Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The intimation of intimidation

Longtime readers of this blog (both weeks) may know that I think media commentator Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post and CNN is a fart-head. Here is an exchange from his online chat yesterday:
New York, N.Y.: […] My question is, will the latest scare tactics by the White House intimidate journalists? Or will it embolden them to dig even deeper? Thanks.

Howard Kurtz: […] I don't think it's a question of being intimidated. I do think that any reporter who relies on anonymous sources now has to think twice and three times about whether he or she is willing to go to jail if necessary to protect the sources, and as a result whether the story at hand is worth doing. Also, some sources themselves may be growing more cautious because of this highly charged environment.
Causing the vicitm to hesitate two and three times, fear punitive consequences, and make trade-offs for freedom and safety against what she would otherwise do are the usual intentions and outcomes that identify intimidation.

Update: Ernie Moran, news editor of the Fort Worth, Texas, Star-Telegram, compared Kurtz’s idea of non-intimidation to the dictionary’s, but I beat him by more than an hour. ;-)


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