Monday, January 02, 2006

Foer What?

Why do I read The Plank? Why do I daily cause a stress induced blood pressure increase?

I guess because I generally like Michael Crowley. But the other folks who write on the blog are not my cup of tea. Reading the likes of Jason Zengerle and Franklin Foer remind me of exactly why I abandoned "The New Republic" some time back.

Anyway, Franklin Foer expands on his bitch-a-thon about liberal blogs today. He's just dumbfounded that everyone isn't fawning over the NY Times after they revealed Bush's illegal domestic wire taps .... a year after they got the story. Well Franklin, yes, they finally did break the story. But given the consequences of their hesitation due to the cozy whore-like relationship with the administration, I can't get too worked up in praising the Times. It's a bit like the old saying, "other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?"

Foer specifically mentions Atrios with a snarky comment about Atrios not having broken any big stories like the NY Times. Huh? Is that a stupid statement or what? Let's see. And individual blogger using a free blogging program and his own time/effort is supposed to be equivalent to the NY Times? Note to Foer. Trying saying that to Josh Marshall or any number of bloggers who specifically hold themselves out as investigative blogs (which Atrios does not), and who regularly beat the "press" to new stories using far, far less resources.

Remember, Foer is supposed to be writing from a liberal perspective. Here is Foer's second paragraph comment in it's entirety:
These attacks [by liberal bloggers on the NY Times] should be meaningless, except they're not.The administration has now launched an investigation into the leak that produced the Times story. This is a dangerous case that could seriously threaten the ability of reporters to do their jobs. And liberals should be apoplectic about the threat it represents. But instead of apoplexy, many in the MSB are sitting on their hands. The Bush administration has opened a new front in its war on the press, and the press has no defenders. Thanks to the MSB's sweeping, reckless criticisms, the Times has lost much of the credibility and authority that it needs to mount a robust defense. For this, the bloggers deserve some credit. Well done, guys.
I want to take excerpts a little at a time:
These attacks [by bloggers on the NY Times] should be meaningless, except they're not.
The NY Times has degenerated into neither fish nor fowl. It can't decide to be a tabloid yet, but it won't invest in quality journalism. So, just what should the blogging public do when the Times is incompetent while still holding itself out as "the paper of record"? And is the Times so incapable of defending itself? And if the criticisms are without merit, who cares what bloggers say? Unfortunately, attacks by bloggers have only worked because the Times has been the poster-child for incompetent journalism.
The administration has now launched an investigation into the leak that produced the Times story. This is a dangerous case that could seriously threaten the ability of reporters to do their jobs.
Ohhh....kayyy...... This is nothing new by the administration. They've been after the press since day one. I can guarantee you that liberal bloggers did not elect George Bush preznit.
And liberals should be apoplectic about the threat it represents. But instead of apoplexy, many in the MSB [my emphasis] are sitting on their hands. The Bush administration has opened a new front in its war on the press, and the press has no defenders.
This paragraph is an example of the new "journalist" reporting, and why bloggers go ape shit over "stories" written in this way. Who says that liberal bloggers aren't concerned about the administration going after whistle-blowers? Who exactly are the "many in the MSB (mainstream bloggers) that he refers too? I read any number of posts criticizing the administration. But I also know that the administration released this bit of news during the holidays, a time when all news is muted. Let's see where the investigation goes. And the press having no defenders? Defense against what? Nothing has happened yet. This falls into the famous "some say" category of spin used by the administration and press when they have no sources.
Thanks to the MSB's sweeping, reckless criticisms, the Times has lost much of the credibility and authority that it needs to mount a robust defense. For this, the bloggers deserve some credit. Well done, guys.
Oh pleeeeze.... The government abusing it's power is a problem for the citizens of the country. The press has at it's disposal any number of tools to inform the citizenry, if they choose to do the legwork, be willing to piss off power, and spend money on resources. Ask Sy Hersh about journalism. I bet ya he's never been invited to a inside the beltway cocktail party.

Loss of credibility? Yep. Jason Blair, Judy Miller, Bill Keller, Arthur Sulzberger, Bob Woodward, "Steno" Sue Schmidt, Michael Isikoff, Bob Novak (yes, he still has a column), not even mentioning the cable news hacks, if they count as "the press".

It appears to me that publications such as the Times and the WaPost don't need any help from bloggers to render themselves irrelevant, incredible, and vulnerable. They've done that to themselves quite nicely thank-you-very-much. Maybe someday Franklin Foer will get out of the 1970's an, like, actually understand what's happening in journalism.

1 Comments:

At 4:42 AM, Blogger Debra said...

Bravo! Well written take down of an article that torqued me first thing this morning.

 

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