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Is CNN Calling For Curbs On Free Speech?

Posted by tomwiles at 11:09 PM on July 23, 2010

On July 23, 2010, CNN anchors Kyra Phillips and John Roberts discussed on air the idea that bloggers should be somehow “held accountable” or perhaps regulated in some way. Here’s the video of that exchange.

It’s no secret that CNN and other so-called mainstream media outlets, both broadcast and print, have had for some time now an ongoing loss of viewers and readers. A number of traditional journalists from time to time have had and expressed an almost open hostility towards bloggers and the Internet. They perceive the Internet as a threat to their business models, and their vaunted self-appointed job as information “gatekeepers.”

If you look back over the past few years, almost every major story, particularly scandal stories, originated first on blogs. In many cases the mainstream media were dragged kicking and screaming into reporting stories. The clearly forged National Guard documents that ultimately ended up forcing CBS to fire evening news anchor Dan Rather comes to mind from a few years ago. Bloggers quickly picked up on the fact that the supposed National Guard documents had been typed up in the default template for Microsoft Word and then ran through a fax and/or copy machine a number of times to make the documents look dirty and/or old. The trouble was, Microsoft Word didn’t exist in 1973. If it weren’t for bloggers, this story would have likely never come to public light, and what is clearly a forgery and a made-up story would have passed into the public mind as the truth.

Should free speech be curbed? Should bloggers somehow be licensed or officially regulated in what is purportedly a free country? Should we be forced to get our news from “professional” or even “licensed” journalists?

6 Comments

  1. From Chris | Martial Development at 11:39 pm on July 23, 2010

    Bloggers are already “held accountable” by the same civil and criminal laws that govern everyone else. I don’t think they need an additional set of restrictions.

  2. From Chicago Tom at 5:37 am on July 24, 2010

    Are yoAre you kidding me CNN? Main stream news has become nothing short of a circus with bits and pieces being reported on all the time and sometimes for nothing other than political gain.

    The BBC is the only news source that I’ll watch because it actually covers news in greater depth and with more honesty. Bloggers today are able to provide their opinion on a anything and everything which is what people are truly looking for, a prespective.

    I have not watched any news program since 911 and see no value in it. It’s sad that the CNN’s and Fox’s of the industry still don’t have a clue as to how to turn there failing market around.

    Blogging is freedom of speech. Instead of going after bloggers, go after Fox News for their inability to report the entire story as they spew there political agenda to the masses.

  3. From Jim at 5:57 am on July 24, 2010

    I wish “journalists” would just become reporters. Report the news as it happened without the “journalistic license” that pervaded main stream media. I’ve found our local news here in Phoenix gets into the act of “spinning” the news to a certain political bent. Just remember most news casts are written for an 8th or 9th grade level.

  4. From tomwiles at 1:43 pm on July 24, 2010

    Regardless of political views, these sorts of veiled cries for censorship should be not only cause for concern but met with stiff opposition that puts its money where its mouth is.

    I not only have stopped watching newscasts, I cancelled my Dish Network subscription. Most people do not realize that cable and satellite subscriptions directly put money into the pockets of many TV networks whether one tunes them in or not.

  5. From Dusty Durst at 2:58 am on July 25, 2010

    CNN is joke and the more they talk the more they hang themselves with hypocrisy. They sure seem jealous of freedom.

  6. From Jared at 6:12 pm on July 26, 2010

    Wow! This is sick. These talking heads are losing viewers and power so they call for a “gatekeeper.” I refuse to pay for cable because I receive accurate news for free on the internet. I encourage everyone to cancel their cable and subscribe to Netflix or watch Hulu if they must consume the garbage television has to offer. I refuse to listen to these opponents of free speech on CNN.