"If you want to know something as simple as who heads the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, don’t bother to ask the safety agency’s communications office. Without special permission, officials there are no longer allowed to provide information to reporters except on a background basis, which means it cannot be attributed to a spokesman."
"It seems that Ms. Nason has adopted a policy that has blocked virtually all of her staff — including the communications office — from providing any information to reporters on the record, which means that it can be attributed.
As an alternative I was told I could interview Ms. Nason on the record (instead of the expert on the subject of my article). I declined, failing to see how her appointment as administrator — she was trained as a lawyer — made her a expert in that subject.
When I said I would like to talk to Ms. Nason on the record about her no-attribution policy, she was not available.
The agency’s new policy effectively means that some of the world’s top safety researchers are no longer allowed to talk to reporters or to be freely quoted about automotive safety issues that affect pretty much everybody.
“My God,” said Joan Claybrook, who was N.H.T.S.A. administrator from 1977 to 1981 and is now president of Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group. Given that N.H.T.S.A. is the leading source of automotive safety information in the United States, its researchers are public officials and people are entitled to “know what information they have, whether it is on paper or in their heads,” Ms. Claybrook said."So I'm just guessing here o.k. and you determine whether or not this guess has any validity.
But unless a news organization can question a government agency,Whose employee salaries we pay, as to how they arrive at the data they release to the public or any inconsistencies in the data how can they report on the data accurately?
I suppose Associated Press or some other news agency could transform itself into a research organization and attempt to replicate the outcomes arrived at by the government sponsored research. Or maybe they could engage in a little investigative journalism and find out why we can't ask people who work for us questions?
Alas, even news organization have to watch the bottom line. So I'm thinking it probably just easier to parrot whatever some government agencies put out and call it news. Then the public will read it and call it fact.
Now as redundant as this may seem because we do end a number of our post with this little query, does anyone remember how we got into IRAQ??? Damn, wouldn't a little investigative reporting before the fact instead of after been helpful in shaping the publics perception of the TRUTH?
You know don't you, oh hell I'm sure you do, that legislators take this regurgitated parrot talk and turn it into laws don't you?
Oh hell, maybe now days the Truth is off the record too.Add to Technorati Favorites