Open Letter To “Starting a Conversation” With Katie Couric And The Entire News Media

To:  Katie Couric and the entire American news media
From:  Mitch Berg, peasant
Re:  Starting a Conversation

Ms Couric et al,

As we discussed last week, you got busted doing something that, in my day (and yours) would have gotten any young reporter unceremoniously fired; you edited a story specifically to invert the history, record and fact in an interview with a group of Virginia gun rights activists, expressly to mislead the public and drive your chosen narrative.

As Jonah Goldberg notes (in a piece on the left’s new conceit, that any kind of fabulism is OK as long as you’re “starting a conversation”):

“I can understand the objection of people who did have an issue about it,” Couric said. (The “it” here is the deliberate falsifying of the truth). “Having said that, I think we have to focus on the big issue of gun violence. It was my hope that, when I approached this topic, that this would be a conversation-starter.”

Here is the “conversation” about guns – the entire conversation:   as law enforcement targets gun criminals, gun crime is dropping, even as the number of guns in the hands of the law-abiding skyrockets.  The only exception is in inner cities, where it’s not the law-abiding citizens doing the shooting.  Discuss.

There.  There’s your conversation.

But I have a better conversation.  Let’s talk about when the media became the PR wing of the America left. And that’s fine, to a point – most of us have come to except that, to one point or another, at least considering it part of America’s intellectual background noise.

And that’s fine, to a point – most of us have come to accept that, to one degree or another; it’s part of America’s intellectual background noise.

So let’s “converse” about this:

When Bernie Maddoff  sells phony investments, and bilks people of their life’s savings, it’s a huge scandal – justifiably so – and righteous outrage ensues.  The entire faith in the investment industry – a vitally important one – took a hit.

When Enron falsifies its records, people like you, the media, jump up-and-down and hoot and holler – and very justifiably so. The lying utterly guts the credibility that was the foundation of that industry.  So far so good?

When Wall Street misleads the public, and itself, about what it’s actually investing in, causing a collapse of the entire housing market, that’s a breach of “trust” (or market discipline) that caused huge problems.  Ja?

When the police cover up wrongdoing to protect one of their own from the consequences of their wrongdoing, it’s a big story – one that cuts to the foundation of our trust in government, especially law enforcement.  Right?

So how is what Katie Couric did any different?

And more importantly, how is the entire news media’s failure (along with their cheerleaders) to rise up and condemn Couric’s perfidy as the blot on whatever trust for the media might still exist any different?

Other than saying you really don’t care anymore?

That is all.

21 thoughts on “Open Letter To “Starting a Conversation” With Katie Couric And The Entire News Media

  1. I’d like Ms. Couric what the purpose is in “starting a conversation” over falsehoods, manipulated data, or doctored video. It seems to be a waste of time to have a “conversation” about things that didn’t happen or facts that aren’t true.

    Unless, of course, she wanted the “conversation” to be about falsehoods, manipulated data, and doctored video. If so, I commend her achievement.

  2. The media already know that they’re held in disgust by a large fraction of their audience that disagrees with their leftist bent. They frankly don’t care anymore. They’re just hoping to convert enough of the weak-minded, low information middle to their point of view so that they can keep making their money without changing their beliefs.

  3. I hope that conservatives have learned, by now, that liberals are not interested in any sort of democracy-style compromise with them. Their job is to tell you how to live and what to believe. Your job is to obey.

  4. NERD: Media SENSES they’re held in low regard. They believe the polls are purposely tilted to show they’re contemptible. However, what polls cannot measure is the LEVEL of the disdain being cast at media. People actually hate media MORE than politicians.

    What media cannot measure is how badly average people would just like to punch a mainstream journalist in the face, wipe the blood off their knuckles and do it again.

  5. There is a very simple solution. Tune them out. Stop patronizing their papers, tv programs, cable shows, etc. Let their advertisers know they are wasting their money advertising on their shows. They WILL die.

  6. Did it years ago.

    But I gotta write about this stuff, for the benefit of whomever hasn’t gotten the word.

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  8. Note from Mitch: I’m going to present Dog Gone’s comment – but urge people to leave it be. Until she stops the “poop and run” practice of commenting, and starts participating in the discussion that this comment section is intended to be, rather than as a sort of personal metablog, I’m just kinda going through the motions, here.



    YOU are complaining about ‘doctored video’ and editing to misrepresent what occurred?

    REALLY? That’s hilarious. Also massively hypocritical, given your defense of exactly the same conduct when it occurs in promoting one of your conservative positions or beliefs.

    One of my greatest objections to 21st century conservatism is that it lacks any moral integrity, or in the case of the writers who promote conservative propaganda – like yourself, Mitch – any professional standards, but who rush to hold others to a separate, different and more stringent standard.

    Two words for you Mitch: James O’Keefe, and two more: ‘B roll’. Remember back when O’Keefe did a far more egregious and extensive misrepresentation (like appearing on Fox News in his silly little pimp outfit, claiming he went into ACORN offices dressed that way, claiming to be a pimp? Except that was nothing like what he did. He pretended to be the boyfriend of an abused woman (his partner), seeking help to protect her in order to manipulate people into violating ACORN rules of conduct.

    Multiple jurisdictions found serious fault with the conduct of Mr. O’Keefe, and in another incident convicted him of a crime for what he did. I don’t recall hearing a peep out of you about that; you tried instead to compare his actions to the award winning journalism of 60 minutes. Not a word of condemnation either for Fox News… in case you were going to try to justify this as not being main stream media, and therefore somehow trying to make it legit.

    And remember the more recent but very similar incidents about the faked attacks on Planned Parenthood for supposedly selling fetal tissue to legitimate research institutions? Yeah. Same thing – inserting fake footage not even remotely related to PP into those videos to misrepresent PP. Not a peep out of you over that either. Not one single investigation — and as I recall there have been investigations in the double digits — has found any instance of PP acting inappropriately or illegally. Rather the ‘journalists’ who promote YOUR point of view have been indicted for illegal conduct, and are very likely facing conviction, given the available evidence.

    And those are only two examples of many.

    When you are ready to apply a single standard for integrity and professional standards of conduct, rather than simply whining as a massive hypocrite, then and only then do you have any credibility.

    I am not a particular fan of Ms. Couric, she is not usually a source I seek out for information when I can find better ones; but I suspect your objection to her journalism is not so much what she did here — you’d condone it if it was pro-gun. But rather you and the Mitch-keteers have a grudge against Ms. Couric for underlining so irrefutably what an unprepared and incompetent candidate for VP your conservative fanatics supported when Sarah Palin was interviewed.

    You lack standing for your criticism; I hope that changes for the better, but I’m not holding my breath. I can only hope you whine less; but I’m unsure even that lower threshold is a reasonable expectation. Conservatives believe things which are not true, and routinely claim to be victims when they are not. And they whine whine whine whine whine.

    Thanks for demonstrating that AGAIN.

  9. Mitch,

    Where is your moral outrage at the Planned Parenthood video or even more that should be aimed at the likes of O’Reilly (and YOU) for not later retracting your comments and admitting the video was bogus. As your last commenter Dave Thul said, is “fake but accurate” a defense?

    As far as the Couric thing goes, I think this illustrates so starkly the difference between conservatism (as the American right practices it) and actual, ethical conduct. Mitch, you often said that media bias is perfectly fine because no one is immune and everyone has some. The thing you clearly cannot grasp is that while everyone DOES, some folks, the ethical ones, the ones who aspire to behave professionally work AGAINST it, they try to extract it from their message. People like you and O’Reilly (and Hannity and Limbaugh and Ingram and….this list is endless) make no such attempt. The attitude is, your sin excuses mine rather than “hate the sin, love the sinner.” There is no personal accountability or responsibility. You blame others for your sins. How exactly is that being better? At least they try to stop, you couldn’t care less.

    In the Couric video, members of the media doctored video, which is dead wrong and I condemn it, as does Couric. I do not defend it, nor does Couric. She says what happened is wrong. She doesn’t want it, disavows it and to the extent I know anything about her I believe she is truly ashamed. By contrast, O’Reilly embraced the PP video even after it was shown to be a hoax. Did YOU? He didn’t criticize it, he still hasn’t. He didn’t say it was false and still hasn’t. Long and short, he (O’Reilly) did not try has not. They (nor you) don’t want to try to be better (to stop sinning) nor to stop the lies but you expect and demand the other side to do so. You expect the other side to admit and be ashamed of their mistakes but would never do the same and the worst part is you consider people like Couric weak for being moral and admitting their transgressions but clearly consider yourself stronger because (like Trump) you never admit to being wrong or for having done something vile and never change quite simply because you like doing vile things.

  10. Note from Mitch: While I’ll let the comment publish, I’ll urge people to leave it be until Dog Gone remembers that this comment section is here for *discussion*, rather than to serve as someone’s poop-and-run metablog.


    By the way darlin’, you might want to do your homework a little more carefully.

    Couric herself has taken issue with and criticized the documentary for the edit, and she was not the one responsible for doing it.

    “Couric did not edit the interview herself, and said last week that she questioned director Stephanie Soechtig and an editor about the pause when she screened the film, “and was told that a ‘beat’ was added for, as she [Soechtig] described it, ‘dramatic effect.’”

    I don’t think you can fairly slam Couric, much less the mainstream media — which is pretty much a conservative euphemism for more successful media — for the actions of a couple of documentary makers. This is a tempest in a tea pot over pretty much nothing.

    But hey — when do facts get in the way of a good conservative moan?.

    Oh, yeah – when someone says “By the way darlin”, I might respond “back atcha, toots”.

  11. This is a tempest in a tea pot over pretty much nothing.

    I think I’ve figured it out. dg is channeling Suzanne Summers’ dimwit blonde schtick; badly.

  12. Where is your moral outrage at the Planned Parenthood

    Because the editing of the PP videos didn’t fundamentally alter what the PP reps said and did; they did pretty much exactly what every news outlet does when editing video. As they showed when they released the raw video. It was inconvenient, but not false.

    Couric completely inverted what happened in the interview 180 degrees, creating a completely false impression of the group’s response.

  13. Peeve, penigma or whatever you’re calling yourself today, the shit you fucking barbarians admit PP does is enough to put you out on the ice for civilized people.

    Those recordings were not doctored, those heartless ghouls were saying what we all heard them saying.

    If God was paying attention, He would melt the skin off you reprobates.

    Have a nice day.

  14. “You lack standing for your criticism”

    What in the f**k does that mean?

  15. Dog Gone,

    I’ve been hinting at this for quite some time; I’ve tired of your using my comment section as a metablog, for you to dump your, frankly, nonsense and then run.

    The comment section is for discussion, not as a place for you, as they say, to “poop and run”.

    And I’ve frankly tired of the unearned air of condescension your comments bring, inasmuch as most of what you pass as “fact” is unvarnished twaddle.

    Anyway, it’s your choice; leave all the comments you want, but stay for the discussion, or find your comments annotated with the disclaimers you see above (for starters).

    Which, considering you apparently ban all dissenting commenters, is still both more leniency and integrity than you show on your blog.

  16. but I suspect your objection to her journalism is not so much what she did here — you’d condone it if it was pro-gun. But rather you and the Mitch-keteers have a grudge against Ms. Couric for underlining so irrefutably what an unprepared and incompetent candidate for VP your conservative fanatics supported when Sarah Palin was interviewed.

    There’s that psychic ability the leftists seem to have: We’re not really bothered by doctored video, we’re really still peeved about something that happened eight years ago.

    Of course, by contrast, leftists have moved on and never mention their distortion of facts with regards to the 2000 election…

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  18. Ian,

    Good point.

    To wit:

    but I suspect your objection to her journalism is not so much what she did here — you’d condone it if it was pro-gun.

    So Pen is telling me what I really think. Bad move.

    But rather you and the Mitch-keteers have a grudge against Ms. Couric for underlining so irrefutably what an unprepared and incompetent candidate for VP your conservative fanatics supported when Sarah Palin was interviewed

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

  19. Regarding the claim that Couric didn’t edit the video herself, she still presented it as how things went down despite knowing that it wasn’t.

    Strikes me that Pen and Dog are having trouble with a lot of little distinctions like this.

  20. BB,

    Exactly. When you’re the host, in a “news” show where you’re presenting yourself as a “journalist”, the buck stops with you (and whoever the top producer is – which is usually at least nominally the host; IIRC, Couric was one of the “executive producers” of the hatchet job).

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