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May 27, 2005
The Dog That Didn't Bark

Thomas Lipscomb continues to follow the Linda Foley story, this time on the pages of Editor & Publisher. Foley resurrected the Eason Jordan allegations that the US military had a policy of deliberate assassination of journalists, especially foreign journalists, in comments taped earlier this month. When Foley, head of the Newspaper Guild union, offered the same amount of evidence for this allegation as Jordan did -- none -- critics erupted with indignation.

However, as Lipscomb notes, darned few of those critics came from the newspaper journalists whom Foley represents. Lipscomb draws attention to this with an analogy from a Sherlock Holmes mystery:

Sherlock Holmess key clue to who stole the racehorse in Silver Blaze was a dog in the stall that didnt bark. And something equally odd happened on the way to the Foley firestorm: To date, not a single pundit, editorial writer, or newspaper ran anything, with the exception of the Chicago Sun-Times story I wrote, a St. Paul Pioneer Press column by Mark Yost, and a Washington Times column item.

Clearly Foley was correct in assuming the Right was the only danger to her repetition of the statement that got Eason Jordan canned. The Mainstream Media couldnt be bothered to cover Easongate: The Sequel. And positioning Foley as the gallant defender of the lives of journalists targeted by the U.S. military was inspired PR. After all, Sherlock Holmess dog didnt bark because he was good friends with the thief. ...

If the most basic tenets of Journalism 101 are now no longer important enough for the media itself to honor and defend against their own members who violate them, where is the professionalism and the authority that is our main claim to writing the indispensable first draft of history much less its value for sale? And if we lose sight of that irretrievably, who needs us? There are bloggers out there today with more credibility than Dan Rather, Mary Mapes, Eason Jordan, and Linda Foley combined, and their audiences are growing.

In fact, Foley's dodge received an assist from another serendipitous factor as well: she made her allegations at the time the Newsweek/Isikoff debacle broke. The outrage over Isikoff's deadly falsehood swamped out that of Foley's statement. Besides, no one really has heard of Foley before this happened, and unlike Eason Jordan, was not seen as being nearly as influential on news delivery. However, Lipscomb certainly nails the lack of response for Foley's charges among those whom she represents, and it shows a basic conflict of interest that has hampered the wide dissemination of Foley's slanders.

Read all of Lipscomb's column. As always, he does an excellent job in tying together many different threads into a cohesive portrait of a decaying Exempt Media.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 27, 2005 12:26 PM

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» The Dog That Didn't Bark from Ed
Lots of Bloggers (including Ed Morrissey, where we found the story first) have already linked to this great piece by Thomas Lipscomb in Editor & Publisher. The title of Lipscomb's piece comes from this section of his essay:Sherlock Holmess key... [Read More]

Tracked on May 28, 2005 2:57 PM

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