While I wait for the coffee to get done, go read Digby then come back.
Because Atrios yesterday was talking about consequences and getting fired for what you say, but I really think it’s simpler and deeper than that. These are people who are not biased so much as they are lazy and they want a shorthand: Who can I trust? Oh, I’ll look at the name on your T-shirt. I was joking the other day to Scout, when we were talking about press passes, that hey, why not, I could make her one and sign it as her “employer” and it would be shiny and fun and also exactly as official and carry just as much weight as the one I used to wear around my neck.
Which is to say, it’s about insecurity, all this sudden blather. It’s about people who are comfortable and well-established suddenly not trusting that what they’ve been doing all along can hold up to what other people are doing. It’s exactly what happens in a newsroom when a young, fresh-out-of-journalism school hottie comes in and catches the boss’s eye. People mutter about all the ways in which he isn’t qualified, intimate he’s sleeping with the publisher, and when he does pull off an incredible story, the mutters get louder and louder: he’s getting special privileges, nobody cares about seniority anymore, etc. Sometimes, as he continues to pull the stories out, the mutters stop, because people realize they were being assholes and it’s better to work with the hottie than against him if you want to do cool stuff. But it’s all about realizing that hey, what’s that over my shoulder? Somebody gaining on me?
If people like Brian Williams and this week’s versions of that kind of idiocy were truly confident in their work, they wouldn’t care who else was out there with a modem and a bathrobe. They claim to be all on about the integrity of the journalism but that’s not it.
They know they can’t defend the work. So they defend the place it’s done. As if, if the former is crap, the latter even matters.