TO: Howard Kurtz
FR: J. S. Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
I urge all journalists to go fishing, bowling, hunting,tennis
etc. as far away from Washington D.C. (Ft. Bumble East) as
you can. Mingle with the average american.The ones who work
every day, who look forward to the weekend. I do not believe
they have anything in common with the DC reporters or the
DC TV stars(reporters)I hate to use that word as you can not
believe what they write or say. When I was a young man(1960)
I knew several police reporters (I was a police officer from
1960-65)you could discuss cases with them and their word was
their bond.Not now;reporters are like lawyers never believe
what they write or say. Now days to get to the truth you
have to read and listen to many sources. The average amer-
ican does not have the time, and it is hurting this country
far more than we understand.
My wife and I enjoyed the program but I believe it will fall
on deaf ears. I hope not, but as a fisherman I have faith.
Keep on telling the truth.
Question: How do you get the majority of people to have
faith and trust in reporters again?
Howard Kurtz Replies:
I think it's a bit much to suggest that one can't believe anything that
Washington reporters write or say. One thing the Frontline report glossed
over is that there are a couple thousand working grunts--on newspapers,
magazines and in TV--who do their jobs competently, don't pop off on talk shows and don't hit the lecture circuit. They remain the backbone of the profession.
The way for journalism as a whole to regain public confidence is to curb our tendency toward arrogance, pass up sensational stories, be a little less cozy with the people we cover and, for those affected, stop taking cash from special-interest groups on the speaking circuit.