Olivier Knox over at Yahoo News! wrote and article entitled "Everyone knows politicians lie. Why don't reporters say so?"
In the article Knox asks if it is an important question. "Does it matter?"
Part of the answer is that we don’t necessarily know when someone is lying — meaning when they knowingly pass along something that isn’t true with the intent to deceive.
One official told me Clapper’s assertion that the NSA doesn’t collect information about millions of Americans was technically true because the intelligence community definition of “collect” means that an analyst has reviewed the information. So the NSA could scoop up millions of phone records and that wouldn’t technically count as “collection.”
More broadly, there is the thinking that if someone believes their statement to be technically true, it doesn't meet the definition of lying — at least for reporting purposes
This article splits way too many hairs. Although it is not always necessary to label something a "lie" or someone a "liar", it is certainly incumbent for the media - mainstream or otherwise - to make the public aware of the falsehoods. To ignore that the President has told one or more of these falsehoods gives the public a false sense of security in their commander-in-chief when he does not deserve it. It IS important to point this out. When a government official lies because of incompetence (he didn't mean to tell a lie, he just doesn't know what is going on), the media needs to be the eyes and ears of the public and let them know. So many elections are accused of failing to focus on the issues but the truth is the media isn't giving them the information they need to BE INFORMED. The only poignant and true thing this reporter tells about the media is that they fear losing "access" for their next story. It should be government officials and politicians who fear losing access. The media should be the disciplinarian here when it comes to access, not the supposed public servant. If an official lies - or misrepresents the truth due to "technicalities" or "incompetence" - it should be they who fear the media for shining that light on their lie, incompetence or misrepresentation. The media, as the fourth estate in this country, has a responsibility to the public to not only report but investigate and report on government, industry, the public.
Well, thats my bit. Anyone who has read my blogs before knows how I feel about the reponssibility of the media to the people. I know this won't be my last complaint about the whole argument of media access to government officials or government activities. It surely won't change if these two things never happen.
1) The media does have to stop being "pansies". ("“I do think the blogosphere is too quick to say ‘You guys are pansies 'cause you won’t say lie,’” Ron Fournier, the National Journal writer who worked for years at The Associated Press, told Yahoo News.") I think Fournier is a little sensitive on this issue. If they would step up no one would be quick to call mainstream media "pansies". But since they won't step up AT ALL, the label sticks.
2) Politicians need to understand that their actions and words, whether an outright lie or a incompetent repetition of unsubstantiated information they are passing along as fact, have consequences. They lie or they unknowingly pass along a lie, their credibility with the public MUST be called into question. It must be they who fear losing the media and the public.
Anyway, thats my thoughts. You can agree or not, its all good. Don't take my word on it. Look at all the information from all sides and make your own decision. An INFORMED decision. Think for yourselves and avoid the spin. But, hey, this is just me, Thinking Out Loud.
Have a great day.