ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Scylla & Charybdis on Newsweak

Here's an interesting post from BummerDietz at Scylla & Charybdis who is a veritable one-stop shop for all matters media & legal related.

Let BummerDietz tell you a little bit about what the Corporate Legal Department does at a media company, since that is BummerDietz’ business….

"...When a publication has a Legal Department that has no check-and-balance function but instead exists only to insert minor text edits that maintain the thrust of the story but sidestep libel law, you have a yellow rag."

The attorneys The National Enquirer have perfected a strategy that is being copied by other media, such as CBS Legal. We call it “Head In the Sand.” The publication goes to great lengths to prevent rebuttal facts from coming into its possession, prior to deadline. To a journalist, the possession of rebuttal facts is like holding contraband - possession is punishable by a finding of Actual Malice. So journalists have changed the way they operate, in order to avoid being caught with the hot potato of rebuttal facts.

Why? Because the Legal Department might step in and delay or kill the story, if there are any rebuttal facts lying around. This manifests itself in several media bahaviors:
Click on this link to see what ends up happening...

It sure does explain a lot...

Brian adds: It sure does explain a lot. So basically what Glenn has been talking about with respect to the NEWSWEEK story bears fruition. The MSM is sliding down the scale of media credibility to National Enquirer levels. All so that they can provide "gotcha" journalism and attack their favorite targets.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler