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July 3rd, 2011
04:01 PM ET

Where should the media draw the line?

Our politics panel of Michelle Cottle, Matthew Continetti and A.B. Stoddard debates Mark Halperin's suspension from MSNBC and asks if the press unfairly picks on Michele Bachmann.


Filed under: Media • Michele Bachmann • MSNBC • Politics • Sexism
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Mila

    Gerald! You have identified an irmnptaot and significant issue.The problem of course is the tendency to propagandize those who may well control your organization's fate and future. But I think you have the key. Finding the decision makers and explaining to them [painfully sometimes no doubt] why your leadership and organizations has made the decisions it has or will have to make. The Pentagon is captured often by the briefers, those skilled with power point e.g., and often they obtain high rank. The problem of course is that briefing is not decision making. The decision makers often are faced with the lesser course of two bad choices. But explanations of why and how they make or will make their choice can help others of understand their organization and be supportive even during a crisis. The threat of litigation clearly puts a damper on some disclosures but that argues for tight coupling of legal advice long before the crisis to various types of decisions. I would argue the courts give a fair amount of discretion in a crisis to decision makers if they can demonstrate their decisions were made on a rationale and reasonable basis at the time of the decision. But this argues for continuous creation and updating of a record that all must understand probably will be reviewed by others. Including judges. But people often forget that the tort system even in the US rests on a decision tree of sorts. First is there a standard of care? Second, was that standard of care violated? Third, why was that standard of care violated? Fourth, did the violation of the standard of care cause the damage or loss? And fifth, what portion any or all of the losses or damages were due to the violation of the standard of care? This decision tree must be followed before legal liability occurs and often it is the first question that is the most irmnptaot. For example, does a statutory scheme create a standard of care? Is there a national or even international standard of care? What training and integration of the standard of care if it exists was adopted organizationally. The importance of crisis communications is that others may well rely on the accuracy of the information for making their own decisions. Is this reliance justified? Is there a prevailing standard of care in crisis communications? Actually I think not for private organizations but some may differ. My point is to argue for the complexity of the analysis not the simplicity. So hoping you post more on the underlying issues before you write off crisis communications although I get your point that the key issue is to have communicated to certain decision makers long before the crisis. The hope of course is to convey not just knowledge but understanding! Good luck not an easy task.

    September 9, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  2. Benny

    Whatever happened to the idea of free speech in America? This concept was borrowed from Voltaire who stated "I might not agree with what you say but I will fight for your right to say it". Today in American society people are afraid to say what they think because of the ramifications. Anthony Wiener was castigated because you said he lied, but Obama lied about Guantanamo Bay, getting out of the two wars etc.... I thought your show was about an honest discussion of the media but I see its just another watered down politically correct show where you all agree about BS.

    July 9, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Reply
  3. Diana

    I'm sorry, but I think this might be the most ridiculous conversation I've ever seen on TV. The "D-Word", really Howard? How do you refer to Vice President Cheney or Senator Durbin? D-Word Durbin and D-word Cheney? I realize context matters and in some contexts "dick" is slang for male genitalia, but are we such a silly and light weight people that our delicate sensibilities are inflamed when hearing a word we feel perfectly comfortable in other contexts calling friends and family as they choose it for their preferred name? Dick probably wasn't the best word choice to use when discussing a president, but it's not like Halperin dropped a f-bomb. If dick isn't safe for TV, it's time to put a moratorium on using it as a nickname for Richard because clearly we're not adult enough to hear it.

    July 3, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Reply

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