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Kudos to Walter Pincus

Cowardly newsrooms--but kudos to Walter Pincus:

Poynter Online - Forums: From CHRISTOPHER YASIEJKO: I applaud Walter Pincus for his call to refuse the publication or broadcast of government statements that clearly offer no news and are designed as public relations tools. Many times I have listened to or watched a clip of President Bush making a statement that illuminates nothing (and often sounds embarrassingly trite), only to find a headline and story the next morning that lend credibility and even intelligence to the statement.Newspapers and broadcast outlets continue to relay the administration's every word because the administration says so little. Pincus is right to call it courageous to not publish or broadcast clearly empty statements -- anyone making such a decision likely would be isolated in his or her choice. It's akin to the use by sportswriters of quotations from the mouths of athletes -- the players' postgame words, as quoted in most game stories, seldom add depth in lieu of that mathematical mystery known as 110 percent. For those who counter that any statement by the president or by members of his administration is by default newsworthy, it is incumbent upon the press to question the validity and worth of those statements. If enough publications and stations immediately followed a quotation with context that revealed it as misleading, false or a hackneyed talking point, the administration's public relations arm might begin to think twice about inventing or repeating "news." I have no faith that such courage will make itself known anytime soon...

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