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Wednesday, January 14, 2009
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Criticism of Bloggers
Topic: NewsBusters

The boys at NewsBusters like to ridicule criticism of bloggers in the mainstream media. Among recent examples:

  • Mark Finkelstein claimed that MSNBC's Mike Barnicle "is back to looking down his nose at bloggers" after stating that "95%, 99% of blogging isn't journalism. It's therapy for the blogger."
  • Tim Graham asserted that NBC's Andrea Mitchell "decried the idea that new media would trouble the President’s first days," citing Mitchell's statment encouraging the "dialing down of all of the sharp criticism that we have on cable talk, on talk radio, from the, you know....the blogosphere."
  • Warner Todd Huston ridiculed one journalist for saying that "bloggers won't take the time and haven't the ability to, 'sit through town-council meetings and explain to you why your taxes will be going up,'" asserting that the journalist "feels that the masses are idiots that cannot even pronounce pundit much less spell it well enough to become citizen journalists on the Internet." (Though Huston does concede that the journalist is correct "to a degree" in that "the largest majority of folks will not take the time to create a blog, investigate stories, go to public meetings held by local government, write about them, and do all of this consistently and on their own without being paid -- he didn't even want to do it when he was paid.")

Yet we've no criticism, let alone mention, of this statement by a prominent media figure:

Bored, anonymous, pathetic bloggers who lie annoy me.

Perhaps that's because of who said it: Sarah Palin, and she was in the middle of ranting about coverage of rumors that her daughter, not her, is the mother of Trig Palin.

Finkelstein even alluded to the Esquire interview in which Palin made the statement in his criticism of Barnicle, highlighting that Palin "said that—long after the issue had been put to rest—the Anchorage Daily News called her—based on allegations in blogs—to ask whether she was indeed the mother of Trig, her youngest child." But he did not cite Palin's statement about "Bored, anonymous, pathetic bloggers."

Nor did Finkelstein -- like Huston before him -- tell the full story of the Anchorage Daily News' pursuit of thed Trig story: The paper was trying to shoot down the rumors once and for all, and Palin refused to answer questions about it, thus keeping the rumor mill alive.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:55 PM EST

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