Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell and Tim Graham fret in their Dec. 19 column:
The widespread reporting on hacked emails from Sony Pictures — spurred by the upcoming release of an allegedly funny movie about assassinating North Korean despot Kim Jong Un — might encourage some gloating from people who would like to bring Hollywood down a peg. But hold the schadenfreude. The media's ethics — or seeming lack of ethics — are troubling.
Take CNN "Reliable Sources" host Brian Stelter in an interview with the program "Access Hollywood." His ethical position? Anything goes, as long as the journalists aren't the hackers.
In other words, journalists have every right to exploit whatever the hackers steal. So much for all those lectures about compassion or ethics. Ends justify means. Juicy "scoops" trump any question about how the information was obtained.
When hackers for an evil entity procure private information through illegal means, isn't there a reason for the media to restrain itself?
That's quite a change from five years ago, when Bozell was demanding that the media cover the contents of stolen emails. Of course, those involved the so-called scandal involving stolen emails from climate scientists. Bozell huffed in a December 2009 press release:
"The networks' silence on ClimateGate is deafening. Scandal, cover-ups and conspiracy are the bread and butter of the media. Yet they have selectively and deliberately decided not to report this bombshell - or any of the incriminating details surrounding the scandal - because it goes against their left-wing agenda.
"To pretend this story simply doesn't exist is damning to journalism. The so-called 'news' media are protecting scientists because it exposes their underbelly. That's not journalism. That's a cover-up. And we will continue to call them out for ignoring these allegations and the mounting, inconvenient evidence against them."
Bozell did not fret about media ethics or the procurement of private information through illegal means back then. There's no reason -- other than craven partisan politics -- why he and Graham should care now.