The Unevolving Relationship: Media And Blogs

By Big Tent Democrat

Jay Rosen writes a great piece on the relationship between the media and blogs and the Obama Gaffe. I can't do it justice. Read it all.

< Obama's Job Is Politician | SUSA IN Poll: Clinton By 16 >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    With the exception of Cream (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Kathy on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 02:12:04 PM EST
    I blame all these journalism schools that don't kill kids for using the internet as a source.  That's like saying you've been to France because you drank some Perrier. (Or Indonesia...)

    Josh Marshall (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 02:25:56 PM EST
    Had fought this mentality somewhat successfully. But it is a constant uphill battle. It is a high/low sort of thing. The establishment media believe that everything from the lower depths of unwashed masses is theirs for the taking.

    This won't change. The only way original sources from the blogosphere will get sourced is if the relentlessly demand attribution case by case. Until the blogosphere becomes the establishment media source nothing will change, imo.  

    The good thing about this is bloggers do not have the constraints of the MSM. A fair trade off if you ask me.

    JM is a perfect example (none / 0) (#6)
    by Kathy on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 02:47:42 PM EST
    many here have said his credibility is somewhat lacking at this point because of his Obias.  I think the problem with citizen journalists not having validity is answered in the article. When they have a stated point of view before the story is even written, they tend to be easily discredited.  Remember when we used to think this about Drudge, that he couldn't be trusted?  (That's changed since the photo flap, but still).  I'm sure Obama's folks feel somewhat betrayed that someone they "allowed" to be at the fundraiser decided to be a real reporter for a change.  If citizen journalists wanted to become legitimate, they would need to hold themselves to standards-and be prepared for their loss of access in the process, because no "real" journalists were invited to that event, just Obama lovers.  In short, you can't have it both ways.

    (Also, the only "real" reporting done lately seems to be by newspaper journalists, and that is fast becoming scarce as these media conglomerates move toward hyper-local models, which tend to isolate communities and control perception even more.  All the big sites--Google, Yahoo, etc, get their news from newspapers for a reason.)


    Disagree (none / 0) (#10)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 03:08:46 PM EST
    That the MSM players are unbaised, but your point is that they will not admit it while in many cases the bloggers will.

    But I do not see your argument as applicable here, nor is it applicable in the example I pointed out with Josh.

    Mayhill Fowler's story is an example of writing that is closer to so called unbaised journalism in the MSM. Fowler is an Obama supporter but wrote news that she felt important to get out even though it had the potential of hurting his favored candidate.

    Josh Marshall also broke several investigative stories, that the MSM picked up without sourcing him. He complained over and over and they did eventually give him credit for breaking the story.


    Outstanding (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Faust on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 02:29:41 PM EST
    Great piece. I'll be pondering it for a while.

    I quit getting my information (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by myiq2xu on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 02:51:12 PM EST
    from television a long time ago.  Newspapers are only good for local news.

    Every once in a while I'll catch a network news show, and it reminds me why I don't watch them.

    Of course tv media wants to (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by 1jpb on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 02:59:07 PM EST
    avoid advertising alternative "news" sources.  They're in competition for viewers.  In other words, why would someone waste an hour watching Tim et. al. when you could spend thirty minutes to see the original content, and then dozens of views about that content online?

    Speaking for myself, not too long ago I heard one too many tv commentators talking about some online "news" source, so I decided to find out what was available online.  Since then I've realized that there is a lot of efficiency in bypassing the tv media.  Occasionally I'll check in with the tube, but that's because of my curiosity (e.g. I enjoy seeing Hannity's manipulations--in small, irregular doses.)  

    Crediting a blogger = free advertising (none / 0) (#9)
    by Fabian on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 03:06:47 PM EST
    for the blog/ger.

    Not good business practice for Teh Media, plus it lends credibility to the blogosphere.  Either way, it undermines Teh Media and benefits their competitors.


    Yes But It Is Worse (none / 0) (#19)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 03:43:01 PM EST
    In that they really do not even see the blogosphere as competition. It is more of a source that they can use and take credit for.

    It happens in the arts all the time. 'High art' artists feels no need to credit low art sources, be it visual arts, music or literature. Age old story.


    The traditional media is afraid (none / 0) (#21)
    by myiq2xu on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 03:58:04 PM EST
    Very afraid.

    How do they make money on something they can't control?

    How will bloviating gasbags like Russert make the big bucks if no one watches them anymore?

    The blogs that make money benefit from lots of free labor.  Some individuals are doing okay, but nobody is making the kind of money the traditional media people are.


    How? (none / 0) (#23)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 04:24:59 PM EST
    They will make money when the blog owners making enough advertising revenue sell out, and legislation turns the internets into something closer to TV. Now, it seems to me that they are still stuck in their old framework, which is failing, but, imo, most are not afraid of the left blogosphere, because they are hardly on their radar.

    The Daily KOS link (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Cheryl on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 03:10:02 PM EST
    provided by one of the comments posted to Rosen's piece has Mayhill Fowler being called "dangerous" and a "nutcase." Remember when Democrats used to decry Bush's "kill the messenger" tactics?

    As I write this, MSNBC's Nora O'Donnell is cackling loudly after showing Obama's Annie Oakley speech.

    Not sure Obama realized what he might unleash (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by misspeach2008 on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 08:00:11 PM EST
    Annie Oakley was a tough chick who could best the guys at their own games.  "Anything you can do I can do better.  I can do anything better than you."  (Except bake a pie - she ceded that one to the guys.) I'm really enjoying the civility of this site.  Refreshing change from some of the others.

    Yup (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Petey on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 03:27:33 PM EST
    What Armando & Jay Rosen said.

    My favorite lines (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by oldpro on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 04:10:33 PM EST
    in Jay Rosen's terrific post:

    "Journalists, the pro kind, aren't allowed to be loyalists. But loyalists because they're allowed to write for OffTheBus may find that loyalty to what really happened trumps all. And that's when they start to commit journalism."


    And that is the future - the dangerous future -  for ALL campaigns at all levels.  Do not count on secrecy, loyalty, trust at any event or in any meeting, any time, any where from anybody.  Ever.

    When everyone has a cell phone or a blackberry, everyone is a potential reporter.  Ya think they'll 'check 'em at the door of every fundraiser or meeting from now on?  Doubtful.

    Chances are, somebody will be tempted (or paid) to 'commit journalism!'

    If they do (none / 0) (#24)
    by Lora on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 04:30:51 PM EST
    Ya think they'll 'check 'em at the door of every fundraiser or meeting from now on?  Doubtful.

    We can always learn shorthand!


    Heh! I already (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by oldpro on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 04:47:27 PM EST
    know shorthand!  Learned it in the 50s...taught it in the 60s...used it off and on in college and after.

    Shorthand isn't proof, tho, in the same way a recording is.  Without the recording, the Obama campaign would have denied the reporter's words and characterization...simply called 'em a liar...or confused.  Like Nixon, tho, Obama is on tape.



    You're right. Campaigns should be smarter (none / 0) (#27)
    by lilburro on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 06:11:37 PM EST
    as they should know everyone has recourse to the internet.  

    I still kind of have a problem with this "citizen journalist" shtick though.  On one hand, you guys (BTD and TL) do a great job in sharing campaign conference calls.  My phone won't be ringing for one of those anytime soon.  On the other hand, bloggers have no restraints.  They can dole out as much money as the next person and really (as we have seen in this election) put themselves out there in more public ways to support candidates.  Their allegiance to the story over the candidate is entirely subjective and up to them.  I don't know what the solution is.  My understanding of events is definitely improved by having the blogosphere around, but blogs truly do occupy the same ethical space as 527s and nobody would ever want to get their news from a 527.


    Be skeptical.... (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by oldpro on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 06:42:15 PM EST
    require evidence and use your own brain!  No leaps of faith...


    Trust me....?  Nope.

    Watch and wait and listen and read and think....!

    Ask questions.


    Since it appears they are willing (none / 0) (#30)
    by splashy on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 03:51:03 AM EST
    To watch everything WE do these days, why not be able to watch everything THEY do.

    We need to be INFORMED to make wise choices. This is  the epitome of being informed.


    The link (none / 0) (#3)
    by facta non verba on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 02:27:58 PM EST
    takes you to the print version from the Off the Bus portion of the Huff Post. You need to hit the back button to scroll down and read the post. It is a good post and provides a lot of colour on Mayhill Fowler and her political leanings.

    I did not see the Meet the Press segment but on CNN and in the press that I have read, Ms. Fowler is cited and the Huffington Post is given credit. I am guessing MTP's slight on the lack of attribution is par for the course for the rather sloppy journalism shop that NBC has become as of late.

    No Difference (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 02:40:42 PM EST
    As far as I can tell, except for the hypertext. I am not sure what your point is.

    I found I couldn't scroll down (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by anniethena on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 03:26:13 PM EST
    the print page so I found the post - with comments. (yeesh)
    A really good piece exploring the uncharted territory of citizen journalism - in this case an avowed Obama supporter with a conscience. Now most of the commenters think she's an undercover Clinton supporter.
    Oh and misogyny lives! One commenter sort of thanks Mr. Rosen for admitting the Obama bias, ID's herself as a 55 year old Caucasian female who is dismayed by the disrespect shown to Senator Clinton and her supporters and gets this in response:
    Are you trying to tell us something about your bra burning inner soul?

    Oh (none / 0) (#15)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 03:30:33 PM EST
    My browser worked fine but I could not be less interested in the comments, so I did not miss them. It gets bad enough here, than to have to listen to Obamaniacs ranting too.

    BTD: Check this out (none / 0) (#12)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 03:25:40 PM EST
    Interesting spin in the SF paper this morning:  Sneaky blogger.   If the campaign is so great, why would they make a point of letting everyone know that what you say to the VIP players, you don't want the little people to know?  Ahh,  smart campaign would sort of keep it quiet, ya think?   Adds a bit of fuel to the fire.

    Presidential candidate Barack Obama's campaign has been in full damage control mode since the senator's blunt remarks about the nature of small town Pennsylvania voters were secretly recorded by a Huffington Post blogger at a recent San Francisco fundraiser that was supposed to be off limits to the press.
    Obama, asked last Sunday why it was so hard for him to reach blue-collar voters, said that many had been overlooked economically and that "it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
    Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton pounced on the comment over the weekend, calling it "elitist and divisive."
    An Obama campaign insider tells us the blogger, Mayhill Fowler, had tried to get into one of two Obama fundraising events in the Bay Area a couple of months back where former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley stood in as a proxy.
    She was turned away, even though she had offered to pay, says our source.
    "There's a very basic (fundraiser) rule - you don't let press in, and anyone with an interest in reporting shouldn't get in," said the source.
    Just how the MP3-wielding Fowler managed to secure an invite to the $1,000 a head fundraiser at the San Francisco home of developer Alex Mehran wasn't immediately clear - but Obama campaign higher-ups were said to be livid, with fingers pointing at a local fundraising consultant for the slip-up.

    Idiots (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 03:36:15 PM EST
    Secret bloggers, Ha. They MSM are so full of themselves. It is nauseating. Elitist crybabies, the only reason they even mention Fowler's name is to complain about how unfair it all is.

    Not surprising that the actual story was credited not to Fowler or HuffPo, but to the Boston Globe.


    The Staff is to blame again (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by badger on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 03:41:43 PM EST
    It's just so hard to find good help these days.

    KO etc. (none / 0) (#16)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 03:32:17 PM EST
    Before all the primary bruhaha, I had noticed that KO, would just parrot the top stories from the blogs.  Think of it this way, the lazy corporate media, just copies the blogs and does not have to invest in journalism.  It's ok, cause the blogs are not doing journalism, they just give sound bites.  Flickers and flashes.  Works well for the MSM, their lazy butts don't have to do anything.  Bloggers are ecstatic cause they get to be Jr. Reporters to  Clark Kent or KO.  

    It is a great piece. (none / 0) (#20)
    by Lora on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 03:43:59 PM EST
    And from Mayhill Fowler's original post, what seems to put Obama's attitude in perspective but has been completely ignored in all the feeding frenzy:

    To give Obama his due, he spoke about working class Pennsylvanians likely because he had been thinking about them a great deal. And he spoke, as he often does away from large rallies, in a calm, even, matter-of-fact way. Every town hall meeting I've observed, from California to Iowa, Nevada to Texas, has showcased Senator Obama's core decency and high measure of regard for each individual.

    The more we focus on his gaffe, the more we derail the Democratic nomination process.  Although I slightly prefer Hillary for president, I like Barack Obama more.  He's a good guy.  He screwed up.  He's human.  Let him and the rest of the Democrats move on.

    i don't think "he's a good guy." (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by kangeroo on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 05:41:02 PM EST
    a good guy wouldn't deliberately trash for months both bill and hillary clinton--who, for all their faults, nobody can question as to being democrats long devoted to the party--with untrue and inflammatory statements that feed right into right-wing-propagated narratives.  i'm sorry, but even in politics, there is at some point a line of decency.  and i believe obama, quite glibly and opportunistically in fact, crossed it a long time ago--and purely for his own self-aggrandizement.  that's not a "good guy" in my book.