Wow. Who sprinkled an extra helping of bitch on Dennis Persica’s cornflakes today?(scroll down)
And on another subject — Matthew Felling’s mention of CNN’s “Inside Politics” devoting five to 10 minutes each day to “the bloggers.” One wonders how CNN will treat it when the blogs are afire over a story that fails to pass the reporting standards of the network and may ultimately turn out to be false (like the Kerry intern-romance story or the Bush debate-bulge one). Yes, bloggers deserve credit for ferreting out the truth about both Rathergate and Gannongate. But lots of times they get things wrong. What protections has CNN put in place to make sure that the things the bloggers are in the process of getting wrong don’t wind up being disseminated through the public consciousness because CNN has decided to give bloggers five or 10 minutes of fame in every “Inside Politics” broadcast?
CNN recently did the right thing by saying it would look for alternatives to the shoutfest talk shows that tend to throw off more heat than light. What will they do as they enter the — oh God, I really hate this word — blogosphere, where a certain woman Democrat is often referred to as a “pig in a pants suit” and where a certain Republican administration has been called “Nazi,” “Stalinist,” etc.?
And while they’re in the process of looking at what the bloggers are up to these days, why doesn’t CNN take the next step in news transparency? Why don’t they just list on the air all of the tips their political reporters have gotten in the last 24 hours by phone, email or face-to-fact conversation? No need to do any reporting to see if these tips are correct. Just get ’em out there. Isn’t that pretty much the way the — pause, gulp — blogosphere does things?
Well, Dennis my pet, as one trawls around the (pause, itch, look around to make sure everyone notices my revulsion and credits me with feeling it) “mediasphere” (how I HATE that word!) one notices there is no shortage of unsubstantiated nonsense spewed by people with tenuous connections to reality. It wasn’t blogs that pioneered the notion of referring to Hillary as “Hitlery.” It wasn’t blogs that suggested Bill Clinton was a rapist. And it wasn’t blogs that suggested on national television that memos of dubious authenticity proved a story we all knew was true anyway, no, that was a national news program. It was book after book, printed on old-fashioned paper, that suggested Iraq had weapons of mass destructions and liberals were on a level with terrorists, so seriously, maybe calm down about a dumb girl from a hick town who posts stuff on her web site, okay? No one medium has a monopoly on dumb these days.
I don’t know what it’s going to take for this blog-vs-journalism myth to be stomped into oblivion. John Aravosis over at Americablog kept his readers waiting for 24 hours while he verified all the Gannon information before putting it up on his site. Atrios recently kept an entire post on the blog with a strikethrough indicating that he’d been incorrect. Errors which are pointed out at most of the reputable places I frequent are always corrected as quickly as the author can be contacted and the correction verified.
Now, I’m still waiting for a similar correction of Judy Miller’s WMD/Chalabi reporting, but you don’t see me out there directionlessly bashing the entire (scratch, yawn, let out loud yawp of frustration, swig red wine and pet very squirrelly ferret running around living room) “mediasphere” (have I mentioned what a superior creature I am for loathing that word?) because of one extreme example, do you?