Several days ago, liberal blogger Tommy Christopher interviewed Helen Thomas and posted a clip on YouTube of her drawing moral equivalency between the United States armed forces and the terrorists. As is fairly typical, Christopher embedded a logo for his site (dailydose.us) in the video so that even if his clip were used without attribution, it would still give some credit in the source video:
The video found its way into the hands of some FoxNews producers, and Bill O'Reilly ran the clip during the O'Reilly factor two nights ago. So far, so good. Except that O'Reilly didn't credit the source of the video whatsoever. In fact, not only did he not credit Tommy Christopher or Christopher's blog, he actually superimposed the O'Reilly Factor logo over the dailydose.us logo so that there is no way anyone would know where it came from.
Memo to Bill O'Reilly: show a little journalistic integrity and credit your sources. Or at the very least, have the common courtesy not to actively obscure a source who did some original journalism. Bloggers do not rip off stories from the mainstream media and claim them as their own; in fact, not only do we credit our sources, but the commonly accepted practice is to link to the original source material so our readers can evaluate for themselves whether we are characterizing it fairly. I suppose it might be too much to hold you up to blogging standards, but the proper thing to do here would have been to either credit Christopher or at least leave his graphic in place.
Now, I hardly have a vested interest in directing more traffic to Tommy Christopher's blog. But the fact is, this is a consistent pattern with O'Reilly. Remember this video?
This one, of course, was shot and uploaded to YouTube by our own Absentee (aka Caleb Howe). O'Reilly ran it repeatedly with no attribution whatsoever. Or remember this one?
Also shot and uploaded by Caleb Howe, also shown repeatedly on FoxNews with no attribution to Caleb, "some blogger named Absentee," or Redstate.com.
You know, outlets like FoxNews have multimillion dollar reporting budgets and field reporters in all corners of the globe. On the rare occasion that a private citizen blogger manages a "get," would it kill Bill O'Reilly to tip the guy a nod out of basic decency, or at least out of a sense of having integrity and honesty when it comes to the source of your news?
Apparently, it would.