The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Rational, The Reactionary, And The Retarded

There have been a surprising number of articles and op-eds appearing recently that express the same old animosity toward progressive blogs. Right-wing blogs, despite being much more radical and much more goofy, continue to be treated seriously. It's weird, it's disturbing, and it's a bit baffling (sure, I could do the Psych 101 bit and talk about journos feeling threatened or the new journalistic caste system where Katie Couric(!?!) is Queen of Hardjournalismia, but I won't). Eric Boehlert has taken a look at one instance of MSM treatment of the blogs-- the current Department of Justice scandal.

I started writing about the story in January, and I'm neither investigative nor a journalist. Back in January, as Boehlert observes, MSM outlets were deriding the story as nonsense.

And speaking of Time, it was the magazine's Washington bureau chief, Jay Carney, who in January ridiculed [Joshua Michael] Marshall's suggestion that the [U.S. Attorney] firings had dark political overtones, dismissing it as a "conspiracy theory." Two months later though, Carney bravely ate some crow and tipped his hat to online activists for driving the purge saga: "The blogosphere was the engine on this story."

The purge story illustrates yet another chapter in the growth of the blogosphere, and specifically the emergence of the liberal bloggers -- or netroots -- as an influential news source. Yet despite the significance of the story, and its larger media and political implication, it's telling that The Washington Post has shied away from highlighting Marshall's work on unearthing the scandal.

To this day, despite the fact the purge story continues to gain momentum week after week as more incriminating facts tumble out, and despite the fact that Marshall's work has been lauded by the Los Angeles Times and on National Public Radio, among others, the Post, with its aggressive, expansive media coverage, has not found the time or space to feature Marshall and his team of reporter/bloggers and to spotlight the extraordinary work they've produced. (In total, the Post has printed just a single quote from Marshall regarding the purge story he helped give birth to.)

Boehlert also discusses the curious fact that the Post has also taken the time this year to publish a nicey-nice profile of Michelle Malkin. Go figure. Recommended reading.