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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Jim Rutenberg's feelings are hurt

posted by Jazz at 10/28/2004 03:02:00 PM

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NYT's stalwart, Jim Rutenberg, writes today, that bloggers have undertaken a mass attack on the MSM. He quotes Jay Rosen as saying, "I think there's a campaign under way to totally politicize journalism and totally politicize press criticism. It's really an attack not just on the liberal media or press bias, it's an attack on professionalism itself, on the idea that there could be disinterested reporters."

Howard Fineman of Newsweek chimed in with the following lament. "Most of us now realize that this is a constant conversation, and I think that largely that part of it is good. Some of the stuff includes very personal and nasty things about people - they go after people's physical characteristics, they'll say somebody's ugly - and you just have to ignore that. Still, I would be lying if I didn't say it could be hurtful."

Apparently we've hurt Mr. Fineman's feelings too. Sorry, Howard. For what it's worth, I've always thought you were a good egg.

I was prepared to read about the usual accusations against The Paper of Record and the Washington Post as being part of the vast left wing conspiracy. That's why my jaw nearly hit the floor when I saw this.

On a Web site named after Adam Nagourney, The Times's chief political correspondent, contributors mix crude personal insults with accusations that Mr. Nagourney and other Washington-based reporters are too easy on Mr. Bush. Bob Somerby, a comedian who runs a Web site called The Daily Howler that often accuses the news media of being shallow, lazy, bullied by Republicans and unfairly critical of Democrats, said a more genteel approach would not be effective.

Here's a brief math problem for all of you high school graduates: Assuming that you haven't spent your entire life, up until this morning, living in a cave and fending off bears, how much crack cocaine would you have to smoke over what period of time before you began to think that the New York Times had a conservative slant in favor of George W. Bush? I think that the NYT can definitely have a bit of a slant at times, but if anything, it's to the left.

And where was all the criticism heading in the other direction? There wasn't a single mention of bloggers commenting on the New York Post or the Washington Times. (A wholly owned subsidiary of Halliburton, Ltd. Some restrictions may apply. Offer not valid in Wyoming. "Halliburton... we bring good things to the right.")

There was a solid foundation for Rutenburg to write this article, no doubt. How he wandered off into some surreal fantasy world while writing it will be a question to ponder for a long time.