Anchors Kyra Phillips and John Roberts discussed the "mixed blessing of the internet," and agreed that there should be a crackdown on anonymous bloggers who disparage others on the internet.Phillips and Roberts agreed that there should be a crackdown on anonymous bloggers who disparage others. Take note. You'll see that they don't. And what does that have to do with the "Sherrod Incident" referenced in the headline? Andrew Breitbart is the polar opposite of anonymous. He seems to love getting his name out there and all over everything. And the disparaging of Shirley Sherrod was done through her own image and words in a video clip.
Newsbusters quotes Roberts telling us what we know: the short clip of Sherrod's speech made her seem a lot worse than the whole clip. But, as Roberts notes, we did go further and get the whole context.
Phillips brings in the the problem of anonymous bloggers:
"There's going to have be a point in time where these people have to be held accountable," Phillips said. "How about all these bloggers that blog anonymously? They say rotten things about people and they're actually given credibility, which is crazy. They're a bunch of cowards, they're just people seeking attention."Roberts cites a conversation with Andrew Keen, author of "The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing Our Culture":
"Well what Andrew talked about with me was this idea of a gatekeeper but there are huge first amendment rights that come into play here - freedom of speech and all that. And he said the people who need to be the gatekeepers are the media to check into these stories," said Roberts.So, Roberts isn't saying there should be a government crackdown. He recognizes the First Amendment, and says Keen said he wanted the media to be the gatekeepers. Newsbusters says:
Phillips wanted to go even further, asking if "there's going to come a point where something's going to have to be done legally" about anonymous bloggers.So... legally... does that imply a government crackdown or is Phillips only suggesting that there can be defamation lawsuits brought by individuals in which the identity of "anonymous" — really, the word should be pseudonymous — bloggers can be discovered?
"There has to be some point where there's some accountability. And companies, especially in the media have to stop giving these anonymous bloggers credit," she said.So, Phillips ends up back at the idea that the media need to shift and winnow the material that comes up through the internet. Where's the crackdown?
"If you're in a place like Iran or North Korea or something like that, anonymous blogging is the only way you could ever get your point of view out without being searched down and thrown in jail or worse," said Roberts. "But when it comes to a society like ours, an open society, do there have to be some checks and balances, not national, but maybe website to website on who comments on things?"Not national... I think that means he's saying the federal government should not be doing the checking and balancing. Roberts is saying that "website to website" something should be done — maybe just a rejection of anonymous comments. It's annoying that Roberts doesn't distinguish between pseudonymous bloggers and anonymous (or pseudonymous) commenters, but I don't see any place where he agrees even with Phillips's use of the word "legally," which was completely vague and most likely referred only to defamation lawsuits.
CNN's two regulation-happy reporters...They never mentioned regulation! I think they were talking about the marketplace of ideas in which we are all the gatekeepers. In that marketplace of ideas, I'm cracking down on Newsbusters! This much-linked article is reeking crapola. And yet it is raking in traffic.
CNN's two regulation-happy reporters think the Sherrod situation can help bring attention to the "necessity" of blogging reform if she brings a defamation lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart.What is the sentence with that word "necessity" in it? I went to the video, and I couldn't find it. I listened to the end of the segment 3 times, and it seems to me that the 2 reporters peter out with Roberts talking about how we all have to "be aware" and how he always tells young people not to put naked pictures of themselves on the internet.
"Regulation-happy"? "Blogging reform"? "Crackdown"? What nonsense!
IN THE COMMENTS: Old Dad said...
CNN's real problem is cablecasting boring and pedestrian filler.Exactly. Newsbusters, ironically, is making them seem exciting. I think Roberts knew they were being pointless and tedious. That's why went all naked teenagers!!!!! in the end.