May 19, 2013

(h/t Heather at VideoCafe)

It's a little surprising that this story hasn't gotten more traction, because on its face, it's far more egregious than the AP 'scandal'. If you haven't heard of it, a little background:

Reporters from the famous multinational mass media corporation Bloomberg are accused of using the company’s financial data terminal to spy on individuals that use the service for market news and trading information.

The news came to light after Goldman Sachs representatives started complaining about the fact that Bloomberg reporters were keeping tabs on their employees.

A few hours ago, Matthew Winkler, the editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News, admitted that reporters had accessed client information. However, he stressed that they could only access limited data.

Michael Bloomberg made his fortune, in part, from the sale of these terminals, found in almost every financial office and media outlet that reports financial news. For decades, those terminals have not only allowed for the monitoring of financial news and trades, but allowed those in the know (which reportedly included some at Bloomberg News) to monitor what was being monitored through back door security. Think about it: every article on a company's financial status, every search of buying and selling trends, every examination of trades by influential finanicial organizations was available for Bloomberg News to cull together for stories or even actions. At best, this is espionage by a private company that allowed them to access the search the financial actions of nearly EVERY company and financial officer (including Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner). At worst, this is potentially the biggest violation of privacy for personal profit in American history, but hey, let's get ourselves in a lather over a legal--albeit secret--subpoena.

Having stipulated that, it's instructive to look at this segment of Reliable Sources to see how well the media seems to understand not only the larger ramifications of this story, and the condemnation of their own industry but also how they do their jobs. Mediaite's Joe Concha -- who has never attempted to tamp down his own conservative leanings in his reporting -- loves the idea of taking this very serious story and glibly use it to smear Michael Bloomberg, who by all reports, separated himself from Bloomberg News when he ran for office as Mayor of New York City. Even as Howard Kurtz corrects him, Concha shrugs it off.

It takes Jane Hall, late of Fox News, to point out the hypocrisy of journalists wailing about being monitored (legally, and with a subpoena, mind you) by the government when they had no compunction of doing their own monitoring completely illegally. And they're hardly the only ones. We've still yet to find out if the wiretapping and hacking done in the UK was done by NewsCorp outlets in the US, although I think it's fair to assume the practice was widespread.

But once again, the media fails to realize that their collective actions are exactly the reason why nobody trusts them anymore.

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