Other Things

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.


4 thoughts on “Other Things

  1. I’d like a press pass please. I want to be “credentialed” so I can listen into the FDA and USDA press conferences and ask a question. I’m only allowed one though. Just like the regular press! I figure if enough bloggers get into the press conference and ask real good questions they will have to answer them!
    Nah. Who am I kidding? I want that press pass so I can do a story about Paris Hilton in jail.
    “Women in Cages!”
    “PARIS in the GRAY Bar Hotel!”
    “Who will make Paris her bitch?”
    Now THATS some journalmalism!

  2. Even, if it was possible, to take bloggers out of the picture, the mainstream journalists who doing the whining here would probably be just as insecure about being held up to “real” journalists- the workaday reporters like you who earn an honest living working their ass off in newsrooms and television stations doing real investigative reporting not for the money but because it’s what they are good at and it’s what they care passionately about.
    Because Williams, Klein, etal, even if they had that passion and idealism at one time, will never ever ever recapture it. They are millionaire pundits sitting atop large staffs who do the leg work for them. They are, pure and simple, commodities; just more products for the corporations that pay them.

  3. Perhaps the well-established members of the media feel threatened by the pseudonymous unwashed masses. I suppose that you could make the leap to equating pseudonymous bloggers with the terrorists. I mean if Brian Williams feels threatened, well, that just ain’t right, is it? The man is on the tee-vee every day, and he’s got to feel comfortable and important to be able to get up there do the hard slog of reading the news to us every day.

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