Wednesday, February 23, 2005
''Dean Scream Was Media Fraud''
"...the Dean Scream was a fraud, probably the clearest instance of media assassination in recent U.S. political history. The Dean Scream footage that was repeatedly aired rests on a similar falsehood. It takes a man who in context was acting reasonably, and by stripping away that context transforms him into a lunatic. The people who showed that clip are far more technically sophisticated than I and had to understand how tight visual framing and noise-suppression hardware can distort reality. True, some network news executives commented afterward that perhaps the footage was overplayed and offered the bureaucrat's favorite bromide, that hindsight is 20/20. But the media establishment has never acknowledged this as a burning matter of ethical harm. That's because the Dean Scream incriminates the entire professional mission of television news, which is built around the primacy of the picture."-from today's column in The Miami Herald by Edward Wasserman, Knight professor of journalism ethics at Washington and Lee University.