CNN Claims 'Something Must Be Done' About Anonymous Bloggers
from the yes,-but... dept
If you follow political news even slightly, by now, you've probably heard about the whole Shirley Sherrod incident, involving an edited video of a talk she gave, which took her quotes out of context and made it appear she was saying exactly the opposite of what she was actually saying. The original video appeared on Andrew Breitbart's website, so it seemed kind of odd in discussing this incident, that two CNN anchors spent the majority of a video segment attacking anonymity on the internet. The first two minutes just complain about the internet in general, aided by a typically cranky Andrew Keen, but after the Keen segment, Kyra Phillips and John Roberts focus on the fact that people won't put their name behind what they say online:
Of course, anonymity had nothing to do with this incident at all. All of the players were known, so it seems odd to pick on anonymity. On top of that, both Phillips and Roberts seem woefully clueless on the subject of anonymity and liability. Roberts notes that Keen told him about companies that try to ruin other companies by posting false information online. What companies? He doesn't say. Where's the proof that this is happening? He doesn't say. Why the companies who have had falsehoods spread about them by other companies haven't sued for defamation? He doesn't say. In fact, Phillips falsely implies that there are no remedies for this, and suggests it's ridiculous that people have "freedom of defamation." She goes on to say that something needs to be done, and implies that the law needs to change, saying "something's going to have to be done legally," and that there needs to be "accountability." Um.... except defamation laws already allow people to sue over anonymous falsehoods. You would think that newscasters arguing over this point would know the basics like that.
But an even bigger point, as raised by Glenn Greenwald, is the fact that CNN relies on anonymous quotes all the time. It doesn't take long to find articles on CNN that quote anonymous officials. For them to rage against "cowards" who won't stand behind what they say, and then to regularly quote "anonymous" sources, seems pretty damn hypocritical. Phillips claims anonymity online is "very unfair." Phillips also attacks the media for "giving anonymous bloggers credit or credibility." But again, CNN quotes all kinds of anonymous sources all the time.
Later on, Roberts suggests anonymous blogging "has its place" and suggests that place is Iran and North Korea. But not the US. The authors of The Federalist Papers are rolling over in their graves.
Rikuo: long story short, guy is wrongly named as a taxi far evader in a video, and the judge orders it deleted WORLDWIDE from all sites to be more accurate, he was named in the comments, not the video itself dennis deems: Jay, thanks for that reminder Christopher Best: Andrew Stack was not a member of the Tea Party movement. He was a disturbed individual, and a disgruntled software developer. There's explicit tax law that treats software developers very unfairly if they try to work as independent contractors... yaga: that's very true CB Alana: AJ Seriously just compared arguments against copyright infringment to rape. ... Yeah, nobody should take him seriously at this point. err, against copyright* silverscarcat: seriously? Jay: Glenn Beck asking for a 9/12 movement isn't the least bit suspicious? Along with all of the other issues with the IRS right now? Ninja: I am honestly amused that the community is marking the comments of that "horse" guy as funny silverscarcat: Who takes Glenn Beck seriously? Jeff: did the 'new' comment color bars go away? dennis deems: ya I hadn't noticed until you said that. I don't recall seeing them the last couple days. Mike Masnick: new color bars ran into some big technical problems. :) we took them down while we fix them. fix is currently going through testing and should be back (and better than before) soon. dennis deems: yay! the color bars rule! Jeff: whew! Thought I was going... wait for it... "Color Blind" thanks! I'll be here all day... :-) Jay: @ssc I'm talking more in 2011 at the peak of TP hysteria