The snob’s response
: There’s no greater snob — and I mean that in only the nicest way, of course — than Tina Brown. She imported snobbery into the U.S. the way the Beatles imported rock music.
Today, she exudes snobbishness about journalism. I won’t call on my usual preists-and-cathedrals image; this more the has-been queen sniffing in her castle at all the riff-raff out in the streets, typing fast.
Now the conventional wisdom is that the media will be kept honest and decent by an army of incorruptible amateur gumshoes. In fact, cyberspace is populated by a coalition of political obsessives and pundits on speed who get it wrong as much as they get it right. It’s just that they type so much they are bound to nail a story from time to time.
This isn’t Brown sniffing at bloggers; it is Brown sniffing at the audience, the great unwashed. Too bad you have to get commoners to watch your TV show to be successful, eh, your highness? She continues:
The rapturing about the bloggers is the journalistic equivalent of the stock market’s Internet bubble. You can see the news chiefs feeling as spooked as the old-style CEOs in the ’90s who had built their companies over 20 years and then saw kids in backward baseball caps on the cover of Fortune. It finally drove them nuts. It was why we saw Time Warner’s buttoned-down corporate dealmaker Gerald Levin tearing off his tie and swooning into the embrace of AOL’s Steve Case.
The equivalent today is when news outfits that built their reputations on check-and-double-check pick up almost any kind of assertion and call it a “source.” Or feel so chased by the new-media mujaheddin they start trusting tips garnered from God-knows-where by a partisan wack job in Texas.
What a crock of caviar. So now she is blaming bloggers for making Dan Rather and CBS panic and air a forged memo from a nutty Texan. Can somebody diagram the logic of that paragraph?
: Tina is fooling herself not only about the Rather story and the fate of news media and the role of citizens but also about the campaign:
Documents or no documents, everyone knows Bush’s dad got him out of Vietnam. Everyone knows he thought he had better, funner things to do than go to a bunch of boring National Guard drills. (Only a killjoy like John Kerry would spend his carefree youth racking up high-minded demonstrations of courage and conscience, right?) Like O.J. Simpson’s infamous “struggle” to squeeze his big hand into the glove, the letter was just a lousy piece of evidence that should never have been produced in court. Now because CBS, like Marcia Clark, screwed up the prosecution, Bush is going to walk.
: UPDATE: See also Wonkette’s simultaneous translation.