Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Saturday, July 24, 2010 2:39 pm

Compare and contrast

Filed under: Journalism — Lex @ 2:39 pm
Tags: , , ,

Right and Left take on a CNN segment on anonymous blogging.

Newsbusters thinks the CNN anchors are crazy.

Glenn Greenwald thinks the CNN anchors have a point … but not the point that they think they have.

For the record, I believe any governmental effort to regulate anonymous/pseudonymous blogging would be constitutionally flawed and doomed on practical grounds to fail. This is not anything government can or should do anything about.

I also believe that media outlets and commentators overuse anonymous sources and that while there’s a lot more talk about that problem than there was 15 or 20 years ago, there’s been no action.

But I also believe that when the Drudges and Breitbarts of the world pull stuff out of their nether orifices, they should be held accountable. I know it won’t happen, but I would love to see Shirley Sherrod sue the stuffing out of Breitbart. What could happen, if reporters and commentators could be troubled to grow a pair, is that they could stop relying on the Drudges and the Breitbarts of the world when they’ve been proved as wrong as they have on as many big stories as they have. And the fact that Drudge has occasionally been right does not let him off the hook, let alone let off the hook the more respectable outlets that let him drive their agenda.



  1. Please, Mr. & Mrs. Sanctimonious CNN Anchors, spare us. Yeah, someone distorted the Sherrod video and a (named) blogger posted it, but compared to the sins of the “real” media like, oh I dunno, failing to challenge the false reasons for war asserted by the Bush administration, the “dark side” of anonymous bloggers pales.

    Ok, deciding to read the “left” side of the argument before pushing the submit button, I see that Greenwald makes my point — better, of course.

    Comment by Roch101 — Saturday, July 24, 2010 7:05 pm @ 7:05 pm

  2. (I initially put this under the wrong post. Sorry, Fred!)

    Fred, having trouble posting, asked me to post this for him:

    A Teachable Moment on Race?

    “Asked if there was anything Americans could learn from this regrettable incident — considering the president had famously called for more dialogue on the topic when running for office — White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs answered, ‘ Well, look, I think this is one of those teachable moments . . . .’

    Let me suggest one lesson the nation might take from the Breitbart/Sherrod story: Let’s take a breather from any more national dialoguing on the issue of race. Please.

    After all, can anyone recall the last productive conversation on the topic? Whenever we hear about race in politics these days, it’s typically being wielded as a weapon to smear entire political movements, de-legitimatize a genuine national debate, and ratchet up anger over imaginary slights.

    Recently, Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller published e-mails from Journolist, the now-defunct virtual gathering place where 400 left-wing journalists engaged in off-the record conversations, bounced ideas off each other, talked about messaging and codified their lock-stepping.

    In one ugly missive, we find Spencer Ackerman of the left-wing Washington Independent chiming in during the Rev. Jeremiah Wright debate:

    ‘ If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they’ve put upon us. Instead, take one of them — Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists. ‘

    Who cares, right? It must be noted that the majority of professional journalists — liberal or not — do not throw around irresponsible accusations. But for conservatives, this is just more confirmation that racism is often used to chill debate.

    But it’s likely more complicated. Many progressives probably sincerely believe that proponents of free market ideology, for instance, are inherently racist simply because their positions are (allegedly) damaging for minority communities. Surely, this is how someone rationalizes the disgusting act of character assassination.

    Perhaps it’s because institutional racism has been eradicated in this country that those on the left who see all things through the prism of class and race are forced to try and re-invent what it means to be a racist. After all, if you believe that the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution should still mean something you’re a ‘ Tenther ‘ and probably a fan of Jim Crow. If you’re worried about the president’s policies, you’re actually bigot.

    Nothing is as it seems.

    Nonetheless, the Sherrod incident should be a teachable moment for the left, as well. It illustrates how easily a reckless charge of racism can destroy someone. And why, perhaps, we should stop injecting race into every argument.”

    To which I would only respond, Amen! Because refusing to talk about our problems has always been how we’ve dealt with them most effectively in the past.

    Comment by Lex — Monday, July 26, 2010 3:17 pm @ 3:17 pm

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