Monday, July 04, 2005

Re: Media's Brazen Image

In light of Megan's comments on the previous post, I've thought about this issue a little bit more.

On the one hand, I should probably give some benefit of the doubt to Time. I don't know for certain that they were not alerting authorities in Iraq of their contact with this man and his cohorts. Yes, they did not indicate such in their article, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. After all, it wouldn't be in their interests to narc on their sources and then write about it.

On the other hand, Time has already gotten itself into trouble for protecting its sources when journalistic ethics, common sense, and the law told them not to. A continuation of that trend would not be a terrible surprise.

What is there to be gained from telling "this side of the story"? We already know how utterly corrupt the religious fanaticism is from these "insurgents." Do we need another look into their minds to know how truly terrible their thoughts are?

Megan asked whether there was ever a right reason to kill. The man Time interviewed answered that question in a way that should disturb anyone. I think my anger comes so strongly from the fact that Time would so willingly associate with such a character. Their story came with no condemnation, no judgement, no indication that they disapproved at all. Guilty by silence? By association? I think, in some degree, yes.

Would Time so willingly interview a mass murderer? How about a serial rapist? Maybe the next time a disillusioned, nihilistic teen feels like shooting all of his classmates, Time can interview him beforehand, just to get the "other side of the story."

I maintain my stance. While I should give Time some benefit of doubt (though they hardly deserve it, given the record), the nature of the material and the very act of associating with such characters is reprehensible. I would not call it responsible journalism.

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