporter from a “conservative” outlet? This is an obvious entrant as the “hot button” topic of the week.

But there’s another, more nuanced issue that deserves consideration: what is the nature of the information leaked to reporters? And whose interests do the leaks serve?


James Holmes, mass shooting suspect


***

The defense attorneys for Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes want to know the sources for reporter Jana Winters’s assertion that Holmes’s notebooks contained violent ramblings and drawings. Winter could potentially face up to six months in jail if she does not identify her sources in law enforcement.

The other day, Fox News ran a segment alleging that the news profession has thus far been largely silent because Winter is with Fox. Even Fox’s resident liberal agreed that this reflected liberal bias.

And the executive editor of the conservative Washington Examiner posted this question on an email discussion thread for investigative journalists:

Has anybody on this listserv spoken up on the web, in print or on the air in defense of Jana Winter?

Thus, the story becomes another iteration of the common refrain that the “liberal media” is hypocritical. And the likely response is that the “liberal media” (which is not actually all that liberal, but that’s another story) will rush to prove that, no, it is not hypocritical or biased, and thus it will line up behind Jana Winter—particularly if a judge decides to compel her testimony or send her to jail.

What is missed in all this is an angle as important as freedom of the press. Here it is:

Are reporters used to disseminate information that benefits certain parties? Answer: of course they are. As important as the principle that journalists serve the people is the reality that many journalists build their careers around “scoops” that are essentially handouts from interested parties seeking to influence outcomes.

***

Most of us would probably agree that Jana Winter and all journalists need to be able to speak to sources on a confidential basis in order to ferret out information of vital public interest. But this reporter cannot help wondering: who gave Winter that information, and why?

To be sure, the decision to give it to Fox News rather than to some other outlet presumably was made in full awareness of Fox’s position in America’s propaganda hierarchy. Although Fox is currently the “opposition,” given that the Democrats hold the White House, the network still plays an important role in advancing the narratives of the corporate security state. It’s in that establishment’s interest to discourage deeper scrutiny of the alarmingly frequent litany of strange violent events that increasingly bedevil this country—and profoundly affect the national psyche.

Holmes’s attorneys wouldn’t be doing their job if they just rolled over and allowed the prosecution to settle their case in the court of public opinion, crystallized through the Fox franchise.

[...]

Read the full article at: whowhatwhy.com




Related Articles
Is James Holmes Innocent? Is Holmes a Patsy?
Holmes to Face Death Penalty in Shooting
James Holmes was among elite in neuroscience before Aurora massacre
Woman disrupts Holmes hearing "to deliver vital information"; Gets escorted away
James Holmes Family Tied To DARPA And Mind Manipulation Work
James Holmes Appears In Court -- Has He Been Forcibly Drugged?
Strange links: Aurora, Hunger Games, Sandy Hook, Batman
Proof of second shooter in Aurora Batman Massacre?
Batman Massacre: WHY and HOW and WHO
Death-Obsessed Culture, Not Gun Rights, To Blame For ‘Batman’ Shooting


Latest News from our Front Page

CIA torture is reason for France to exit NATO – Le Pen
2014-12-17 20:20
The shocking revelations of CIA torture techniques give France a reason to exit NATO, National Front party leader Marine Le Pen said on Saturday. The report on the CIA’s former interrogation practices has drawn wide criticism since its release. “If indeed everyone is outraged by the tortures used by the US then, let’s leave NATO,” Le Pen said during an interview ...
900 Documented Examples of Obama's Lawbreaking, Lying, Corruption, Cronyism, Hypocrisy & Waste
2014-12-17 20:00
By Tim Brown from sonsoflibertymedia.com: Our friend, Dan from Squirrel Hill, has updated his list to 900 documented examples of Barack Obama¡¯s lying, lawbreaking, corruption, cronyism, etc. He began with 252 examples, then quickly grew to 504 and later to 694. Recently, he added more than 200 more examples of the usurper-in-chief¡¯s unlawful acts. Every President, every politician, and every human ...
A Step Closer to the Mysterious Origin of the Viking Sword Ulfberht
2014 12 16
The universe is full of mysteries that challenge our current knowledge. In "Beyond Science" Epoch Times collects stories about these strange phenomena to stimulate the imagination and open up previously undreamed of possibilities. Are they true? You decide. Ulfberht was like a Medieval luxury brand for swords—but unlike your Gucci purse, the swords were of such high quality they were almost ...
Israel proposes natural gas pipeline to Southern Europe
2014-12-16 12:39
Israel is pushing for the European Union (EU) to approve the construction of a pipeline running from the Middle Eastern country to supply Cyprus, Greece and Italy with natural gas. The proposed EastMed pipeline will carry gas from the Tamar and Leviathan gas fields located in the Mediterranean Sea, to Southern Europe. As the Times of Israel reported in an ...
As Robots Grow Smarter, American Workers Struggle to Keep Up
2014 12 16
A machine that administers sedatives recently began treating patients at a Seattle hospital. At a Silicon Valley hotel, a bellhop robot delivers items to people’s rooms. Last spring, a software algorithm wrote a breaking news article about an earthquake that The Los Angeles Times published. Although fears that technology will displace jobs are at least as old as the Luddites, there ...
More News »