Greater Boston’s on right now: Press Admits Defeat?

(Wow - that was quick. Goldstein, your analysis, please -- in poker parlance, of course! - promoted by David)

Hey, maybe the whole blogger-kerfuffle will boost their ratings. Anyway, check out ‘GBH @ 7pm and see if they show David in his most orc-ish light — again.

Thanks to Jay for the image.

UPDATE: Fine, it’s over. Our long national nightmare has ended.

The lead-in segment, including David’s video, was fairly edited. John Carroll was appropriately contrite, and even showed a greater depth of understanding of both the issue at hand and the blogosphere in general than his co-panelists. The usually sensible Dan Kennedy dug in his heels a bit, wondering how we could get anything done if we actually read the NY Times skeptically. (Contra Dan, it wouldn’t have required a stem-to-stern fact check.) (Update: Dan takes issue with my characterization of his comments. You decide.) Callie Crosley thought that the bloggers named in the Times article ought to disclose their financial connections with campaigns. Well, that’s settled then!

Gather round the campfire, and we’ll all sing kumbayah …

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24 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. OK

    Some elements of the discussion did address some core issues: namely, that they made the mistake of painting general bloggers, and Jerome specifically, as taking money from candidates to blog, and not disclosing, but that in fact, there were few bloggers who did this, and they were exposed by other bloggers (no mention the fact that all the unethical ones have turned out to be conservative so far). And that Jerome actually took money for consulting on software and processes, not blogging.

    Now, I disagree with Dan Kennedy on one thing particularly. He said that the story on the original piece in the NYT shouldn't have to be fact checked. OK, I get that, but even some basic things IN the NYT story, that somewhat exonerated bloggers in general, were pretty much ignored. And what WAS in the NYT article didn't go far enough in explaining who did what - disclosing or not, consulting vs. positive blogging vs. shilling for a candidate under pseudonyms, etc.

    To me, that's obvious reading that piece, and honestly, was it really that hard to read the snark in the MyDD article either? Not a funny joke...well, I suppose if I were them this week, I wouldn't think so either.

    (It wasn't the greatest post in the world, not Jon Stewart material, but it's blogging - we write whatever pops in our head in reaction. It still was obvious.)

    • Well...

      It's my opinion that John Carroll didn't really process the MyDD post because he'd already made up his mind about bloggers and was only looking for things that would help his anti-blog argument.

      It's the same reason that the NYT article was cherry picked instead of fact checked.

      Now, that being said, ten minutes is just not enough time to really get into the nuts and bolts of this issue. It's another reason why blogs are great; there's time to question assertions so facts become clarified.

      Finally, the whole point of doing hit pieces is that any correction rarely covers the ground the original did, if you are even forced to do a correction...much less a thorough, detailed and accurate correction. I'm sure there are plenty of people that watched last week that know little about the internet and blogging who have a negative opinion of bloggers. Some of those folks saw the correction, others went Christmas shopping, others watched other programming, etc.

      • Good points

        Though, I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised compared to my expectations to the time and depth they did go to.

  2. I didn't watch the show, but using your para-phrase:

    The usually sensible Dan Kennedy dug in his heels a bit, wondering how we could get anything done if we actually read the NY Times skeptically.

    How can anyone not read the NYTimes skeptically? Go back and read any of the phony WMD stories by Judith Miller during the  runup to the war, courtesy of Chalabi, Cheney et al. References to her (now discredited) articles were then used by  MSM pundits as rock solid examples of why we had to invade Iraq.

    But yeah, how could anyone get any work done if they questioned a well respected NYTimes writer like Judith Miller. She wrote it, it must have been true.

    • A transcript, please?

      Charley -- I guess I can't accuse you of misquoting me, because you didn't use any quotation marks. But that's not what I said. You guys are good at putting up transcripts. This would seem to be a worthy occasion.

      • Full Transcript of DK's remarks

        Dan, here's what you said today.  I know you asked Charley to do it, but seeing as I have you on my TiVo, so I may as well do the honors.  The part that I believe Charley is referring to is in bold.  I think his description of it is fair, but you would know better than me, given that you said it and know what you meant.  Any transcription errors are unintentional.  Some of the crosstalk with Emily Rooney may not be 100%, but I'm including everything so that those who haven't seen the spot have the full context.  Fair enough?

        Um, let me point out a couple of things.  First of all, I wasn't here last week.  [Laughter] Second, um, I am a blogger and I don't know if that gives me any  more insight into this or not.  It probably doesn't, but I am a blogger.  There are three issues here that I think, um, need to be addressed, especially in light of the over-the-top reaction from some of the bloggers to what happened. 

        The first issue is the error and that was, you know, you didn't get the satire.  It happens.

        Emily Rooney: It was stupid, by the way.

        Dan Kennedy: It was incredibly stupid.

        Emily Rooney: It wasn't even satire.  It wasn't a joke.  I still don't get it.

        Dan Kennedy: It wasn't funny.  Mistake made.  Correction made.  End of story.  You move on.

        Now there are two other issues here.  You alluded to one of them and that is, was David Kravitz's interview taken out of context?  I watched it three times now, and I think its -- to me it wasn't.  I didn't take it as him commenting specifically on Jerome Armstrong. 

        Emily Rooney: But, you could have percieved it that way.

        Dan Kennedy: Well, it's a close call.  I didn't think that it went beyond normal editing of a story and, uh, I didn't think it was a big deal.  And I've noticed other bloggers have said the same thing.  So, there is no unanimity on the idea that David was taken out of context.  I think that a lot of people disagree and think that he wasn't.

        Finally, um, what prompted this was the New York Times piece, originally, and that in itself has come under fire.  And one of the things that keeps coming up over and over in the comments on some of these blogs is that -- and, by the way, I don't know whether the New York Times piece messed things up or not, but let's say for the purpose of argument that it did.  There's this notion that you were supposed to fact check every single aspect of that New York Times piece before saying anything about it, which I think is absurd.  You'd never get a show together if you did that.  We comment on things in the media here.  That was in the media; we commented on it.  Um, if the New York Times messed that up, well then they ought to issue a correction, and I might note that they haven't yet.

        On the issue of a correction, does the NYT issue corrections for Op/Ed pieces?

        • No Need For 'Ums', Sco

          Just not right

          eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
          • Not my intention

            I usually leave them in for the sake of completeness, unless they are a distraction.

            On second read, I'd have left most of them out, but while I was transcribing it, I didn't think that there were enough to make a difference.  In fact, I thought Dan was easier to transcribe than many people I've done that for in the time I've been blogging.

      • Thanks to sco

        ... for posting the transcript. Anyway, my description was indeed meant to needle Dan, but I do think it was basically accurate. As I've said before, I recognized that the "op-chart" was bunk from the outset (although I didn't happen to blog on it). So did many others.

        Put it this way, Dan: You're expecting a high level of critical thinking from the audience that heard last week's piece with David's interview. But then you excuse a low level of critical reading when it came to the op-chart. I think one should expect a higher level of critical thinking from the pro media than from John Q. WGBH-viewer. Yet another example of how we are all dependent on a skeptical, professional media corps.

        That's the last I'm going to say about it! Basta!

        • The transcript

          Sco -- Why did you change my duhs to ums? ;-)

          Thank you for posting this. I would have extended the boldface to include the next two sentences. Charley made it sound as though I have a childlike faith in the New York Times, which is ridiculous. All I was trying to say is that with a media-crit show like "Beat the Press," you don't take/don't have the time to fact-check and essentially re-report every piece of journalism that you comment on. I think my meaning comes through pretty clearly in my exact words.

          As for whether this particular Times piece had come under such attack that "Greater Boston" should have been aware of it, I have no opinion, although I guess I would say this: If I had been reporting this piece, I wouldn't have found those attacks unless I had first asked myself, Gee, I wonder if this is all BS? Given that the piece was written by a National Journal reporter and published in the Times, I'm sure I would have run with it.

          • Thanks for responding, Dan

            OK, so here it is:

            First, I would like to hear your opinion on whether the Times piece (esp. the chart) was fair, or if it excluded information that a reader would need to make an informed decision.

            Second, to those of us who have followed the issue of blogger disclosure a little, the BS detector did indeed go off; the pedigree and institutional creds of the writer and newspaper notwithstanding.

            I accept your point about re-inventing the wheel, but I don't actually think that's what was required to do an accurate story.

            • No thanks

              Charley - It would take me hours of research, including interviews, to come to a conclusion as to whether the Times chart was fair. That's what I mean by re-reporting. Since my hands are clean - I wasn't even on the show that week - I'm going to take a pass. I'm under zero obligation to make it my issue. Whether the chart is definitively debunked has no effect on whether "GB" was right to use it as the basis of a story without first verifying every fact.

          • did you leave out a word here?

            "Given that the piece was written by a National Journal reporter and published in the Times, I'm sure I would have run with it."

            Um, er, is there supposed to be a NOT in there somewhere?

          • Sorry!

            Actually, I didn't realize there were as many as there were.  I was actually amazed at how easy it was to transcribe your remarks, as opposed to the times when I was transcribing other  people.  Tom Reilly, though I have a lot of respect for him, was particularly difficult to transcribe at times. 

  3. I just watched the midnight airing of the show.

    And I have one comment, aimed at ANOTHER segment.

    In the part about the inagural, Emily Rooney kept saying, This is a media manufactured story. I mean, WHERE was this alleged public outrage?  Besides the media, WHO was upset?

    Mr. Kennedy - blogger extraordinaire - can you perhaps acquaint her with the REAMS of commentatary and angst that were produced just on THIS site?  Pablo, for one, will be sad that you did not interject.  As for me, like Ginny Buckingham, I think they deserve a party, but there have been scads of outcry heard here from outraged Dems.

    They really don't read any blogs, do they, Dan?  And yet they are so wistful about unique voices like Karen Marinella being shut down....

    • Yes and no

      If I'd had time, I would have said that regular people don't care about Patrick's inauguration plans -- but that, sadly, regular people also don't care about much of anything else, either.

  4. Charley, Bob, and David

    You are destroying yourselves. You have lost  significant amount of credibility with many legit msm and politico types. You probably don't understand why. Step back and take a look. But I suggest that any semi-experienced semi-intelligent person who has followed this saga will conclude

    "BMG needs to grow-up"

    eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
    • At least we are having fun at it

      Your comments, in particular EBIII, almost never fail to elicit a laugh from me. You're like own own resident Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Never change.

      • $quot;At least we are having fun at it$quot;

        I would give you a '7' if i could for that line. Now go and start BMG PAC  and have more fun

        eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
    • Who cares?

      We're not here to play nice with the MSM. We're supposed to what, suck up?

      We're constantly linking to and quoting from the MSM, both when we want to critique it AND when they are doing some good reporting we want to discuss. What's the f-ing problem then?

      If Bob, Charley and David ever had any credibility with you and lost it, I don't consider that a very good measure.

      And keep in mind, this was a nationwide front-paged story, it's not about the local blogosphere much at all.

  5. Kos diary with video

    After seeing the video, I think the person hit the nail on the head. The Kos diary as far as I can tell is mostly from Dan Kennedy's statements.

    Short version of the show:

    "We're sorry for the factual error we made, even though it's not our fault because the "satirical" post was neither satirical nor funny (with Emily Rooney even calling it "stupid".)  As for quoting out of context, we're kinda disagree about whether or not we even did that.  And the story itself?  We still stand by it whole-heartedly, and if the NY Times got the story wrong, it's hardly our job to criticize the NY Times, even though we are a show about criticizing the media."

    I see that people are tip toeing around Dan Kennedy, here's his update.

    "Greater Boston" update

    Blue Mass Group's Charley Blandy has posted a rather mild reaction to tonight's "Greater Boston" discussion of the blog war. He also writes:

      The usually sensible Dan Kennedy dug in his heels a bit, wondering how we could get anything done if we actually read the NY Times skeptically.

    Good thing Charley didn't use quotation marks, because that's not what I said. I've challenged him to post a transcript.

    Update: The transcript has been posted and I respond. I think that's a wrap, even if Charley doesn't.

    It's a wrap kids.  Pack it up and go away, I debated that Charlie was right about not using quotation marks.  So there.  We're even now.  We can make complete jackasses out of ourselves by making up a story, then I can critique a blog posting that if Charlie posted something wrong, well, it would be wrong.  See?  Move along.

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