Category Archives: journalists

Happy belated Birthday Mr. Murrow.

He would of been 100 years old yesterday. From wiki:

On March 9, 1954, Murrow, Friendly, and their news team produced a 30-minute See It Now special entitled “A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy.” Murrow used excerpts from McCarthy’s own speeches and proclamations to criticize the senator and point out episodes where he had contradicted himself. Murrow knew full well that he was using the medium of television to attack a single man and expose him to nationwide scrutiny, and he was often quoted as having doubts about the method he used for this news report.

Murrow and his See It Now co-producer, Fred Friendly, paid for their own newspaper advertisement for the program; they were not allowed to use CBS’ money for the publicity campaign or even use the CBS logo. Nonetheless, this 30-minute TV episode contributed to a nationwide backlash against McCarthy and against the Red Scare in general, and it is seen as a turning point in the history of television.

The broadcast provoked tens of thousands of letters, telegrams and phone calls to CBS headquarters, running 15 to 1 in favor of Murrow. In a Murrow retrospective produced by CBS for the A&E Network series Biography, Friendly noted how truck drivers pulled up to Murrow on the street in subsequent days and shouted “Good show, Ed. Good show, Ed.”

Afterwards, Murrow offered McCarthy a chance to appear on See It Now to respond to the criticism that was given to him on the program. McCarthy accepted the invitation and made an appearance on See It Now three weeks later. However, McCarthy’s rebuttal to Murrow only decreased his popularity, already fading, even further.

He died two days after his birthday in 1965. Some of his memorable quotes:

“No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices.” – Speech to staff, March 9, 1954

“If we confuse dissent with disloyalty — if we deny the right of the individual to be wrong, unpopular, eccentric or unorthodox — if we deny the essence of racial equality, then hundreds of millions in Asia and Africa who are shopping about for a new allegiance will conclude that we are concerned to defend a myth and our present privileged status. Every act that denies or limits the freedom of the individual in this country costs us the. . . confidence of men and women who aspire to that freedom and independence of which we speak and for which our ancestors fought.” – Ford Fiftieth Anniversary Show, CBS and NBC, June 1953

There were so many…too many to list here. This museum has a good writeup of his entire career. Below is a tribute CBS did after Murrows death.
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Just because your paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.

The government plays wargames. They use situations where Bloggers and Journalists are the bad guys.

Seriously..they do. The RawStory writeup this morning was a freaking trip to read..lemme tell ya. From the writeup we learn which departments took part in the ‘exercise’-The Homeland Security Department ran the exercise to test the nation’s hacker defenses, with help from the State Department, Pentagon, Justice Department, CIA, National Security Agency and others.

Whoa, all the heavy hitters no? Then the situations they used:

Imagined villains include hackers, bloggers and even reporters. After mock electronic attacks overwhelmed computers at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, an unspecified “major news network” airing reports about the attackers refused to reveal its sources to the government. Other simulated reporters were duped into spreading “believable but misleading” information that worsened fallout by confusing the public and financial markets, according to the government’s files.

Its that damn liberal media don’t ya know? They are plotting the overthrow of the US government. Yeah, we all want to be under the umbrella of the Islamists..oh fuck yeah.

What do these wargames cost? Three million bucks according to the writeup. And, they are planning another one this coming March. The Associated Press has been pushing, via a FOIA request, for two years to get the low-down on these international wargames. The 328 page report was of course heavily redacted.

At least our government is trying to figure it out, I suppose we should be glad about that, right? It was an international affair including “government officials from the United States, England, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and executives from leading technology and transportation companies“. I have read various writeups that state the ‘next big attack’ will be more a cyber attack than anything else, and with the internet being the main culprit used to bring down American security forces. Richard Clarke’s book lays it all it could happen and what would be the result of a cyber attack on our security systems that are old and not up-to-date. This next to last paragraph in the RawStory writeup was interesting:

However, the government’s files hint at a tantalizing mystery: In the middle of the war game, someone quietly attacked the very computers used to conduct the exercise. Perplexed organizers traced the incident to overzealous players and sent everyone an urgent e-mail marked “IMPORTANT!” reminding them not to probe or attack the game computers.

Gotta be ready for anything from any angle..