CNN hosts: In light of Sherrod story, legal steps/”checks and balances” system needed for bloggers

Posted by: ST on July 24, 2010 at 11:48 am

Alana Goodman from Newsbusters files this disturbing report:

Should there be a “gatekeeper” regulating internet bloggers? In the aftermath of the Shirley Sherrod incident, that’s what CNN promoted on July 23.

Anchors Kyra Phillips and John Roberts discussed the “mixed blessing of the internet,” and agreed that there should be a crackdown on anonymous bloggers who disparage others on the internet.

“There’s going to have be a point in time where these people have to be held accountable,” Phillips said. “How about all these bloggers that blog anonymously? They say rotten things about people and they’re actually given credibility, which is crazy. They’re a bunch of cowards, they’re just people seeking attention.”


“Well what Andrew talked about with me was this idea of a gatekeeper but there are huge first amendment rights that come into play here – freedom of speech and all that. And he said the people who need to be the gatekeepers are the media to check into these stories,” said Roberts.

Phillips wanted to go even further, asking if “there’s going to come a point where something’s going to have to be done legally” about anonymous bloggers.

“There has to be some point where there’s some accountability. And companies, especially in the media have to stop giving these anonymous bloggers credit,” she said.

Roberts responded that anonymous blogging might benefit from “checks and balances.”

“If you’re in a place like Iran or North Korea or something like that, anonymous blogging is the only way you could ever get your point of view out without being searched down and thrown in jail or worse,” said Roberts. “But when it comes to a society like ours, an open society, do there have to be some checks and balances, not national, but maybe website to website on who comments on things?”

CNN’s two regulation-happy reporters, think the Sherrod situation can help bring attention to the “necessity” of blogging reform if she brings a defamation lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart.

Isn’t it interesting how they are talking about the alleged “hatefulness” of “anonymous bloggers” yet the blogger in question that has caused CNN to fire on all cylinders is NOT anonymous? I’m guessing this point has probably escaped them …

And, seriously, these folks are whining about supposed “lies” spread about Sherrod by Breitbart? What he did was called an “honest mistake” – something the media would do well to remember next time it’s caught deliberately distorting/lying about the facts to help “their guy.”

Really, when it comes to the battle between who spreads more deliberate lies and distortions about public figures, hands down the mainstream media wins that one over “anonymous bloggers” anytime.

In related news, I see Sherrod is still milking this for all it’s worth, suggesting once again (as she did earlier this week) that Breitbart and his supporters want to take us back to the days of slavery.


Ed Morrissey, who has video of Sherrod’s remarks, responds:

But here she is pushing a caricature of her own — with no evidence to support a charge this incendiary — and Cooper the journalist lets it slide, presumably because he’s squeamish about siding with Breitbart against someone who, to his audience, is a sympathetic victim. What a perfectly depressing note on which to end a depressing week.


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20 Responses to “CNN hosts: In light of Sherrod story, legal steps/”checks and balances” system needed for bloggers”


  1. James says:

    Of course they need the gatekeeper! Otherwise they will continue to be exposed for what they truly are and continually be caught trying to shape the agenda of the news!

    Th “gatekeeper” idea is not to prevent another sherrod case. If it had been vise verse they would still be reviling in there discovery damn the fact some new evidence or not! They want a control to protect themselves. Also so they know who to run through the mud by name!

  2. Carlos says:

    Yes, with a “gatekeeper” we would “know” who in the NAACP was the one who doctored the tape of Sherrod and be able to go after them full speed.

    Is Breitbart a victim? Yes, but not much because, as he’s admitted, he didn’t dig to find out how “real” the doctored tape he got was.

    Is Sherrod a victim? Yes, but not of Breitbart. She was apparently a victim of whoever it was in the NAACP that doctored the tape.

    Is the MSM correct in calling for a “gatekeeper?” Under our Constitution it would be difficult for that one to pass muster, and who decides who the “gatekeeper” would be? The MSM? They’re hardly clean, even in this messy little story.

    And bottom line is, “gatekeeper” is just a cleaned up word for “censor,” and for a group so adamantly opposed to censorship the media certainly seems gung-ho on this.

  3. Dana says:

    Good thing we didn’t have those checks and balances on independent bloggers when CBS News used forged documents to try to undermine President Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign.

  4. Mainstream media like CNN want censorship because they feel threatened by independent bloggers who have become the new free press. It’s mainstream media that needs to be cracked down on. They’ve become propagandists for the state. When the Constitution refers to a ‘Free Press’ it means a press that is free and even encouraged to criticize the president and the government thoroughly and relentlessly. This is their responsibility to the people. In this sense MSM is no longer free. Independent bloggers are doing the job they won’t do.

  5. DavidL says:

    It is true that Shirley Sherrod was wronged by the NAA[L]CP and the Obama administration. She however is still both a racist and a Marxist. Sherrod opined that Andrew Breitbard wanted to restore slavery. Little does Sherrod realize that modern racial bigots don’t support slavery. Rather they donate to Planned Parenthood.

  6. gus says:

    Are these 2 TWINKIES memebers of the JOURNOLIST???
    FREE SPEECH IS not negotiable LIBTARDS.

  7. Zippy says:

    A gatekeeper would serve only those with the intent of letting out information they want distributed. i.e. extreme bias for them and their purposes, not for the purpose of actual truth. It would be censorship at it worst.

  8. puffpiece says:

    I thought Jourolist was the MSM “gatekeeper” or at least Obama’s gatekeeper. And the liberal censor during the election.

    Shirley Sherrod needs to stop talking. She had her 5 minutes, most of us agree she was wronged by the NAACP and this administration, and now all she’s doing is proving that she hasn’t learned much about racism and race after all.

  9. Tango says:

    ….so, according to these dolts, bloggers aren’t entitled to Freedom of Speech? How enlightened! 8-|

  10. Glen says:

    It wasn’t faceless evil bloggers that allowed Peter Arnett to spread his anti-American propaganda and lies. It was CNN.

  11. Carlos says:

    The “gatekeeper” the MSM is crying for already exists, and tends in their favor. It’s called the legal system.

    You’d think they could figure that one out somehow, but hey, when you’re busy feeding the unicorns you don’t have time to think these things through.

    As if they could think without specific instructions and talking points anyway!

  12. Yup. These liberals really don’t believe in the First Amendment. Or the Second, or…

  13. MissJean says:

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say they don’t believe in the 1st Amendment. They don’t understand the first thing about it!

    I suspect that these anchors didn’t actually get a real journalism degree. If they had, they’d have taken a course (or two) specifically on the 1st Amendment. If they knew their field, they should be talking about libel versus “false light” and whether Sherrod has any grounds to sue anyone. The very fact that John Roberts used the phrase “checks and balances” tells me he is confusing the function of government powers with citizens’ rights.

    Roberts definitely deserves a Doublespeak Award, though: In a restrictive society, anonymity is acceptable, but in a free and open society like ours we should be restricted. :d

  14. Steve Hussein Skubinna says:

    Oh, they believe in the First Amendment, all right. It’s an article of worship at the Orthodox Church of Gaia.

    It just isn’t the same one you and I know, the one that’s in that racist teabagger manifesto the Constitution. Theirs goes something like this:

    “News media talking heads can say anything they want, and questioning or disagreeing with it is waaaaaaacist!!!”

  15. Kate says:

    These are the same liberals who outlaw keeping score at little league games, outlaw dodgeball in school and also want to run the whole conversation at a party!

    So, the big issue is that conservatives are making huge inroads into sacred liberal territory. The veil has been torn and the general public has now peered in the holy of holies of the media….and they are not amused. Now conservatives and independt thinkers are taking actions and countering the “popular” thought that abounds in hypocrisy and the ruinous agenda to change America into something that would be unrecognizable to our forefathers and mothers.