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March 07, 2007


I would add that the best reporters are also the ones who keep reporting despite the lack of interest "outside the Beltway."

good point... and the outside interest is, btw, considerable.

The WaPo burned itself today. The glory of the Watergate years are far, far behind us.

PattyP, that is a good point and my first thought at reading one of Jodi's posts yesterday suggesting that the fun was over, time to exit the building, was that if Marcie and the future Plameologists had initially put their feet up and let the MSM roll over the story we would all be lesser people for that omission.

So, good journalism is about a process and perhaps that process from time to time is more important than a single result because the process is the foundation of our free press. Plamegate could easily have been a dud buried in the nether regions of the back pages, but it survived because of sheer grit.

Is it really a "saving grace" for the "news" business that everyone tuned out?

They tuned out because the "news" business was providing them with absolute shit.

Meanwhile, I note that the NYT article linked at the bottom has two corrections appended. And gee whiz if they're not both about information provided by or sourced to Robert Cox and the Media Bloggers Association! Atta way to show 'em how it's done, Bob!

Just because you're a blogger doesn't mean you're any better at getting your facts straight, apparently. Still requires integrity.

Huffington post has 7 pages up from Juror #9. Doesn't quite get to the end of the deliberations, so I hope they put up more, but interesting. He tries to be a little too cute with the narritive, guess I would rather just see the facts, but it is interesting mostly for his notes about what the jury seemed to think of each witness, Judy and Libby more than most. Seems the Jury generally liked both of them. Anyway, I'm sure EW will have a detailed assesment of this. I am NOT a detail reader, so I always like the distillations from people who are.

The whole "no one outside the Beltway cars" shtik is getting really threadbare; I've been around long enough to know it's been said about every single GOP-threatening story going back to Watergate (read some coverage from May/June '73, before the Butterfield revelation; you'll see how strenuously the Alsops and Evans/Novak were trying to kill off the story). Oddly enough, the one story the DC press continued to push no matter how loudly the public declared its disinterest was the Monica investigation. Beltway insiders have as myopic a view of America as that famous New Yorker cover -- beyond the confines of NY and DC, they imagine a vast, undifferentiated blob of solid Republicanism. How big an electoral victory do Democrats need, to disabuse them of this notion?

As Kos documented yesterday, this Libby story is a triumph for the bloggers who wouldn't give up over the insiders who waved the story away -- nascent Woodwards who understand the old Woodward has turned into what he once challenged. And there are so many more stories to come...the fired US Attorneys story, if it continues going where it now appears, would rate serious Pulitzer consideration for Josh Marshall's blog, not for any mainsteam news outlet. At what point do the lazy courtiers of Sally Quinn's court realize they're lagging so far behind the standards of the profession that they'd better start following the blogs' lead if they want to continue to exist?

This is of course not to disparage every single denizen of DC. Dana Priest continues to practice her trade. Would that there were 100 of her.

funny, Dana Priest as an exceptional reporter immediately came to mind for me as well.

Kagro, i note the 'outside the beltway nonsense, as does demtom, and I note the defensive 'saving grace' line.

Why would we trust the press on this? They are too close to the story and are more interested in defending themsdelves and less interested in getting it right..

I have a request. When we link to NYT articles, could you please feed them through Google first, so that people don't have to log in to read them? My reaction, on seeing the NYT "login" page, is to close the window.

But if you take the time to paste your article link in at google, google will return a link to you that looks like this:

linky to NYT

which works from anywhere, on a single click, without requiring readers to login to NYT. Because, really, screw them.

happy internetting!

cheney did it

Access doesn't lead to accuracy, that much should be clear. Knight-Ridder routinely did the best (most accurate) reporting on Iraq and WMD precisely because they did not use inside sources, at least not much. McClatchy took over most of their papers, and they are also doing good reporting, e.g. on the fired prosecutors story.

As for what the people "beyond the beltway" care about, Iraq tops the list, along with whatever could ease their financial burdens, both of which problems have been created or greatly increased by the past 6 years of GOP rule. They also don't care much for Bush except in some pockets of the country, or for people who continue to support and defend him. They are paying attention in a sort of low-level way, as to a ballgame on in the background, in case something happens. As economic conditions worsen and mortgage defaults and foreclosures increase, they may become very restive. Don't count the public out.

could you please feed them through Google first

Sorry to be an idiot, but could you elaborate on "feed"? Do I copy/paste the standard NY Times link into the regular search box on their main page, the news page, or what?

(FWIW, neither of those choices actually worked for me, so I welcome a third suggestion.)

If you put the link to a new york times article in Google like this you can usually get the RSS link.

When will the disconnect between the facts in the news pages and the "facts" in the editorial pages of the Washington Post become newsworthy?

This seems to be newsworthy to me -- shouldn't some enterprising media reporter somewhere be asking to interview Fred Hiatt on why he is not reading his own paper?

smiley, thanks for the suggestion. I'm always logged in at nyt I guess so I had never realized that problem.

smiley, Tom, & Ron: no need to use google unless you want to. From the page showing the story at nytimes.com you will see some links near the byline (email, print, share...). Click on "share" and you'll get a drop-down that includes "permalink". Click "permalink" and you'll get a special link (probably the same as the one google gives?) that, it says, is best suited for blog linkage:

To link to this article from your blog, copy and paste the url below into your blog or homepage. Using this link will ensure access to the article, even after it becomes part of the NYT archive.

I don't know if that means it also gets around the TimesSelect firewall for older articles, but it sounds like it might. Handy tip! I had never noticed it there before.

(And, of course, with this method you don't have to switch between sites to get your URL -- slightly more convenient.)

I have a request:
when anybody here makes reference to our resident troll, please include her FULL title

Tokyo jodi, The Wormtongue

this way, nobody could mistake tokyo jodi, the wormtongue for a serious participant

and give props to Greenhouse, for giving the apt title of Tokyo jodi

An alternative name for Jodi could be LADY HAW HAW. The real Tokyo Rose was a sad exchange student of partial Japanese ancestery who got caught in Japan in 1941. She did her job with something of a gun to her head.

On the other hand, Lord HAW HAW was indeed a British Titled Lord out of the Amery Family, who went to Germany because he believed in the cause, and was willing to work for the Nazi Party as a willing traitor to both his class and his homeland. But in the end, he was tried at Old Bailey, and eventually was offered the recognition of his class, the right to be hung with a silken rope.

I am not certain that trolls really fit into these extremes, and in any case, the death penalty is pretty bloody minded when the offense is words that can be shown to be ill informed.

But what we probably do need is a Blogger Panel on the Ethics of the MSM, and a total deconstruction on political economy terms of the roots of their ethical problems.

It's interesting to look at Firedoglake's site meter over the last weeks. Verdict day they hit between 41 and 42 thousand near the verdict moment, a moment when many of us following closely (for a couple of years) switched to TV coverage to lighten the load on the site, (Which crashed partially anyhow) and because after all the effort, we wanted to see how the outcome was treated in MSM land. But that capacity crowd was scattered all over the country, with good world representation, and just that reality counters the "only of interest inside the Beltway" claim. You know, the MSM can look at a site meter as well as I can -- so why the false claim??? (Answer, it is the conventional wisdom.) And while only the population of a middle sized town in flyover land could fit inside Firedoglake at the moment of the verdict, their traffic remained high all day and into the evening as people who wanted to assess responses signed in. I think they remained at 4-7 thousand on line at any one time well into the evening.

By the way, Minnesota has its own version of that famous New Yorker cover -- it looks east from a detailed depiction of the Twin Cities, the Mighty Mississippi river, the city lakes, two downtowns, a Capitol and Fair Grounds, shows Chicago as something of an interesting Village with gangsters, represents New York and Washington DC as tourist traps, but then depicts on the other side of the ocean those mighty mountains called Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland as the distant center of awe and attention. It is all in perspective.

I've always thought the reformers of the 80's and 90's misplaced their demands for term limits. Rather that impose them on legislators, I think they should be imposed on the press. No more than 7 years on the national desk of any publication -- after that you spend a spell of years in Omaha.

"Editors so prize access and the fruits of that access that we don't stop often enough to think 'Is so-and-so getting too close to the people he covers?' " says the Tribune's Warren.

Do you think the blogosphere eliminates or extends this problem? Because all things considered, I find this a fascinating quote.
When bloggers start hanging out with Senatorial candidates, and former administration officials, and current sources, and other media figures, how do they get to claim they are really so different?
Do you think reporters that are too close to the story- or too close to their sources- realize it? Or do they keep reporting, thinking no one else "gets it"?

Thanks Sara. The life of Iva Toguri D'Aquino (Tokyo Rose) is indeed a tragic story. Lady Haw Haw not only sounds funnier but is also infinitely more suitable to Jodi. Haw, Haw!!

I believe at local level reporting personal relationships are even more of a problem than at national level. Local organizations and political figures work hard at curring favor with local reporters. It is hard to escape but in modernday America reporters have lost that hard edge to seperate themselves from the people they are reporting on. This is just one soft spot in journalism in the 21st century. Reporters themselves have become celebrities in and of themselves. They are now too connected to the community they are supoose to serve. How many reporters do you know that serve on local not-for-profit boards and volunteer for local events, especially those in broadcast journalism. They are swayed too much by local seniment about their personalities and coverage. They have forgotten they are the fourth estate.

Danny L. McDaniel
Lafayette, Indiana

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