11 April 2007

Media Troubles

The Mainstream Media, as the traditional media outlets of broadcast TV networks and old-line newspapers are sometimes known, is in deep trouble. The imbroglio surrounding Don Imus has overshadowed an interesting story involving Katie Couric:

Katie Couric did a one-minute commentary last week on the joys of getting her first library card, but the thoughts were less than original. The piece was substantially lifted from a Wall Street Journal column.
CBS News apologized for the plagiarized passages yesterday and said the commentary had been written by a network producer who has since been fired.

Blogger Ed Driscoll has a roundup of commentary surrounding the incident, including this from Ed Morrissey:

Plagiarism is the secondary scandal here. CBS has apologized for lifting the material, and the Journal has graciously accepted it. The primary scandal is the marketing of Couric as a journalist, attempting to boost her credibility and her likability with these articles written by staffers. They want to prop her up as a replacement for Rather, who despite his many faults actually worked as a reporter for many years before the anchor gig.

The critical issue for me is the devolution of Journalism. We should be skeptical of what the talking heads say, and certainly not admire them for anything but their ability to read the news.

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