Feeds

Blog Nation embraces Rather after flaying him

First we destroy, then we love

Security for virtualized datacentres

SXSW Grizzled Texan newsman Dan Rather received the warmest of welcomes from the grand blog felch that helped end his CBS career, during a speech today here at the SXSW conference and festival. The blogger nation found Rather's call for better US journalism inspirational, particularly when he chastised the candy ass reporters covering the White House.

"The journalism craft has degenerated into what I consider to be a very perilous state," Rather said.

"We have lost the sense, for example, that . . . a patriotic journalist will be on his or her feet asking the tough questions."

Rather harped on what many of you already know, which is that so-called mainstream media have become obsessed with access to officials in power. Reporters will hold back from charging after subjects in certain stories, if they think criticism now will hurt the chances of a fluffy interview later. Similarly, journalists will go easy on the criticism out of fear that their stories might make life difficult on the large conglomerates that own their publications or networks.

"Increasingly, journalists try to play it safe," Rather said. They think, "I know that this is true, but it's tough stuff, and, if I run this, I am going to pay a price for it. So maybe, I should just water it down a tad."

These problems affect technology journalism just as much as political journalism with many IT publications claiming the "fair and balanced" highroad while delivering bland, spineless goop.

The SXSW crowd loved Rather's tough talk even though they're blogging-mad and Rather has become the poster boy for angry bloggers' ability to destroy a person in power through their venom. The veteran journalist unceremoniously left CBS after the blog nation tormented him for presenting forged "Killian" documents that undermined President Bush's "service" in the US National Guard.

Rather called for journalists to liven their copy by calling out disingenuous subjects with firm language when the situation warrants it. Such an approach might result in a reporter stating flat out that someone is lying, if they've backed up that claim with fact.

"I think that kind of direct language might be preferable to the kind of sideways dance is so often done," he said.

We shall take that under advisement. ®

Bootnote

The bloggers greeted Rather with a standing ovation, deciding ahead of time that they'd forgiven his transgressions before he opened his mouth.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.