(John Daly - insisted on calling Hunter S. Thompsons writing style "Bongo Journalism")
In lieu of the recent Senate Bill that questions validity of citizen bloggers, I went back to a National Town Meeting broadcast from 1974 to hear what the status of the media was then. It wasn't that much better, particularly if you were judged to be in the "alternative media" which meant the Underground press back then. However, in all fairness, in 1974 Broadcast news departments were ten times the size they are now. The hours spent on documentaries and special news programming was huge and newspapers offered a plethora of in-depth reports and daily investigative journalism. Unrecognizable from what they are today.
The panel on this broadcast consisted of Pat Buchanan, Richard Harwood of The Washington Post, Richard Goodwin of Rolling Stone and Thomas Asher of the Media Access Project. The program was moderated (and somewhat mangled) by , former newscaster for ABC and CBS, game show host and professional personality.
The subject was "Critiquing The Media" and of course Buchanan spends much time railing against the injustices of the "librul media" and complaining about imbalance. This coming from a man who was deeply entrenched in the Nixon White House.
The subject of Hunter S. Thompson comes up and that's when Daly lets his disconnect be known. Unable to say the words "gonzo Journalism" he insists on a variation of either Bongo and Bonzo Journalism and dismisses it, as does Buchanan who dismisses Rolling Stone in general as no representation of actual news reporting - the only news to be had was from The New York Times or The Washington Post and perhaps Time Magazine.
Richard Goodwin: “I’m not in favor of fictional journalism, and the headline I gave an example, is not intended as fiction, but as fact. I think one of the problems that you have is, even use of the word fact and what constitutes a fact. You’re talking about convictions, attitudes, opinions, judgments. These aren’t facts in the sense that a glass of water is a fact. They require that you impose your own judgment. Somebody says something; is he lying, does he mean it, is it true? And simply to say that he said it, in itself is an assertion, at least to the people who read it, that perhaps or probably what he said is true. It’s a fact that he said it, but he may not be speaking facts or the truth. And unfortunately, most things, most interesting or complicated things in the world are not very, it’s not often easy to decide what the facts are without bringing to it a set of values and personal convictions. And if you withdraw from that you allow those who make the presentation to you to determine what the truth is . . .”
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