Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Media censorship: Investigative reporter reveals DoJ threats to hide US government malfeasance

The first Amendment isn't just an Amendment.

It's a tool to be used, not simply talked about. Surprising how quickly the media gives up their freedom to "get along."Kristina Borjesson reports first hand how FBI agents put pressure on corporate media to stonewall independent investigations into the alleged missile shootdown of flight TWA 800.

Borjesson is no stranger to controversy, asking tough questions which nobody wanted to answer.

Kristina reports that it's not just government threats of "cutting off access to valuable leaks" that is the problem. It's the outright self-censorship within the media that is a larger stonewall to reliable information.

To ensure the consumers continue reviewing advertising, corporations pressure publishers to keep the stories non-controversial. Borjesson complains that this means the really hot stories exposing the darkest malfeasance in government never see the light of day.

When asked why the media cares about access to unreliable government sources, Borjesson stated that the sources are not always unreliable, and that the media needs to keep their sources open.

Unfortunately, this misses the point. The media isn't there to "generate sources" but to find the truth. Any source that dares threaten the media with "I won't give you future goodies if you talk about this really bad stuff," is blackmailing not just the reporter, but the public.

Those who are "in the know" of malfeasance have a higher duty than merely "whether the media can access them."

This is analogous to "threatening possible future harm" in exchange for putting up with unacceptable treatment today. The instant any reporter acquiesces to any threats from any source, the abuse has already had its effect.

Rather, government cannot rely on media silence over contentious issues. Borjesson takes the first step in revealing what keeps a "free media" from freely reporting the truth.