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Re: your note
> Why the tone, Ernest?
> Because, in case you haven't been aware of it, accusing a journalist of
> censorship is a very serious thing.
> Ray Suarez
Well, in that case, I owe you an apology
for the poor choice of the word "censor",
and I suspected it as much after thinking
about your replies.
I am more accustom to the use of "censor"
not so much in the deliberate and
conspiratorial sense as you might be
taking it. Allow me to point to the books
by Project Censored, which, I believe,
never directly accuse any news organizations
of deliberately censoring for the purpose
of covering up anything. Their prime
accusation is that the news mechanism as
a component of a democratic society have
filters whose optimizations have been taken
advantage of by organizations actually
desiring the cover up.
I think the intelligence agencies are
probably good at this (if not, they are not
doing their job), and I am sure the FBI is
a quick study on this topic of just how
fast news spreads through the media, and
how certain news do or do not make it
through the media channels. The FBI and
the NSA have often been targets of lawsuits
and Congressional scrutiny in the past, so
they probably have organizational structures
to help defend against such scrutiny. This
does not automagically imply some sort of
big brother conspiracy, but if the resources
are there to spin their agenda, I doubt they
will say, "well this is not ethical to use
for our own purposes ...".
Unlike many right wing extremists, I'm not
even trying to accuse the FBI or the NSA of
deliberately trying to fool the American
public for some evil purposes. My belief is
that larger and larger secret bureaucracies
have a certain behavior which could have the
net result of undermining democratic
principles, so while it is not the news
organizations fault that they may have been
taken advantage of, we often have to depend
on the news organizations themselves dig
themselves out and to counter act this effect.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan recently released a
book on the topic of secrecy and the effect
on bureaucracy, and I was quite impressed by
the N Y Times excerpt.
By the way, I don't know if you understand why
I'm so concerned about this topic, but I do
want to clear the basic problems:
1. I am NOT accusing you or TOTN of censoring
the wiretap topic.
a. All connotations of "censor".
2. I am accusing you and TOTN of censorin
the topic of the lack of reporting by main
stream media on that specific hour.
a. Only the specific mechanical
connotation of "censor" which means
not putting the topic on the air.
b. I am questioning the relevance of some
of the calls relative to mine.
1) I will grant that due to the
mechanism of pre-screens, that you
might not have understood the
specific nature of my topic, and
might have thought I just wanted
to talk about wire taps.
c. I will grant that that there are many
reasons why stories/items get dropped
on the floor, mostly not the evil
conspiratorial reasons. I can even
imagine a few of these reasons myself.
However, a discussion of news organizations
and how they decide why one story is dropped
and another is put on is worth knowing (that
was what I wanted to ask you on the air).
On this particular exchange, you might also
want to explain how you pick and choose callers
on the air. Of course, you cannot put every
caller on the air. So how do you choose? Is
there a control of flow factor? Doubtful in
that particular hour. I am sure there is some
attempt to limit the digression of the topics.
Is there some intangible mood factor analogous
to a club DJ's emotional sync with the dance