In a March 19 counterpoint ("Article on blogs should have said more on political divide"), Tamara Baker made a bald-faced lie: "[Eric] Black's article also didn't mention "Little Green Footballs," a right-wing blog whose founder, Charles Johnson, claims that he and not John Hinderaker's PowerLineBlog was the first to lead the charge against Dan Rather last fall."Charles - a self-described 9/11 Democrat who has become a lighting rod for the loony left - demands an apology from the Strib.
I have never written or said anything like this. In fact, in my posts about Rathergate on the day the story broke, I very clearly credited Power Line and "Buckhead" at Free Republic.
Note to Charles; good luck with that. The Strib's not big on admitting mistakes.
Speaking of the Strib's mistakes, let's look at the rest of the Tamara Baker piece.
Leaving aside her abject flub of the Rathergate timeline, Baker's piece can only be described as a flight of fancy:
Eric Black's March 9 article on blogging was interesting, but incomplete.Largely because they were the ones that brought down Dan Rather. The piece was contemporaneous with the Center of the American Experiment's party in honor of Rather's exit.
For one thing, it focused on the local Republican bloggers,
But there's more:
... but didn't name any of the liberal blogs like DailyKos and Eschaton, which have been around a lot longer and which still, despite their not getting as much mainstream-press publicity as the righties, get more readers than the righties.Both of those blogs get a lot more attention than they deserve. Where Powerline and the better conservative blogs provide analysis, investigation and commentary, Kos and Eschaton provide snarks, scatology and talking points. There is no comparison, except in terms of traffic. How do we explain the traffic? Go figure.
Then, go figure this:
The big thing left out, though Black hinted at it with his mention of right-wing blogs hounding the Star Tribune, is that the right and left halves of the blogging world have very different goals.Franke-Ruta's incoherent rant was pretty well gutted by Powerline's Deacon:
As Garance Franke-Ruta noted in a recent American Prospect, "The targets of the liberal blogosphere are conservative activists; the target of the conservative blogosphere is the free and independent press itself, just as it has been for conservative activists since the '60s."
I'm not aware of any conservative blogger (or other conservative, for that matter) who questions the right of MSM outlets to exercise free and independent judgment in reporting the news. Here's the way it works -- the MSM has the right to report the news as it sees fit; bloggers and others have the right to report what they take to be inaccuracies and bias on the part of the MSM; the public has the right to sort it all out. In short, the conservative blogosphere is targeting bias and inaccuracy in the MSM, not the MSM itself (or its freedom and independence). And the left, one hopes, is targeting bias and inaccuracy on the part of the conservative blogsophere and other conservative media, not conservatives themselves.Neither Baker nor Franke-Ruta can show a coherent, serious example of such a goal (barring yuks like the NARN's josh pledge to bring down the Strib).
But as you read Baker's piece, you have to wonder what she means by "independent press":
David Brock, a former conservative activist who now runs a media-watchdog group called Media Matters for America, agrees with Franke-Ruta that Republicans' ultimate aim is the destruction of all objective reporting, so that they can say whatever they want, true or not, and get away with it: "Their explicit goal is to get us to the point where there are blue [state] facts and red [state] facts."Now, why didn't Baker mention that Media Matters is bankrolled by George Soros?
Why didn't she mention - why didn't the Strib require her to include the fact, indeed - that Duncan "Atrios" Black of "Eschaton" and Oliver Willis, two of the biggest liberal bloggers, are direct employees of Media Matters?
Or that all the major leftybloggers are directly beholden to major lefty institutions (Matt Yglesias at the Prospect, Kevin Drum at the Washington Monthly, Kos as a consultant to Howard Dean and many other liberal politicians, and Black and Willis by Soros)?
Because passing this bit of information along to the Strib's readers might have helped them put this bit of slander...:
In other words, Republicans for decades have wanted to control the press much as Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler did, by attacking and attempting to discredit independent journalism, and for them blogs are just the latest tool in their war....into context.
Of course, the whole story is the last thing Tamara Black and the Strib's editorial board want the public to get.Posted by Mitch at March 22, 2005 06:46 AM | TrackBack