News as Muse

Friday, May 16, 2008

Transcript

Join Bob as he visits the Newseum, a 250,000 square foot museum about news that has opened in Washington DC. After expressing a healthy share of cynicism about some Newseum artifacts, he finds some meaning in the 4-D movies, the news history gallery, and even the likeness of James Madison reciting the First Amendment.

Comments [5]

Ted from Michigan

Mr. Garfield:
I guess I'm one of those who has "acquiesed". But, I'm not sure which civil liberties I have surrendered, other than those that allow me to go to a flight school and learn how to fly a multi-engine jet into a building, and that allow me to have a private cell phone call with someone outside the U.S., who wants to kill some of my fellow citizens. Maybe you could provide a few details to clarify others I've lost, since I didn't have much use for those liberties mentioned above.

While you are at it, could you provide a list of the networks, TV stations, newspapers, magazines, web sites, blogs, chat rooms, and bulletin boards that have been shut down by "the government" you alluded to above?

Your hostility toward the Bush administration is rather obvious to this occasional listener to OTM, but couldn't you have kept it in check for an unrelated piece on the Newseum?

May. 20 2008 11:40 PM
Michael Powker from New Jersey

"Ever hear of Janet Jackson, Howard Stern? Larry Flynt (sp?)?"

Had you bothered to listen to the show, you'd have realized this is not a discussion about issues of public decency.

"Police departments routinely forbid the press from writing complete, detailed stories because it might "hinder investigations". It happens all the time."

Had you bothered to listen to the show, you'd have realized this is not a discussion about criminal investigations either. Of course the police can - and should - block the publication of information that can compromise an ongoing investigation of a crime. That's a universally accepted principle, and it has nothing to do with the report we are discussing here.

"the Gov't also restricts much of the information the press could report on based on "strategy" and "national security." To think this has never been abused by anyone, EVER might just be a bit short sighted."

In that case you should have no trouble coming up with a specific example. So far you have not. Neither has Mr. Garfield or anyone else. Basically all of you are recycling cliches you are unable to support.

May. 19 2008 10:50 AM
Jack

re: Charles Cates

"Can you point to any examples of "The Government" trying to stop the printing or broadcasting of any item? And if not, in what way did it show disrespect for the freedom of the press?"

There is a little thing in this country that limits free speech and indeed stops the broadcasting of numerous items. It's called the FCC. Ever hear of Janet Jackson, Howard Stern? Larry Flynt (sp?)?

Haven't listened to the podcast yet but I can tell you that the FCC is exactly the example you asked for. FWIW- Police departments routinely forbid the press from writing complete, detailed stories because it might "hinder investigations". It happens all the time.

"Did anyone in "The Government" order it to sit on its hands?"

There is no way to prove a negative. However, the Gov't also restricts much of the information the press could report on based on "strategy" and "national security." To think this has never been abused by anyone, EVER might just be a bit short sighted.

Jack

May. 18 2008 11:29 PM
Charles Cates from Austin, TX

The recorded voices describing the exhibits (as opposed to actual broadcasters recorded) are some of the most unprofessional I've ever heard. Some narration is from known 'celebrity' journalists but most seem done by voice or drama students and beginning ones at that. For $20 I'd expect to hear the solemn tones of Morgan Freeman or David McCullough invoking my respect for the First Admentment, not the tone of a used car salesman in a small media market in the midwest.

May. 18 2008 01:24 PM
Michael Powker from New Jersey

Question to Bob Garfield:

Being that you appear to consider yourself better-informed (not to mention more sophisticated) than the teenager you interviewed at the Newseum, could you explain the connection between "Our Civil liberties, not least press freedom, has been under assault for 7 years by a government that doesn’t respect them, with the acquiescence of a population that seem not to fully understand what in the name of homeland security they are surrendering" on the one hand, and "the press largely sat on its hands in the run up to Iraq" on the other?

If the press had sat on its hands before the war (assuming that this is indeed what happened) what does it have to do with freedom of the press? Did anyone in "The Government" order it to sit on its hands?

Can you point to any examples of "The Government" trying to stop the printing or broadcasting of any item? And if not, in what way did it show disrespect for the freedom of the press?

Bottom line, you are accusing the government of repression and the American public of ignorance for no apparent reason except, perhaps, that you consider it "cool" to do so and "gross" to challenge that conventional wisdom. Herd mentality rules.

May. 17 2008 04:50 PM

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