"Scott Burchill, senior lecturer in International Relations at Deakin University, recently in Margo Kingston's Webdiary described the problem of insider journalism as an 'intoxication of power:'
"'Whereas in the past, the independence and integrity of journalists could be measured by the extent to which they upset the men of power, popularity amongst the political elite is widely seen as a badge of honour for contemporary commentators. In fact, it is sometimes craved, as if old-fashioned research and hack-work can be replaced by official drip feeds and PR handouts. Government spin is assessed for its success or failure instead of being evaluated for its impact on democratic processes. Serving power, traditionally the vocation of State intellectuals and the commissar class, is an aspiration for too many in the Fourth Estate.'
"The failure of the mainstream media hit me recently during the visit of former US weapon's inspector, Scott Ritter. His brief stay was only reported on ABC Radio. I saw him speak at Sydney University where he explained to a capacity crowd that the current quagmire in Iraq was not just about the current Bush Administration, but was in fact a continuation of policy started by George W's father. Regime change had always been the US ideal and sanctions and weapons inspections were little more than a way to make the policy more palatable to a pliable public and media."
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