沉睡的美国监督体制

我打算在这个月暂时不谈我经常关注的经济话题,转而探讨一个体系,我们正是通过这个体系,新闻界――多数情况下是美国的新闻界――对当今的政府进行评论和报道。不过这样的话题转移也许跨度不大,因为新闻界的行为不仅影响着政治,同时也影响着经济。

看看《华盛顿邮报》的社论版编辑海亚特(Fred Hiatt )在3月所写的这篇社论吧,在这篇文章中,他为《华盛顿邮报》对布什政府失实的报道和评价做出了非常微小和有限的道歉。按照海亚特的说法,“我们提出了这样一个问题”,即布什政府是否恰当地考虑了它在伊拉克所从事的冒险活动,“但是我们呼吁的力度还有些不够”。换句话说,海亚特对自己和自己所在的机构眼光挑剔,他认为自己说出了正确的东西,然而却没有全力呼吁。

下面再看看《纽约时报》从前的编辑弗兰克尔(Max Frankel)所做的评论,这份评论讲述了华盛顿的媒体报道环境是多么的健康,因为“绝大多数记者不仅仅是懒惰地咀嚼这些消息”,而是“把它们当作进一步窥探其他秘密的契机”,这样就构成了对政府的监督。这一体系可能“很不规范、会让大众感到困惑”,但是“容忍政府滥用消息报导(发布误导性信息)是社会为获得实质性政府消息而不得不付出的代价”。

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