Asking the Hard Questions

By lex, on October 22nd, 2009

The president’s staff is attempting to marginalize Fox News, apparently because “real” outlets don’t have a point of view. Or if they do, it is a point of view at least congenial to the president’s staff. But it’s supposed to be a reporter’s job to ask hard questions. You know, comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable?

That sort of thing.

It can result in remarkable things:

 

When his fellow Communist leaders decided on new travel regulations, (East German Politburo member Günter) Schabowski was out of the room. Later that evening he skim-read the executive order, stuffed it in his briefcase, and headed off to meet the world’s media.

Pressed on the meaning of the new travel policy — When did it come into force? Did it apply to West Berlin? Did people need a passport? — the flustered apparatchik rustled his papers and gave confusing answers that led the news media to believe the border was open, with immediate effect.

The result, once East Berliners had seen that night’s news on West German television, was chaos at border crossings across the city.

At Bornholmer Strasse, one of the main checkpoints in central Berlin, confused border guards couldn’t get clear orders on how to deal with the crush, and debated whether to open fire. Instead, they opened the barrier, and the Berlin Wall was history.

True story.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Lex, Media, Neptunus Lex

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