TO: Bill Keller, New York Times

TO: Bill Keller, New York Times

FROM: Jeff Jarvis, blogger

RE: The Times’ blog problems and an invitation

: I’m going to end this with an open invitation to Bill Keller, editor of The New York Times. But first….

The New York Times media beat reporters got beaten badly on the Eason Jordan story — by [gasp] weblogs and cable news — and so how do they react? By catching up their readers on what they missed? Of course not. They react by lashing out at weblogs.

This morning’s story by Katharine Q. Seelye, Jacques Steinberg, and David F. Gallagher — under the headline, “Bloggers as News Media Trophy Hunters” — is another example of the disdain in which many quarters of The Times — not all — hold citizens’ media.

This being The Times, many of the slaps are subtle. When they quote Edward Morrissey of Captains Quarter, who stayed on top of the Jordan story, they make a point of saying he is “a call center manager who lives near Minneapolis” Read: “He’s not one of us. He’s not a real journalist.”

When they acknowledge that Jordan was forced out, they say:

Some of those most familiar with Mr. Jordan’s situation emphasized, in interviews over the weekend, that his resignation should not be read solely as a function of the heat that CNN had been receiving on the Internet, where thousands of messages, many of them from conservatives, had been posted.

I think they mean that to be read: “The bloggers didn’t do this; they can’t take credit for this head; that’s our job to behead the powerful; we’re The Times.” But I read it this way: “There’s much more to the Jordan story that The Times also missed.”

But some of the story is hardly subtle. When it comes to quoting media bloggers, they ignore the wise and balanced writings of Jay Rosen on the story and instead, quote the poison-pen letter sent to Rosen by big-media veteran Steve Lovelady: “The salivating morons who make up the lynch mob prevail.”

And, yes, they quote me — from the blog; they did not phone or email me for specific comment — and they pick that quote carefully:

But while the bloggers are feeling empowered, some in their ranks are openly questioning where they are headed. One was Jeff Jarvis, the head of the Internet arm of Advance Publications, who publishes a blog at buzzmachine.com. Mr. Jarvis said bloggers should keep their real target in mind. “I wish our goal were not taking off heads but digging up truth,” he cautioned.

And, of course, that makes it look as if I’m wringing my hands over the morals of my fellow bloggers when, in fact, I’m worried about precisely what The Times is doing here: using this episode to call us a lynch mob. Here’s what I said after that line:

We don’t want to be positioned as the news lynch mob — which is where a radio interview yesterday tried to go — but as the press of the people. Of course, big media can be a lynch mob, too. But that doesn’t mean it’s an example we should follow.

What a handy ‘snip.’

The Times also tries to subtly keep alive Jordan’s assertion on military targeting journalists with this line:

Through the latest uproar, the substance of Mr. Jordan’s initial assertion about the military targeting journalists was largely lost.

Only problem is, they — like we — still do not know the “substance of Mr. Jordan’s initial assertion” because we don’t have the tape from Davos and they didn’t even interview Jordan.

And there’s one more subtle dig:

The online attack of Mr. Jordan, particularly among conservative commentators, appeared to gain momentum when they were seized on by other conservative outlets. A report on the National Review Web site was followed by editorials in The Washington Times and The Wall Street Journal, as well as by a column in The New York Post by Michelle Malkin (a contributor for Fox News, CNN’s rival).

Read: “Nobody would pay attention to this story if it weren’t picked up by real papers.” Also read: “Blogs are a conservative lynch mob.”

But, of course, what this doesn’t say is that the story was reported by the publication that used to be The Times’ nemesis before citizens’ media and cable news came along: The Washington Post. It was reported there by Howard Kurtz even though he had to navigate the conflict of interest of being a CNN employee. (Note, by the way, that Kurtz was also the person who brought the discussion to CNN’s air yesterday and let it be known that I felt free to say anything about the story, the network, and Jordan there and it was made clear that we would be emphasizing Jordan as the major part of our discussion.) You’d think that The Times would have beaten Kurtz to the story. But they were beaten by the Post, blogs, cable news — oh, the shame; oh, the humiliation — and why: Because they dismissed this as the mutterings of a rabble, not the news judgment of the people.

Now add this to Sarah Boxer’s horrendous unjournalism about Iraqi bloggers and other feature stories about bloggers without lives and many an offhand slap and it is clear that:

The Times has blog issues. So…

TO: Bill Keller, New York Times

FROM: Jeff Jarvis, blogger

RE: An open invitation

Mr. Keller,

I propose that we hold a one-day meeting of webloggers and Times editors and reporters to discover how the interests of both groups are aligned and how we can work together to improve news.

The problem, Mr. Keller, is that many of your reporters and editors hold citizens’ media in obvious disdain that has become all too public in your pages. This means that they are slapping the public you would serve and, in fact, your own readers: people who still read news. This also means that they are missing stories — witness this one. They are missing the opportunity to correct stories and do better reporting — witness Boxer’s story. They are doing The Times and its reputation in this new medium and with the next generation no favors. That is not true of everyone in the paper, of course; we have seen cases of The Times getting ideas and reporting from blogs and listening to the interests of the public through them. But that is clearly not true in other quarters.

So let’s get some Times journalists and citizen journalists together in a room.

The agenda is quite simple:

1. Let’s spend a few hours letting each group vent at the other to get over it.

2. Then let’s explore our common interests — quite simply, informing the public, acting as the people’s watch on authority, getting to the truth, and creating a better-informed democracy.

3. Finally, let’s investigate the ways that citizens’ media and professional media can help each other find stories and find the truth and listen to the public and extend the eyes and ears of The Times and its journalists in ways never possible before.

If we do this right, the reporters and the bloggers will learn that the “other side” is not another side at all; this isn’t about monoliths and mobs but about good people trying hard to do the right thing. Times Managing Editor Jill Abramson spent a few days at Harvard in a room with bloggers and didn’t seem to come off any worse for the wear; I think she and the bloggers came away, instead, with better understanding and respect.

So how about it, Mr. Keller? We’ll bring the bagels, you bring the sandwiches.

: MORE:

: Here’s Michele Malkin’s roundup of dino reaction.

: The Wall Street Journal editorializes, making the assumption that this is the only reason Jordan is out (I don’t believe we know that part of the story at all):

That may be old-fashioned damage control. But it does not speak well of CNN that it apparently allowed itself to be stampeded by this Internet and talk-show crew. Of course the network must be responsive to its audience and ratings. But it has other obligations, too, chief among them to show the good judgment and sense of proportion that distinguishes professional journalism from the enthusiasms and vendettas of amateurs.

  • http://blogs.rny.com/sbw/ sbw

    Count me in for the meeting. I’m a traditional newspaper publisher who blogs.

  • http://blogoland.blogspot.com jon

    Surely you don’t mean the NJ section has blog problems!
    In all seriousness, though, I read this story and had two thoughts: clearly the NYT had been beat, and was doing some furious catch-up. And two: there is something of a point here. Bloggers (both left and right) seem to go into a super-caffeinated, salivating hyperdrive when it comes to collecting heads. Look at Kos or Reynolds or any other site when it sinks its fangs into such a story: Trent Lott! Dan Rather! Jeff Gannon! Eason Jordan!
    Are some of these stories important ones that traditional media missed? Absolutely. But on my end, as both a reporter and nouveau blogger, much of this stuff strikes me as overkill. And I get turned off by it. When I go through some weblog and see post after post after post of blog-screaming about this VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE I MUST PAY ATTENTION TO NOW I am inclined to ignore it — much like I ignore the ranting nut standing on the corner or the true believer screaming on the phone trying to interest me in a story.
    Maybe it’s media bias.
    But maybe it’s a bias against lunacy.

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    Isn’t there something of a layout issue too? I access a blog, whatever is the latest post is the ‘headline’. I pick up or acess a media edition or website, I pick the items of my interest.
    Headlines may not be the major topic – witness The GATES – but positioning is part of the problem of reader perception.

  • DensityDuck

    >Bloggers (both left and right) seem to go into a
    >super-caffeinated, salivating hyperdrive when it
    >comes to collecting heads.
    Everyone wants to be the next Buckethead, figuring out the bogus TANG memos.

  • richard mcenroe

    Jan

  • http://www.andilinks.com/ Andi

    Collecting heads is simply the most reported upon activity of the bloggers–which accounts for the super-caffeinated, salivating hyperdrive. It’s a heady fame. This too will eventually pass, just like the dominance of the MSM.

  • susan

    Something tells me the monolithic self-proclaimed MSM ‘watch-dog’, otherwise known as Big Brother, is loosing control over the masses.
    I find it interesting to note that whenever citizens question anything dictated by MSM the citizens are suddenly labeled “conservative lynch-mobs.”
    By the way, since when did Jeff become a member of the VRWC?

  • http://carpundit.typepad.com carpundit

    You forget the real reason the NYT is upset with blogs: you’re taking food out of their mouths.
    Every hour spent reading [insert blogs here], is an hour the NYT lies still in its blue bag in the driveway. Eventually, the bags pile up, and the subscription gets cancelled.
    Newspapers are dead; they just don’t know it yet.

  • http://rexblog.com Rex Hammock

    Perhaps it is because I spent a couple of hours this past weekend at a blogger meetup hosted by some folks at a local TV station who are eager to learn how to work with the “other side,” I feel optimistic that out in the real world, some traditional news media people are getting it. And Jeff, in his day job, is inspiring lots of locally-focused news organizations to “get it.” I agree with Jeff: the “national” news organizations perhaps should do some meeting up of their own.

  • http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/1843644 Controversy.com Editor

    This would be an ideal topic for more than a meeting between bloggers and the NYT. The Online News Association or Newspaper Association of America ought to facilitate.

  • http://badhairblog.blogspot.com Fausta

    The MSM simply doesn’t “get it” when it comes to blogs.
    When they need bloggers they bring out Wonkette (the Paris Hilton of bloggers) and Andrew Sullivan (who said he was retiring his blog the day before CNN called him to comment on the President’s adress on the SOTU — but did he?). They can’t think of calling Jeff, whose media credentials are impeccable, who is a leading blogger, and who writes daily well-reasoned, cogent posts, even when they are quoting him directly.
    As the NYSun was saying this morning, the MSM is a news industry in the midst of a stunning revolution” — and all it does is wait for the Bastille to be stormed.

  • Dave J.

    Jeff–as long as you’re managing the universally hated piece of crap site “OregonLive.com,” why the hell should anyone take your ideas about media seriously? Honestly, that site suffers from every single one of the problems you list above.
    When will you sit down with some people who actually have a clue and reform your own newspaper websites? Until then, god only knows why you have an ounce of credibility when it comes to talking about the virtues of blogging and the downfalls of print.
    You’re great about giving advice to the NY Times, but when you will apply even one of those pieces of advice to your own sorry website?
    (By the way, anyone unfamiliar with what I’m talking about should visit OregonLive to get a clue for Jeff’s atrocious views of what the web-version of a newspaper (in this case, the Oregonian) should look like. It is downright laughable.)

  • Mike G

    “Wonkette– the Paris Hilton of bloggers”! Perfect, Fausta, absolutely perfect.
    What’s the difference between bloggers and the New York Times? If bloggers had gone after Augusta National, it’d be coed by now!

  • max

    What about Jeff Gannon? Was that a lynch mob too? Or does the nyt regard that as ‘speaking truth to power’ as opposed to a lynching?

  • Mike G

    By the way, as long as we’re being an interactive medium here, am I the only one who routinely upsizes the type on Jeff’s site when he comes here? It’s itty-bitty on mine. (Try complaining about type to Old Media, by the way! Advantage: blogosphere!)

  • http://michaelzimmer.blogspot.com/ Michael Zimmer

    And, yes, they quote me from — from the blog; they did not phone or email me for specific comment — and they pick that quote carefully:
    I don’t understand why you’d be upset about this. Isn’t your blog supposed to “stand on its own feet”? The whole point of blogs is to comment on something, and then link to someone else’ post (comment) and comment on that. You aren’t expected to “phone or email” another blogger when quoting them, so why should the NY Times? And bloggers (both you and me included) pick quotes carefully, often ignoring other contextual items – that’s the nature of selective quoting, linking, posting, etc.

  • Scarlet A

    Are these bloggers serving the readers or themselves?
    Is the point of journalism (or blogging) to catch every verbal utterance of the prominent and hang them with it? Does that have value?
    When bloggers take on the Taliban role, publicly shaming for the sheer power of it, it’s only a matter of time before they come for you, Jeff.

  • http://diogenes.typepad.com Jim Durbin

    I suggested the same idea to the St Louis Post-Dispatch, who recently has changed their columnist line-up and is looking for regional voices.
    The person in charge of the project made it clear that he would indeed like to see more regional voices, and suggested if I knew people to direct him to, he’d consider adding specific columns to the mix.
    The biggest problem is bloggers tend to be organize along specific issues instead of in general. I could find fifty well-written screeds from 500-600 words – but finding clear-headed discussions of regional issues or organizing the people to do so is a bit more difficult.
    Jeff has access to the Times based on his reputation, but other bloggers can go to their local newspapers and get the same access in smaller markets if they really want to.
    More flies with honey than vinegarm, right? Interested in reading about the television station and the bloggers. Sounds like a children’s fairy tale Title!

  • http://beldar.org Beldar

    I’m not sure how far back on the lawyer-blogger bench I am — certainly Prof. Reynolds, Hugh Hewitt, the Power Line guys, Prof. Bainbridge, and Patterico are on the first team, and I’m not sure I’m even on the varsity — but if the NYT takes you up on your suggestion, they’re not available, and you want a practicing lawyer-blogger who’s both prompted a couple of NYT corrections (e.g., over Kerry meeting with “both sides” in Paris) and also represented media clients (including CBS) in defamation cases, I could make myself available.
    I’d even spring for my own expenses (which would be painful, but less painful than the disclosure I’d have to make every time in the future that I choose to blog about the NYT if I accepted their filthy lucre — errr, I mean, their expense reimbursement).
    I shan’t hold my breath, and in the meantime will use a bit of it to commend you, Mr. Jarvis, on this and previous posts about the Eason Jordan affair.

  • DensityDuck

    >I don’t understand why you’d be upset about this.
    Particularly when it’s exactly what they did to Eason Jordan.

  • Sydney Carton

    Count me as one who thinks the meeting would be entirely fruitless. The NYT has every incentive to destroy blogs as the “new media.” It has an instutional obligation, to its shareholders, to protect its media dominance. Meeting with blogs is like meeting with the enemy to declare surrender. You assume they want news. But the history of the Times and its adherents in other papers across the MSM consistently shows that it does not. This “story” of theirs re: Jordan is a perfect example of that. They only want news that doesn’t make them look bad, so if they have a problem with a reporter making up stories they’ll axe him, but will not do anything else. And they’ll trash anyone that gets the better of them.
    I can understand the hope of making peace with them, but forget it. You’ll have much greater success with smaller papers that need local input to thrive, and an incentive to grow bigger. The NYT is a big dinosaur that’s going to find itself extinct in 10-20 years, if not sooner. I’d suggest killing them off.
    As much as you don’t want this to be an adversarial relationship, it is. They would prefer it if blogs never existed at all. Your interview with Kurtz, where you said that “everyone is a reporter” and that “everyone has access to a press – the internet” is SCARING THE HELL OUT OF THEM. What will become of the NYT in a world where everyone reports news and shares it for free? They will cease to exist.
    Better to make the NYT your next target.

  • Glenn

    What’s probably bugging a lot of the MSM guys and gals is that they’ve done some “creative writing” in the past, gotten paid for it, and want to continue. I used to be a Quality Manager and you can’t believe the number of times I was lied to (or about) because someone did something wrong and I found it. If the folks who are worried about a lynch mob spent a little more time getting their facts straight before going to press they’ed have a lot less to worry about afterword.

  • Dexter Westbrook

    “They picked that quote carefully” = “They quoted me in a way I didn’t like.”
    Mr. Jarvis: Your complaint about the NYT not calling you for a specific comment just won’t wash. Either you mean what you say on your blog, or you don’t.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Dexter: I mean very much what I said on my blog. But I was making a different point than theirs. Of course, they’re free to quote from the blog — it’s in the public, after all. I’m just making clear that I have the larger context because it, indeed, came from the record of the blog. And having the record is good.

  • http://www.hellblazer.com Hal

    Wow, Oregonlive.com really is a stinky pile. JJ, I suggest you start taking your own advice before you start strutting around like a self important 2 year old proud of his own poo.

  • richard mcenroe

    Michael Zimmer

  • Mike G

    Everyone like Scarlet A who endorses this hysterical “lynch mob” idea needs to take a deep breath and look at what really happened.
    The head of a major news organization, with the presumed stature of his network behind him, stood up there and said–
    “Hillary Clinton is a lesbian.”
    No, he didn’t say that. But if he had, what would have been the result? Outrage and a demand for proof or an apology, take your pick. Either proof or apology for being a temporary dumbass, if sufficiently convincing, would have saved his job. But no one who runs a news organization gets to keep his job IF HE MAKES UP NEWS STRAIGHT FROM HIS ASS, which is basically what happened here.
    Do you really want to say that that’s a bad thing?

  • CleverNameHere

    Those of you trying to draw a parallel between Jordan’s comments and the NYT quote of Jarvis are clearly off base.
    The NYT took one line of a long post, which, examined in isolation, gives a completely different impression than when taken in context of the entire post, or even just the complete thought being expressed.
    Jordan, OTOH, has been quoted in full, or he would have been had he called for the tape to be released.
    Jarvis is perturbed because he too little of what he wrote was reported. Jordan is unemployed because too much of what he said came to light.
    And I’d like to end by reminding everyone that Jordan’s comments were a Big Deal. One of the biggest criticisms of those on the left has been that under W, the US has lost prestige around the world, and that the global community has forgotten the sympathy they had immediately following 9/11.
    If this truly is a concern for you, how can you not be incensed when one of the most powerful figures in a global news org. based in the US accuses the military of multiple murders? And this accusation comes before an audience filled with opinion shapers from the Middle East?
    I mean, really, given that this isn’t even the first time Jordan has pointed a bloody finger toward our troops, how does this not register with those criticizing the bloggers who wanted to get to the bottom of the story?

  • Nick Bourbaki

    Michael Zimmer (and others who left similar comments):
    You have in fact hit it on the head, without knowing it:

    The whole point of blogs is to comment on something, and then link to someone else’ post…

    A “selective comment” on a blog is normally accompanied by a direct link to the entire post from which the comment was selected. This is something the print media cannot do. When they take a selection out of context, the reader has no way of knowing what that correct context might have been. They are left with the word of the article/editorial author as gospel. This makes it much more significant when they select quotes that only further the point of view that they are trying to present.

  • kl

    “Wonkette– the Paris Hilton of bloggers”
    Hey! What did Hilton ever do to you?
    “When bloggers take on the Taliban role, publicly shaming for the sheer power of it, it’s only a matter of time before they come for you, Jeff.”
    Seems to me that they come for him every single time he posts something they don’t like. He hasn’t resigned so far.
    “Particularly when it’s exactly what they did to Eason Jordan.”
    So why hasn’t CNN released the tape? If Jordan really has been quoted out of context, that would pull the rug out from under the “lynch mob.” Right?

  • http://www.pdqviews.org/pdqviews pdq332

    When I saw that the NYT refers to Ed Morrisey as “a call center manager”, I had a more populist read: it is a demonstration that anyone, even call center managers, who has something to say in response to MSM, can say it and be heard loud and clear.

  • http://www.andilinks.com/ Andi

    The attacks from the MSM do have a slight edge of shrillness, a whiff of fear–especially when taken together. Their more perceptive readers/viewers will get this “between the lines” message, and it is a message that can only grow louder as days pass.
    MSM attacks are publicity for the blogosphere, there is no bad publicity. It will cause more people to “click here.” I’m very optomistic, but also thrilled to be an observer of this paradigm shift.

  • TomK

    Nick Bourbaki:
    “A “selective comment” on a blog is normally accompanied by a direct link to the entire post from which the comment was selected. This is something the print media cannot do.”
    Not only this, but the real problem is that they wouldn’t do it, as regards the tape of Jordan’s remarks. Jeff’s complaint about how he was quoted is legitimate; he obviously would prefer that all his words be made available. Jordan, being a high-up mucky-muck at Davos, certainly could have made all his comments available by releasing the tape, but he refuses to do so.
    Anyone equating the treatment of Jeff’s comments by the NYT with Jordan’s treatment at the hands of the bloggers is, at best, confused.

  • Bob K

    Snipped from WSJ editorial.
    “It is true that Mr. Jordan has a knack for indefensible remarks, including a 2003 New York Times op-ed in which he admitted that CNN had remained silent about Saddam’s atrocities in order to maintain its access in Baghdad. That really was a firing offense.”
    Let’s see. Jordan is finally honest and comes clean in 2003, and the author thinks it should have been a firing offense.
    “But CNN stood by Mr. Jordan back then — in part, one suspects, because his confession implicated the whole news organization. Now CNN is throwing Mr. Jordan overboard for this much slighter transgression, despite faithful service through his entire adult career.”
    Evidently the author thinks besmirching the military isn’t so bad, but telling the truth about how the media actually operates should get you fired.
    I wonder what Freud would think.
    I’m now even more skeptical of the MSM.

  • http://JustOneMinute.typepad.com Tom Maguire

    Good catch about Howard Kurtz, Jeff.
    I think we should file a Missing Persons report with the Times – this Times article is also missing both Barney Frank (who made a cameo appearance in the audience on their Saturday story) and Sen. Chris Dodd (who never appeared on Saturday, either, so he is 0-2).
    As to “Jeff Gannon”, I think the Times got trapped in re-write – “Gannon” got one sentence in this whole story, even though the Times lead on “Gannon” on their Friday story touted a connection to the Valerie Plame leak.
    Anyway, here is all they had to say about Gannon now:
    Morever, last week liberal bloggers forced a sketchily credentialed White House reporter to quit his post.
    Pretty coy. Of course, their evidence of a Plame connection may have collapsed around them – this is a story that would *really* benefit from the keen eye of the Buzzmachine.
    Put side by side, it looks like the Times is, on the one hand, intent on downplaying and misrepresenting the impact of “conservative” blogs, while picking up the most absurd charges of the “lefty” blogs.
    With, apparently, appropriate corrections *not* to follow.
    Anyway, I would love to lure you into this quagmire – maybe it can go on your agenda with Bill Keller.

  • http://badhairblog.blogspot.com Fausta

    My apologies to any Paris Hilton fans offended by my comparing her to Wonkette.
    My point is that, when it comes to analysis and depth on a subject as serious as the President’s SOTU, Paris would not be the girl for it.

  • kl

    (Pssst! Yeah, we know. It was a joke!)

  • J. Peden

    The MSM didn’t do anything after Drudge crashed the circle or simply avoided the black hole altogether, and the MSM’s main two concerns were, 1] “Why I’ve done this for 25 years, how can you just start reporting real stories as though out of nowhere, having lived only 32 years?” And, 2] “You don’t have enough editors, to not get stories wrong.” Right.
    These criticisms were both fatuous, as time has told. The MSM does not even know what reporting is, nor rational analysis.
    Btw, this Steve Lovelady Man has nothing on the element lead. I’m trying to get those of this density called “leadites”, or “Plumbists” after “plumbism” [lead -Pb- poisoning].
    Of course now they’re going to say I have rabies, and possibly they are right. We’ll find out in another 9 days.

  • C Bennett

    Alvin Toffler, in his book The Third Wave, argues that for all the social theories and organizational behavior “breakthroughs” that sociologists produce, technological change is what always drives social and organizational change. We do what we can.
    The invention of the fractional horsepower motor meant that manufacturers didn’t have to be tied to the smokestack or live in the company town to have the power to manufacture. The web means that publishers don’t have to live in the company town or be tied to a large press or TV tower to publish.
    It isn’t that the social trials and emotional pains that come with the sea-changes in marketplaces caused by technological change aren’t difficult to manage; it is just that the end-state is made close to inevitable by the technological reality of what can be done.
    His book begins: “A new civilization is emerging in our lives and blink men everywhere are trying to suppress it …” It’s an old book, but a prescient one.

  • Dave J.

    Woah, someone is citing Toffler? Where am I–1995?

  • C Bennett

    Oops: the quote from Toffler should read (obviously, I hope): “A new civilization is emerginng in our lives and blind men everywhere are trying to suppress it …” I need an editor.

  • cbaral

    As is human nature, success goes into the head of many MSM reporters. With their tight deadlines, they are bound to make mistakes. There are a lot of smart and well-read people who are not in MSM, do not necessarily have a deadline, and do not have that ego. Now that they have the medium of blog to express their views and challenge mistakes made by MSM reporters, and access to information via web, I think many in MSM need to get off their high horses, be more humble, be more accepting of their mistakes, try forums that allow more user interaction, and in general they need to *change* . Otherwise they risk being obsolete.
    Also, they need to be more balanced in their political biases.

  • thibaud

    Wish you well, Jeff, but this is like asking the American College of Surgeons to sit down with a group of chiropractors to explore ways to work together. Even more unlikely given that the guild in question is not made up of board-certified, heavily-regulated professionals with 11+ years of intensive scientific training behind them. keller et al will never agree to consort with the amateurs: they know that their pretense to superior writing skill, expertise and objectivity is unlikely to withstand such a confrontation, which will be disclosed in agonizing detail by the bloggers. Sic semper Jordanis.
    Here’s a more useful analogy: Microsoft v Open Source. If the practitioners of open-source citizens’ journalism want to get the attention of the Gates/Ballmers of the journalism world, they’ll have to hit them in the pocketbook.
    Abramson may chat with you from time to time, but Keller et al will take blogs and bloggers seriously when blogs can be shown to be taking away more than 15% of the NYT’s market share– ie, threatening Keller’s status and income.
    And this will happen only when blogs can demonstrate superior value to a large segment of the Times’ largely liberal readership, and this won’t happen until blogs show themselves capable of sourcing and developing their own news stories. We’re a helluva log way from that. The technology platform’s yet to be created for it, and the static page + link format doesn’t cut it, either.

  • Hovig

    Jeff – Not necessarily fair to say the part about “call center manager” was designed to discredit Ed Morrissey.
    The MSM (nytimes, NPR) very often explore the theme of “real people who rise above their station,” such as the suburban mom who invented the latest million-selling whizbang, and that sort of thing.
    They have a love-hate relationship with “real people.” When they like the story, “real people” are “authentic” beings who show the rest of the world the folly of their ways. When they dislike the story, “real people” are uninformed prejudiced masses who get things wrong. In this case, I take the “call center manager” as a neutral.

  • http://www.billingsnews.com David Crisp

    “I think they mean that to be read: ‘The bloggers didn’t do this; they can’t take credit for this head; that’s our job to behead the powerful … .'”
    Maybe that’s what they meant. Or maybe they meant that they talked to some people familiar with Mr. Jordan’s situation, and those people emphasized that his resignation should not be read solely as a function of the heat that CNN had been receiving on the Internet.
    Bloggers’ rule of MSM criticism: When multiple interpretations of a story are possible, always choose the one most damaging to the credibility of the reporter writing the story.

  • rabidfox

    Thibaud, I don’t think that taking over the job of the MSM is what bloggers are all about. We just want them to report in an accurate and balanced manner. So far the entire MSM response to the Eason Jordan affair is to ignor the ‘Jason Blair’ aspect for Mr. Jordan’s remarks and attack those who expect/demand higher standards from their news sources.

  • http://www.windsofchange.net/ Robin Burk

    Jeff,
    I’d be glad to represent Winds of Change at such a meeting. My nickle, please.
    Value? Unknown. But worth a try.

  • Andrew

    The Times and other MSM will spin the story as they want to regardless of whether the intent of the blogs is purely a search for the truth or partisan hacking. Instead of being overly worried about your portrayal in the MSM, do what you do and be honest about your points of view. Do not wory about the media as it exists today but the media you are helping to form.

  • http://ripnread.blogspot.com Charlie Quidnunc

    I recommend Dave Winer of Scripting News to moderate the conference. His BloggerCon is a model of participatory exchanges. And please be sure to Podcast it so we can all hear what was said. We can’t all attend in person. But we all need to learn how to work *with* the Times, not just snipe at them.
    Charlie Quidnunc

  • http://beldar.org Beldar

    I don’t know if the “call center manager” reference to Cap’n Ed was intended as a subtle put-down or not. But even if it was, I think it failed. I don’t know any specifics about Ed’s day job, but because I regularly read his blog, I know that he’s a helluva good (and prolific and energetic and ethical) blogger, which is reflected in his traffic; and bloggers are judged in the first instance by their blogging, not their day jobs, at least within the readership of the blogosphere.
    Now there are indeed bloggers who bring their day-job experience to bear in their blogging — I write a lot about law and trial lawyering, for instance, and think that added quite a bit to what I had to say during Rathergate and the SwiftVets debates (both of which involved evidence, documents, and witness credibility).
    To the extent that Ed’s job title may bear (or was intended by the NYT writers to bear) on his credibility as a blogger, to me the term “call center manager” suggests that he deals with upset or distressed members of the public regularly, that his business centers around receiving and distributing information in a hurry, and that he’s good enough at it to be supervising others. Using a bit of my own day-job knowledge, I’ll tell you that twelve random jurors are going to believe that those credentials add to his credibility, whereas they wouldn’t give a rat’s patoot if he had a PhD in Journalism from Columbia or ever had a byline on page one of the NYT.
    But of course, you wouldn’t find twelve, or one, NYT reporter or editor in your average jury panel.

  • http://www.keithdannemiller.com Keith Dannemiller

    Jeff:
    If you so much as get a response from Bill Keller or anyone at the Times concerning your proposed get-together, I will be in shock and awe. The cavalier attitude of the NYT vis-a-vis just about everything having to do with the ‘hoi polloi’ will, unfortunately, out once again, leaving your good intentions on Condescension Street without a ride.
    Keith Dannemiller

  • KeystonePete

    “Then let’s explore our common interests — quite simply, informing the public, acting as the people’s watch on authority, getting to the truth, and creating a better-informed democracy.”
    While those ‘interests’ of the NYT may be in common with buzzmachine’s, they are not the NYT’s primary interest. Their primary interest is to sell their newspaper. If they can “watch authority” and “create a better-informed democracy’ at the same time, that’s just bonus.
    I say this as a daily reader, and a liberal Democrat.
    If The Times Editorial Page were to begin to look like that of the Wall Street Journal, I’d seriously consider cancelling my subscription and searching for a more balanced source of opinion. The NYT knows where its bread is buttered. If the paper were in Cincinnati, there would be four or five condescending David Brooks’s for every level-headed, experienced, knowledgable Paul Krugman, and it would sell handsomely to the conservative media consumers in southern Ohio and northern Kentucky.
    That being said, the NYT is under a lot of pressure from conservative bashers in the MSM and now, it appears, in the blogosphere, to not appear to be “liberally biased.” This deference to the Republican spin/attack machine has hindered its pursuit of ‘truth’.
    While Citizens Media such as this blog may serve as a watchdog for media bias, neglect or inaccuracy, it still appears to me like an internet version of Crossfire, with the Left spinning things their way and the right doing the same.
    Personally, I tend towards the blogs of the left, because I agree with them. I will read the blogs of the right too, but they tend to reinforce my disagreement rather than change my mind.
    Is Citizens Media just a more convenient avenue for ‘media bias’?

  • Ed Roman

    heh. Another attempt by Jarvis at career advancement. Bravo, Jeff-o! What makes you think a) bloggers need you to lead them and b) you’re qualified to lead them?

  • thibaud

    rabidfox,
    I don’t think that taking over the job of the MSM is what bloggers are all about. We just want them to report in an accurate and balanced manner
    Agree that bloggers don’t intend to put the MSM out of business or even compete with the MSM. No one expects Microsoft to go under as a result of the Linux challenge. But one of the unintended consequences of the blogger challenge is that, as we saw with the tsunami videoblogging episode, technology tools and platforms will be created that will enable stories sourced, developed, and eventually sold by citizens on the scene and/or with superior expertise and knowledge to that of MSM Guys Who Write Stuff, aka journalists.
    In the early days Microsoft didn’t take Linux seriously, either.

  • http://www.noobisimo.blogspot.com La_r0chefoucauld

    Enter the “Blogosphere” (aka Smogosphere; my coinage). If you have ever visited a BBS you know exactly what the smogosphere is. There are no rational, enlightening discussions going on (but the vast majority of participants in both the BBS community and Smogosphere believe there is); just like on the BBS, the Smogosphere is just one side repeating the same arguments, not listening to what the other side says (but claiming to of course), flaming opponents, and carrying out witch hunts or crusades against members of the community it disagrees with. The fight of left versus right has simply carried over into a new medium. Each side has its paragons. The Left in the MSM has CNN/CBS; has papers such as the NYTimes, WaPo, and LATimes; in the smogosphere, the Left has dailykos and wonkette. The Right has FOX News in the MSM and has Instapundit and Hugh Hewitt in the smogosphere.
    So in addition to a tendentious media seeking to entertain not educate, and to support existing views rather than educate and expand views, you have the smogosphere where any unqualified person can rattle off their uninformed *opinions*.
    The “Mainstream Media” is already full of “experts” just foaming at the mouth to get on and vomit their opinon all over the air. Even worse is when you get 4 “experts” together and it turns into a shouting match. You can’t hear any of them, can’t understand what they are saying, and its not an edifying experience. Now, enter the “blogosphere” and you jump from 4 talking heads to 4 million even less qualified Nimrods babling back and forth across the Internet, or the 10th Circle of Hell that Dante neglected to write about.
    The “truth” of the matter is that 99% of bloggers are nebbishes driving Ford Taurus’ who take themselves too seriously. The ones that do get something (book deal, column in a paper) from this calamity of “free speech” are just going to be absorbed into whatever side (liberal or conservative) they were being a mouthpiece for in the first place.
    Truth? *You* the MEDIA (read, MSM and Blog) are supposed to inform me of the *TRUTH*? I thought thats what Plato, Descartes, Aristotle, Nietzsche, Hegel, Heidegger, Hume, Spinoza and all the other philosophers were supposed to be doing. After all, they dedicated their _lives_ to it.
    Worthless n00bs.

  • iceman

    http://slate.msn.com/id/2113208/
    slate has the danny pearl widow angle and kurtz self censorship
    interesting
    this will become part of the story and i believe it is relevant
    snip——–
    First, kill all the telling details! WaPo and CNN’s Howard Kurtz emails to explain why he revised his Saturday Eason Jordan piece to cut out the juiciest, most suggestive detail of the “gossip about Jordan’s personal life.” (See before and after.)
    For the Record
    I compressed that paragraph about Eason Jordan’s social life, without a word o advice from anyone, for one reason. I was trying to squeeze in several interviews I had done after the first edition into my story for later editions, and given dead-tree space limitations, was literally going line by line to save room. The first-edition story was published, but I thought it important to include more voices from the blogosphere for later editions.
    a) He didn’t bury the lede. He removed the lede entirely due to “space limitations”! b) I take Kurtz at his word. But nobody can speak for their subconscious (otherwise it wouldn’t be subconscious). That’s why there are normally prophylactic rules against massive conflicts of interest. Maybe kausfiles could launch a lucrative spinoff, kurtzfiles, devoted entirely to WaPo’s media critic explaining to his readers the non-corrupt reasoning behind his seemingly pro-CNN reporting decisions. [You’re already there–ed Soft launch! Next issue, “A Salute to Jonathan Klein!” Tribute ads accepted.] c) You don’t have to get actual ‘words of advice’ from someone to be influenced by them–to worry about how they will react. d) We don’t kill widows around here: “Going line by line to save room.” I used to do that! As Kurtz notes, it’s a print thing. You don’t have to do it in cyberspace. There’s plenty of room. Which raises an issue: If Kurtz is cutting highly relevant information in order to squeeze his piece into the printed, hand-delivered version of the Post, why not at least publish the complete version on the Web? Doesn’t the failure to take advantage of the Web’s extra space put dead tree papers in the normally-futile position of actually suppressing a superior competitor (the full Web versions of what reporters produce)?
    Update: I disagree with Instapundit, who decorously argues:
    targeting parts of people’s lives that don’t have to do with the story — like, say, Eason Jordan’s love life — seems inappropriate to me, and likely to lend support to the bloggers-as-lynch-mob caricature.
    The problem is a) Eason Jordan’s love life did have to do with the story. According to even the self-bowdlerized Kurtz it’s why he lost his job–i.e. why he wasn’t allowed to apologize profusely for his Davos remarks and carry on, which as Instapundit notes is otherwise a mystery; b) Jordan got into trouble, according to David Gergen, because he was “deeply distraught” over the deaths of journalists in Iraq. Why would his emotions get the better of his rationality? Mightn’t it help answer the question if he’s been involved with the widow of a journalist who’s been killed covering the Middle East? … I defend gossiping about people’s love lives even when it’s not obviously relevant to a particular story. That’s a tougher case to make–Instapundit’s right about the human cost of losing a private “backstage.” But it’s not this case. … 12:26 P.M.
    snip——–

  • http://blogs.rny.com/sbw/ sbw

    La_r0chefoucauld: Worthless n00bs.
    Ah. So much for trying to make a better world… ;-)

  • DensityDuck

    iceman: Thanks for the crosspost. This is…intriguing information. CNN can get all kinds of mileage out of this. Do they keep Jordan’s Affairs under the table and play this as “internet herd of Comic-Book Store Guys hounds dedicated reporter out of service”? Or do they torpedo conservative bloggers by saying “we shifted him because he was getting next to Pearl’s widow and it was affecting his judgement…Davos? Who said anything about Davos? Stop making things up, blog-boy.”

  • http://bushout.blogspot.com gandhi

    How much are YOU being paid Jeff? Is Direct Marketing sending you a cheque? Or are you being paid through some taxpayer-funded govt department like Williams and Gallagher?
    You are STILL criticizing Sarah Boxer’s article about the bloggers at Iraq The Model, even though NOBODY has provided any answers to the very real questions about their authenticity.
    The latest oddity is that Omar Fadhil appears to blogging from Berlin, where he runs a radio show under a pseudonym. And nobody has been able to prove that the brothers’ “Iraqi Pro-Democracy Party” even exists. US donors sent over $24,ooo to the Fadhil brothers: looks like a scam, or the money was diverted to covert PsyOps.
    Dont criticize the NYT if you are not even doing your own homework.

  • Steve P

    What should the Times have reported in the first place? All they had to go on was hearsay.

  • http://runscared.blogspot.com/ Jazz

    I’ve got a far, far too long write-up of why these denials of “trophy hunting” are bogus posted already, and it’s too long to go into here. However, I will say that this particular comments section, with a few exceptions, is one of the more polite, well thought out, balanced two sided discussions of the issues I’ve seen. I was watching Jeff on CNN this weekend (ok.. it may have been MSNBC.. I flip around a bit on Sundays) and I think he’s off the beam on this one. There was definitely a bloodthirsty baying of the hounds after Eason on this, with very little basis for it. The Gannon case was similar, but let’s face it… he was a much smaller fish committing a much smaller “crime’ in a much smaller pond.

  • kl

    Who were the baying hounds? Links, please. (Not that I’m saying you’re making it up; I just haven’t read them.)
    As for Gannon being a smaller deal, you should tell that to Kos, Atrios, et al. They seem to think it’s a scandal of Woodwardian proportions.

  • STeve

    I’m not quite sure I understand Jeff’s problem with the Times’ description of Edward Morrissey as “a call center manager who lives near Minneapolis.”
    For starters, the article is subtitled “A Resignation at CNN Shows Growing Influence.” I don’t think that’s a subtle slap, but rather an understated compliment.
    And what is wrong with identifying someone by their primary occupation? Isn’t Jeff also identified by his occupation? If Morrisey made his living off of his blog, perhaps he’d get a different description, but until he does, he’ll be described as a “call center manager.”
    Isn’t it precisely because Morissey is not a “real journalist” that this story warrants attention? If Anderson Cooper reports a story but Brian Williams finds a mistake in Cooper’s story, that’s not really news. That’s the way journalism has worked for decades.
    Therefore, I see Morissey’s description by the Times as empowering. A call center manager from a city not normally considered a major outpost of media or political power is able to write about a story in the news and get attention from the people who filter the news in traditional outlets.
    Jeff’s reaction seems very defensive and hardly considers the many factors that would lead to any resignation whether. Yes, the Dan Rather screw-up was broken by bloggers, but they still needed traditional media (TV talking heads, local politicians ranting about the liberal media on radio shows) to have their story picked up.

  • http://www.blogads.com henry

    Haven’t had time to skim the thread, so will just add: anyone notice that the Times has now changed the headline to the significantly less journalistically self-centered & paranoid-sounding “Resignation at CNN Shows the Growing Influence of Blogs.” I noticed this at around 3.30 EST.

  • J. Peden

    David Crisp’s rule on thinking: since you can never get into the hearts of people, which have the “only story”, and because the tape is not “the story” either, do it anyway. [You can’t just do nothing.]
    So get into the hearts of people, always then not forgetting to make the same mistake just highlighted and explained explicitly on tape by those very same people whose hearts you are now attempting to get into.
    The mistake is to assume that Jeff Jarvis’s [and other bloggers’] main concern is who “gets credit” for making heads roll, or in doing things aimed only at making heads roll, thus showing how “powerful” they are by frothing lynch mobbing or McCarthying as a tactic to get rid of “enemies” in a totally, but obscure, mechanistic way.
    I can only conclude that David Crisp simply can’t read. Or if he can, then perhaps he can point to where Jeff Jarvis says he wants to take credit for heads rolling, or that it is really not CNN honchos who did the actual rolling for whatever their reasons. The Honchos actually did it.
    Their reasons are still a story, as is the failure to produce the tape of what Jordan said, as Jeff claims in contrast.
    Maybe what really happens, as best we can find out, is important?
    Crisp: “[Given my logic] the only story is what’s in Jordan’s heart, not what’s on the tape. And my reporter’s eye can’t see what’s in his heart.” [Crisp after having just attempted himself to read Jordan’s heart-mind.]
    I’ll stick with tapes and the info and insight given by bloggers. Control is not the issue unless it comes down to an attempt on the part of whomever to control thought as the only real function of thought [the ends are the means], in contrast to the function of free thought in producing insight and understanding.

  • Hovig

    Another point, if I may.
    The NYT is also playing a very subtle game here, with the subhead:
    BYLINE: KATHERINE Q. SEELYE
    SUBHEAD: While the bloggers are feeling empowered, some in their ranks are openly questioning where they are headed.
    Take note of the subhead. The NY Times cannot believe that there is any such thing as a non-conspiratorial movement. They do not understand the complexity of freedom of speech.
    Every movement which has meaning, in the mind of a journalist, must be directed. There must always been an impelling force. This is why journalists think in terms of ideology, because ideology demands that mankind subject itself to a simplistic arc of narrative — or that history be painted in such arcs.
    Thus, “bloggers,” as a movement of “others,” must be painted in a single sweeping arc, with attention paid to “their ranks,” and the direction “they are headed,” as if one blogger is like another.
    Journalists love this because it makes the story easier. If bloggers are all the same, we can write about them in one large sweeping arc, with drama and a sense of completeness. If they’re not — and of course everyone who reads this blog knows no two bloggers are alike — then the story gets harder to conceive, to write, to express, and to understand.
    Journalism is a simplistic endeavor. Ideology is a simplistic worldview. This is the reason the two sleep together.

  • Jon Burrows

    Gosh, Ed Morrissey is a call center manager and John Edwards is an ambulance chaser.
    Wait, Wait, Think about it.
    What is credibility?
    What does your job have to do with you views?
    Seems like a MSM slur on call center mangers!

  • Wilson Kolb

    A meeting between bloggers and the New York Times? For what purpose? For starters, no one can speak for the blogs. They speak for themselves. Secondly, there is only one issue, and that’s the major media’s having simply abandoned the practice of journalism. Bloggers who meet behind closed doors with major media figures are fools. The only way to deal with the major media is to out-scoop them and then rub it in their face.
    The major media are losing the attention of opinion leaders because they have forgotten why they had it in the first place, i.e., the practice of independent journalism. Competition will force the major media either to become competitive or die.
    To me, the big risk to watch out for is the censorship of the Internet, with the active cooperation of the major media, on trumped-up “national security” grounds. Scoop them often enough and those people are going to get mighty scared.

  • John

    Jeff, if nothing else, this little incident allows you to claim the honor of being the first blogger to have the words in one of his posts get Dowdified by the New York Times, even if Maureen herself didn’t do this one and the telltale “…” line wasn’t included in the middle of your quotation.

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    Oooh ouch, Jeff, the WSJ called us amateurs. Wow, that sure makes everyone who didn’t simply accept statements about our soldiers deliberately killing off journalists feel inadequate.

  • http://runscared.blogspot.com/ Jazz

    Blogging and self importance. That’s what I was trying to say. Steve (above) has it right. What is Jarvis’ issue with the Times identifying Ed as a call center manager? That’s what he does. They identified Jeff as more than “just a blogger” didn’t they? Yes! Becasue he is. Jeff is a journalist, and also a blogger. Capt. Ed is a blogger. Since when does the press (of any sort, new or old) provide quotes without giving specifics of the source of the quote so the reader can judge accordingly? It sounds to me as if Jarvis is upset that the Times didn’t treat Capt. Ed’s postings on his blog on the same level as they would treat something Jeff wrote or something out of a White House press conference. And why would they?
    Those of us who blog as true members of the pajama mujahadeen (and are not accredited, actual journalists for our present or former day jobs) shouldn’t in any way be immediately given the same level of credibility as something you read in the Times or the WSJ or the Economist.

  • http://www.billingsnews.com David Crisp

    J. Peden:
    Well, one of us certainly has trouble reading. I can’t see that I accused Jeff of anything, except making an unsupported presumption that the New York Times manipulated its interviews to produce pre-drawn conclusions.
    As for my comments on Eason Jordan’s heart, listen carefully: When a source says something that doesn’t sound right to me, and I challenge him on it, and he says, “No, that’s not what I meant,” then I’m inclined to believe him. Maybe he’s lying. Maybe what he said in the first place is what he really thinks. But that is very difficult to know and almost impossible to prove, even when his previous statements might make me skeptical. Got it?

  • http://JustOneMinute.typepad.com Tom Maguire

    Oops: the quote from Toffler should read (obviously, I hope): “A new civilization is emerginng in our lives and blind men everywhere are trying to suppress it …”. I need an editor.
    Yeah, I wondered why you were so harsh on blond men.

  • Eileen

    According to Wilson Kolb, “Scoop them often enough and those people are going to get mighty scared.” They already are. Why else characterize conservative bloggers as a lynch mob, or use the (initial) title “Bloggers as News Media Trophy Hunters”?
    NYT: “At the same time, some in the traditional media are growing alarmed as they watch careers being destroyed by what they see as the growing power of rampant, unedited dialogue.” [Oh valient defenders of 1st amendment freedoms!] Two large points of fear are revealed here: 1.) large numbers of the public are now collectively wielding power in a way MSM has no power to control, and 2.) bloggers’ And commenters’ words are not subject to MSM’s editing control. In sum, they’re scared shitless about losing control to spin and create the news Their way, every day.
    NYT: “The only way for the network to really clear up the controversy, he (Captain’s Quarter)and others said, would have been to push for the release of the videotape of Mr. Jordan’s remarks.”
    Note the choice of verb tense.
    Aside from never mentioning three Senators’ call for the tape’s release, the authors never do either. This is but Another subtle attempt to minimize the story’s importance. Instead, they are content to quote all of Jordan’s backpedalling statements, and suggest the matter is resolved since calling for the tape’s release ‘would have been’ the ‘only way to clear up the controversy’.
    NYT: “Ms. Robinson of CNN said that the network had no transcript of the session or a videotape because the conference organizers said that they considered the session off the record. [illogical non sequitur] She said that the content of Mr. Jordan’s remarks was not in dispute, but that assertion has not satisfied those critics on the Internet who contend Mr. Jordan and CNN have something to hide.” Amen to that one. And in reality, of course, the content of his remarks remains very significantly in dispute. It’s a classic MSM ‘assert the opposite of the truth and hope it sticks’ routine.
    The authors who ‘crafted’ the story also handily failed to mention Jordan’s status within the WEF itself, any analysis of why his reported remarks are damaging to the U.S. military And our efforts in Iraq And our global reputation, CNN’s long and close ties with Al Jazeera, or Jordan’s other statements of ‘fact’ on record regarding our military targeting and torturing journalists. Instead, they quote claims that his unsubstantiated accusation of targeting may in fact be true.
    It took three NYT authors and a few editors to attempt to shoot the messengers on this one, and also to sweep bloggers And the story into oblivion under another MSM-woven rug. When all the subtleties are examined, the result is a(nother) blatent attempt to tar, feather, destroy and move on. Clearly there is no interest in determining Facts, or arriving at the Truth.
    It’s time to pick up MSM’s rug, shake it vigorously outside to dispose of the dirt, and air what’s underneath it in the light of day.
    Release the tape.

  • Kari

    When did blogs become the “citizens media”? How sanctimonious can you get?
    And another thing –
    Instead of really looking at the role of bloggers in the Jordan matter, you take it as just another opportunity to bash the Times.
    Let the Times figure out what the Times did right or wrong. And let us – as bloggers – try and figure out what we did right or wrong. A man resigned after coming under fire for his comments. We bear some responsibility and we should be looking at how our actions might be affecting free speech in this country. Shouldn’t we be trying to build a community where anyone can speak out? Instead we seem to be building a community where people are silenced if they dare have an opinion that isn’t in the “mainstream.”
    Meanwhile it’s just more ranting about the MSM.

  • http://www.dinocrat.com jack risko

    for more slicing and dicing of the WSJ editorial, you might enjoy this. Thanks, Jack
    http://www.dinocrat.com/archives/2005/02/14/problems-great-and-small-with-the-wall-street-journals-easongate-editorial/

  • http://www.dinocrat.com jack risko

    for more slicing and dicing of the WSJ editorial, you might enjoy this. Thanks, Jack
    http://www.dinocrat.com/archives/2005/02/14/problems-great-and-small-with-the-wall-street-journals-easongate-editorial/

  • J. Peden

    David Crisp:
    Yes, David, I got it. I have already said it twice and am not going to repeat again your own words back to you.
    But one other desparate example: Does your reporter’s eye give you the ability to make rules which apply to all bloggers a priori?
    You are in thought chaos land, which I am not going to ask you if you “get” because you simply can’t. I should say “qed”, but what’s the point?

  • thibaud

    Bill Keller is a good guy– conscientious, clever, a superb journalist and a good editor– but he doesn’t realize that it is the news story format itself that is the dinosaur. Katharine Seelye’s botch job of l’Affaire Jordan showed all of the defects of the legacy media’s reporting:
    –behind the curve (why didn’t this appear last week?)
    –omitting crucial context, such as any mention of Barney Frank’s outraged reaction or the fact that the remarks were made to a European and arab audience that would welcome slams against the US military
    –lacking in real understanding of the subject, which wasn’t blogs per se but the strange new world of global news organizations and globalized access via the web to many thousands of alternate sources of news and info
    Seelye’s errors, strangely, recall the errors made by the NY Times’ own campaign reporter Ford Fessenden in Sept 2004, when he utterly failed to grasp that Rove and Co had completely out-organized, out-registered and out-maneuvered the Democrats. Again, in their pre-election coverage of registration trends, we see the NY Times journalists as:
    –behind the curve: Rove had been organizing brilliantly and feverishly for four years. Why no mention before 2004?
    –omitting crucial context: The Dems were organizing only in their pre-existing urban strongholds rather than in the high-growth ex-urbs a la Rove;
    –lacking in real understanding of the subject: the Times reporter mangled and botched his analysis of the registration data.
    Link: http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?050214fa_fact1

  • Kat

    I’m all for free speech, but not the freedom to spout lies against US troops. That’s not free speech, that’s crap. The only one responsible for his getting fired is Mr. Jordan–for spouting lies that made some international press his buddies and the Arab reporters to cheer and call him a hero. I call him a coward for not releasing his tape of ‘free speech’.
    And blogs are citizens’ media, unless bloggers are not citizens. NYT, on the other hand, is mainly leftist media, and bloggers have the right to criticize NYT…. the time when that wasn’t possible and they could feed us what they wanted, is past. NYT is not above criticism. The old gray lady has flaws.

  • http://civilities.net/ Jon Garfunkel

    Cripes, if the Times just ran easongate.com and buzzmachine.com verbatim, readers mights have missed that “at least nine died as a result of American fire”– which was the heart of the issue. (Zed Pobre’s estimate, which was referenced once on EasonGate, was, well, twelve). Context: that’s what the newspaper does.

  • thibaud

    Garfunkel – OF COURSE. This is a huge story. The US military either is or is not targeting journalists. Jordan seems to believe– well, who knows what he really believes? And the Times is not investigating this story or related stories, such as Jordan’s attempt to curry favor with an arab and european audience through a slanderous off-the-cuff remark at an international forum.
    More info, more discussion, more sunlight, please.

  • Bostonian

    The most infuriating part of the NYT piece was this:
    “Through the latest uproar, the substance of Mr. Jordan’s initial assertion about the military targeting journalists was largely lost.”
    This misses the point so ENTIRELY as to be brain-dead. The precise reason for the uproar was LACK OF SUBSTANCE.
    What do these people use for brains?
    Why did I ever read the Times?

  • http://bushout.blogspot.com gandhi

    SQUAWK!!! There’s a crisis in the Middle East!!! SQUAWK!!! WMDs!!! SQUAWK!!!
    There’s a crisis in Social Security!! SQUAWK!!! Going broke!!! SQUAWK!!!
    There’s a crisis in the mainstream media!!! SQUAWK!!! Not right-wing enough!!! SQUAWK!!!

  • Kat

    Gandhi has turned into a frigging chicken with his head cut off, or a damned lunatic.

  • DensityDuck

    quack!

  • kl

    “Shouldn’t we be trying to build a community where anyone can speak out?”
    That’s what we have now. (Which is precisely why the NY Times, CNN, etc. are freaking out.) It’s also a community where, when you do speak out, you’re expected to back up your claims with evidence or else your credibility will suffer. Nobody held a gun to this guy’s head and forced him to resign. At any point in this PR fiasco, he could have given a single straight answer about what he A) said and B) meant, and there’s still a videotape somewhere that would clean this whole thing up. If that’s in fact what CNN wants. Apparently not.

  • Wilson Kolb

    The Eason Jordan story was trivial. It just didn’t matter and it still doesn’t. But the fake reporter in the White House story is a big one. The reason we know it’s a big one is that the main news media are scattering like cockroaches, as are the Democrats and those bloggers like Jeff Jarvis who crave “respectability.”
    Look, folks, the White House gave special treatment to a prostitute in order to set him up as a fake journalist. Then they used him as part of a campaign to reveal the identity of a CIA agent. Jeff doesn’t think that’s a story because the hooker happens to have been a gay hooker.
    With bloggers like Jeff, who needs blogs?

  • Kat

    The minute leftist blogs started digging for filth, I lost interest in the Gannon story. It may have merit, but if I have to slum in some sewer
    along with Atrios and Kos, I ain’t interested. If the story has no merit without the prostitutes and porn, then it isn’t worth telling.

  • kl

    “The Eason Jordan story was trivial. It just didn’t matter and it still doesn’t.”
    If only you’d told him that before he jumped ship! Man, he must be kicking himself now.

  • http://bushout.blogspot.com gandhi

    Jeff,
    Given your hysterical attacks on the NYT, maybe you and your warblogging buddies should stick to papers like the Washington Times.

  • Wilson Kolb

    “The minute leftist blogs started digging for filth, I lost interest in the Gannon story. It may have merit, but if I have to slum in some sewer
    along with Atrios and Kos, I ain’t interested. If the story has no merit without the prostitutes and porn, then it isn’t worth telling.”
    ———-
    Hmm. Let’s imagine that Clinton were in office, and say, sometime during the Kosovo situation it had come to light that a male hooker had been regularly admitted to the press office in a manner to evade the normal certification procedures.
    Then let’s further imagine that the hooker was working for a Democratic partisan group financed by people in Arkansas with long-standing ties to Clinton’s prior campaigns. And let’s further imagine that the hooker, while posing as a reporter, had been involved in the calculated smear of the spouse of one of Clinton’s harshest criticis, and that the smear had involved blowing the cover of a CIA agent.
    And then let’s further imagine that the hooker specialized in the wearing of military uniforms.
    Now tell me that Fox News and CNN and every other network and newspaper wouldn’t have been all over this story. And somehow Kat, I doubt you’d be outraged at the filth, and I doubt Jeff Jarvis would be cluck-clucking over the mean-spiritedness of it all.

  • Kat

    If I were back to the Kosovo years I’d wonder why thousands of orthodox Serb civilians were aerial bombed week after week in train staions,a bridge at the little market town of Varvarin, the Chinese embassy in Belgrad, and a television station. And I’d ask where the MSM was when NATO bombs destroyed the National Museum of Belgrade and much of its treasured art. But they sure howled when Iraqis looted their own museum. I think there were a lot of media prostitutes and they looked the other way when Clinton helped facilitate the transfer of weapons from the Iranian Muslims to the Bosnian Muslims…while a weapons embargo was in effect. I’m afraid there were more than one male hooker selling us a bill of rotten goods working for a Democratic partisan group.

  • http://poliwog.blogspot.com Kari

    “Shouldn’t we be trying to build a community where anyone can speak out?”
    “That’s what we have now. It’s also a community where, when you do speak out, you’re expected to back up your claims with evidence or else your credibility will suffer.”
    Mr Jordan not only backed away from his Davos statement as soon as he made it, he later tried to clarify, both to no avail.
    This is not simply about defending Mr Jordan, so let me say this. We in the blogosphere like to think we hold everyone’s feet to the fire – put up or shut up – but IMHO that’s a myth. I can’t count the number of well known bloggers who say things all the time which are quite loathsome and quite untrue. And yet people just roll their eyes and say “They don’t have any credibility anyway.” And yet I turn on the television and there they are. Is that not truly the most important form of credibility in our culture?
    “Nobody held a gun to this guy’s head and forced him to resign. At any point in this PR fiasco, he could have given a single straight answer about what he A) said and B) meant, and there’s still a videotape somewhere that would clean this whole thing up. If that’s in fact what CNN wants. Apparently not.”
    Excuse me? Jordan did try to clarify and expand on his statement. A group of bloggers who didn’t care for his rebuttal got carried away with their own bloodlust. Nothing short of resignation was going to put out the fire.
    We accuse the MSM of an institutional bias and a political bias – yet the same is true of bloggers. We have an institutional bias that tells us that blogs are better. They’re certainly handy for getting people fired. And they’re certainly handy to air our political viewpoints. And they’re great when it comes to preaching to the choir. How great they are at important factual information to a diverse group of people – that remains to be seen.
    What you seem to be saying is Jordan did not respond as you think he should have. He did not play by the rules established by the bloggers. Thus he deserves to be gutted and killed.
    I disagree.

  • http://poliwog.blogspot.com Kari

    “I’m all for free speech, but not the freedom to spout lies against US troops. That’s not free speech, that’s crap.”
    How can you say you are simultaneously for “free speech” as long as it has limits!?
    A lot of journalists have died in this war, while bloggers sat around and parsed their writing and experience. If Mr Jordan had a concern, as one of the head people at CNN, maybe we should be listening instead of reacting with immediate knee jerk nationalistic outrage.
    Many people in many places believe things we dont. Does that mean we should stop listening to what they have to say?

  • kl

    “Mr Jordan not only backed away from his Davos statement as soon as he made it, he later tried to clarify, both to no avail.”
    Assuming that’s true (his statements didn’t do much to clarify things, but anyway): why haven’t they released the tape? That would clear up the whole thing. The lynch mob would have to eat their words. Right?
    “Excuse me?”
    Gesuhndheit.
    “A group of bloggers who didn’t care for his rebuttal got carried away with their own bloodlust. Nothing short of resignation was going to put out the fire.”
    Wow, that’s very dramatic. Sounds like bloggers really have a lot of power.
    “What you seem to be saying is Jordan did not respond as you think he should have. He did not play by the rules established by the bloggers. Thus he deserves to be gutted and killed.”
    Boy, you really saw through my claim that I think he should have given a clear, unambiguous explanation and/or apology, and CNN should have released that tape. I mean, who’d settle for that when I could see him gutted and killed? You got me there, Gus Grissom.

  • kl

    Wait, it’s Gil Grissom, isn’t it. All I know is, he’s the greatest detective since Sherlock Jones.

  • http://lloydletta.blogspot.com Eva Young

    Regarding:
    And, yes, they quote me — from the blog; they did not phone or email me for specific comment — and they pick that quote carefully…..
    Do you always call people or email them when you take quotes from their blogs – or newspaper articles. In fact – did you call/write the NY Times before posting this story and quoting their story to check to see if you quoted them accurately?
    Pot….. Kettle….. Black.

  • LT

    kari kari kari
    my goodness…shallow shallow shallow. Please tell me that you do understand the difference between free speech, and slander, libel, defamation of character…You can have and express any OPINION that you want. You can also make claims against someone, or charges, as long as you have evidence of their truth, otherwise you can face charges in court. We have 2 seperate issues here. I love the United States, and free speech. You can disagree with policies and personalities all you want. However, I do not like “influential” people making blatantly false allegations against our government and our soldiers. As I’ve said a thousand time, they deserve better. And if, as you suggest, Mr. Jordan has such a concern, maybe he should be providing proof or evidence instead of stepping down…I mean, I would, wouldn’t you. If he had any evidence, don’t you think that by now, after he already stepped down, he would have brought that to the forefront. I’m not saying that he should/shouldn’t be fired. I’m only saying that people have to be held accountable. He could have corrected the entire situation. Why did he wait soooo long to issue the statement that he did at his resignation? If he would have said that from the get-go, others might have been correct in saying this was a non-story. It would have been done and over with. But he didn’t. Eason Jordan was the master of his own destiny here, and in this case, that was unfortunate.

  • http://lloydletta.blogspot.com Eva Young

    Kari has a reasonable point:
    When did blogs become the “citizens media”? How sanctimonious can you get?
    And another thing –
    Instead of really looking at the role of bloggers in the Jordan matter, you take it as just another opportunity to bash the Times.
    Let the Times figure out what the Times did right or wrong. And let us – as bloggers – try and figure out what we did right or wrong. A man resigned after coming under fire for his comments. We bear some responsibility and we should be looking at how our actions might be affecting free speech in this country. Shouldn’t we be trying to build a community where anyone can speak out? Instead we seem to be building a community where people are silenced if they dare have an opinion that isn’t in the “mainstream.”
    Meanwhile it’s just more ranting about the MSM.
    EY: Rebecca Blood has some very thoughtful posts on this one.

  • Eileen

    Please check out Captainsquartersblog.com and Easongate.com for a quoted response from WEF’s Mark Adams re the tape; also commenters who point out the WEF’s own web site (and other) actions which belie their ‘off the record’ position. Kudos to Commenter Reporters.
    Now if that tape somehow becomes ‘unavailable’ in response, say, to a Congressional subpena, both CNN And the WEF will have hell to pay.
    Let’s hope they choose to cooperate, air the laundry, shake out the rugs, and choose a higher road.
    Release the tape.

  • LT

    Eva
    Once again, free speech is not the same thing as slander, nor does it allow it.
    LT

  • Kari

    Wasnt the whole Davos talk off the record? That’s why there’s no transcript available?
    And whoever it was that presumed to lecture me about slander and libel…you need a refresher course on both.
    More tomorrow.

  • kl

    “Wasnt the whole Davos talk off the record?”
    That’s what they’re claiming, yes. So far, though, there’s been no explanation of how that makes a bit of sense.

  • LT

    Kari,
    please educate me then. If I’m wrong, I have not problem admitting it. However, I don’t believe that I am. If someone accuses another of an act that tarnishes their reputation, or defames their character, the defamed individual can file suit over that. False allegations are not protected speech. If there are any legal experts in the blog, I would like your opinion please.
    LT

  • Eileen

    Kari, if you’d read the links I just provided two comments above yours, you’d become ‘enlightened’ re Davos’ position as well as off the record claims and their validity. Add to all of the above the fact that the WEF had originally agreed to provide a copy of the tape to Sisyphean Musings, and suddenly reversed itself when blog heat began simmering under CNN. One minute available, the next minute ‘off the record’.

  • Kari

    LT
    fyi
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libel
    Free speech is not the same thing as slander. I’m not saying that. Not sure why you think I am. However, in order for speech to be slanderous or libelous, there must be a certain actions and intents.
    Was there harm done to someone? Was there malice? Was there reckless disregard for the facts? Was it erroneous? Was it Mr Jordan’s opinion? All of these factors come into play.

  • Kari

    Eileen
    Sorry I have not had time to run all over the right side of the blogosphere keeping up with breaking developments today.
    What I have read at journo sites seems to indicate that prior to the meltdown last week, those at the WEF forum thought their comments were off the record. That is why there was no transcript. The whole point was to have people talking freely.
    PS I really have to say a site called “Easongate” isn’t really going to inspire trust.
    Anyway, when I have time I will peruse your links though I think we are going to have a difference of opinion when it comes to the authority we give to certain blogs.

  • LT

    Eileen,
    I wonder if CNN had any influence over that decision to not release the tape. hmmm. My vote says, umm, yes. I wonder if the CNN legal team saw any potential issues with it. Maybe so if Jordan was speaking in any official capacity. Kinda be hard not to though, wouldn’t it, since he was an executive of the company. Of course, as Kari pointed out, I’m no attorney, and in obvious need of education.
    LT

  • Eileen

    Was the defamatory material stated as an opinion or as fact? Was it slander per se, which requires no proof of actual damages when impugning someone’s professional reputation? I wouldn’t rely on wikipedia on matters of law if I were you, Kari.. [LT, I am a J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, 1981.]
    We need to hear the tape, which the WEF is continuing to refuse to release. Please read the links!

  • Eileen

    P.S. Kari, It also might not be overly wise to rely solely on your left wing ‘journo sites’ for the gospel related to this story at this point in time, either.

  • Kari

    Did any of you read Jay Rosen’s thoughts on the subject today?
    He’s saying much the same as I, and doing so far more articulately.
    http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2005/02/14/jdn_ltr.html
    Rosen:
    But even if you don’t open the gates and communicate more, as prudence would recommend, you shouldn’t lose your job for whatever it was you and someone else said during a heated discussion about the media and the military in Davos. That is a bad and a troubling outcome for journalism, for CNN, for free speech, for Davos, for blogging, and for uncoerced thought. (And it’s an outcome still unexplained, reporters on the media beat.) I am with Bertrand Pecquerie of EditorsWeblog when he says: “Indeed the Eason Jordan case is much more than the question of a videotape! It’s about freedom of expression and the right to raise disturbing questions.”
    We need to stop and step back and think seriously about the genie that’s been unleashed, and what this might really mean to our country, online journalism, and more.

  • Kari

    Eileen
    Now you’ve determined my sources are “left wing”? Let us do each other the courtesy of assuming that just because one or the other posts a link to a certain blog does not mean either of us is a brainwashed blogbot. Can we do that?
    And I wasn’t relying on wikipedia for anything but a link.
    LT
    The sarcastic remarks arent necessary. You asked me to provide you with some background. I complied. I didn’t say you needed to get an education. I didn’t indicate you weren’t a smart person.
    Please let me reassure you on that count. I expected most everyone at this site to be coherent and articulate.
    What is it with the chips on people’s shoulders around here? Is everyone feeling so defensive that someone comes along and tries to offer a viewpoint different and immediately people feel the need to launch into attack mode with the sarcasm and the belittlements?

  • LT

    Kari
    I drew that conclusion after you response to
    “I’m all for free speech, but not the freedom to spout lies against US troops. That’s not free speech, that’s crap.”
    was
    “How can you say you are simultaneously for “free speech” as long as it has limits!?”
    Free speech does have limits. I used the examples of slander and such to back up my point.
    And yes, I’m aware of all that has to be involved. In this case, I’m not particularly sure what his intent was. Apparantly, whatever was said was “out of the ordinary” enough for CNN to dismiss him. If that weren’t the case, I think we would have quickly seen the tape, and an explanation by Jordan of what he said. Funny how they won’t let anyone see the tape though.
    LT

  • kl

    Why are you telling us? We didn’t fire him. You should be writing a letter to CNN. Why did they make him pack up his desk just for raising disturbing questions? Without any evidence to back himself up… evidence which you’d think he could find, if there was any, considering he was in charge of one of the biggest news organizations in the world, but never mind that. Huh? FREE EASON JORDAN!!!

  • LT

    my apologies Kari.
    LT

  • Eileen

    Kari,
    I relied on your own statement: “Sorry I have not had time to run all over the right side of the blogosphere keeping up with breaking developments today.” You made it pretty clear what your own sources were in that statement.
    No one’s got a real chip that I can see. I just offered a few links which you ignored because you didn’t like the name(s).

  • kl

    “Is everyone feeling so defensive that someone comes along and tries to offer a viewpoint different and immediately people feel the need to launch into attack mode with the sarcasm and the belittlements?”
    Don’t whine. It’s beneath you.
    But to answer your question, maybe it’s because you jumped into the conversation with an accusation of sanctimony. Kind of set the tone, yes?

  • LT

    one last comment
    EJveryone is so up in arms over “what the bloggers did to Eason Jordan.” Please. The only thing done, byt the majority of us, was to ask for proof, retractment, and personal accountability. How many sites are there dedicated solely to the purpose of destroying the image of President Bush, and the credibility of the United States. I don’t hear anyone calling for them to stop. An example is Paul Lukasiak’s site. My goodness. Of course, not many people can take him seriously anyway. However, if anyone that has ever written in there, has anything negative to say about other bloggers wanting to hold Jordan accountable for his remarks, THAT would truly be “The pot calling the kettle black.”

  • Eileen

    LT said: “I wonder if CNN had any influence over that decision to not release the tape. hmmm. My vote says, umm, yes.” I’d have to ditto that one.
    LT, you are a true officer and gentleman. Be safe in Iraq.
    And Kari, I don’t think any of us are brainwashed blogbots (new term for me, but I kinda like it). Sleep well..
    Now if they’d just release that tape, we wouldn’t have to rely on witness accounts and MSM dissembling. I wish nothing but the truth and facts, please; Congressional hearings and a subpena, please.

  • none

    the blogs have become the “thought police.”
    Look at this comment from above:
    “I’m all for free speech, but not the freedom to spout lies against US troops. That’s not free speech, that’s crap.”
    the person making this comment was asleep at civics class, seems to have missed American history, from John Peter Zengler on up.
    Nowe look at peopel above saying: “free speech is not the same as slander.”
    Wrong, when it comes to criticing the government, and govenrment officials and entities, including the military it is.
    IIn the Soviet Union they had free speece as well, you just could not slander the govnermnt.
    In the US free speech is centered on the free ability to say anything about the govnerment, slander or not.
    I think Jeff needs a refersher course himself. Citizen media” lol, that is what we are calling brown shirts these days?

  • LT

    None,
    you need to read a little further up the ladder, and see some of the additional posts. I think you missed the one by Eileen, who has a law degree from Loyola. I think she’s qualified to comment on rights and laws.
    LT

  • Jack

    Jeff, enough with the shadow-boxing.
    Kit Seelye simply ID’d the blogger who writes Captains Quarter. It would have been an obvious ommission and a disservice to her readers otherwise.
    Blogs are powerful, important, yadda yadda. But enough with the shadow-boxing. Though I guess it helps to get you on TV.

  • sxwarren

    Thanks, Jeff!
    Although I don’t always agree with your political views, I completely agree with you about the NYT piece. The authors cite three distinctly different situations in which bloggers were involved and conveniently neglect to mention the fact that paid members of the MSM were crucially involved as well, thus making it seem as if bloggers alone were responsible – and universally with malice aforethought. The MSM also includes a large population of shrieking, salivating morons and lynch mobs who have access to powerful broadcast technologies and who operate with little or no editorial oversight. And yet the article singles out bloggers for their role. I wonder – if, say, NBC had done the digging and been first to point out the flaws in Rather’s “60 Minutes” piece, would they be under the same kind of fire now? And, nore to the point, how is it that they did NOT come up with that correction first?
    The point to me is that a lot of folks from all points on the political spectrum have been dissatisfied with the MSM for years – for not doing its job. They don’t really investigate much of anything anymore, so blogs scoop them regularly. Instead, the MSM has preferred to feature the sensational over the substantive, to entertain rather than inform. So, on the evening news we see Angelina Jolie and Sharon Stone at Davos instead of Bill Frist and George Soros. We get two minutes on elephants who can use toilets (and flush!) instead of on the challenge to the Presidental vote in Wisconsin. We get hour-long “news” specials on Michael Jackson instead of on Iran’s recent multi-billion-dollar LNG deal with China. BTW – 72% of those who voted in a recent CNN.com poll said they don’t give a crap about Michael Jackson’s trial, thus further confirming the existence of intelligent life online.
    Furthermore, the idea that there is no “editorial oversight” in blogs indicates a complete ignorance of the nature of the blogosphere. I know from personal experience that if I post something that’s factually inaccurate or incomplete and thereby reaches a biased conclusion, I will very shortly read dozens if not hundreds of “corrective” posts in response. The fact is that blogs actually have millions of editors.
    Anyway, thanks again. And keep up the good work!

  • Mike

    The blogs didn’t make anyone retire, that was Jordan’s decision. To me, that says a lot about his character (or lack thereof). Couple that decision with CNN’s refusal to seek the release of the tape to clarify Jordan’s remarks and you can only come to the conclusion that they have something to hide.
    This whole thing could have been cleared up with a release of the tape and clear, concise explanation of his comments. Maybe an apology to the US military would be necessary considering Jordan doesn’t have any evidence to back up his claims of deliberately targeting journalists.
    Eason Jordan is out of a job because of Eason Jordan. It’s time to accept responsibility for your actions. There was no assault on his free speech rights here, if there was, why isn’t he fighting instead of cowering away?

  • Houck

    Your criticism of NYT for focusing on Morrisey’s occupation is puzzling. Isn’t the point that he’s not a journalist and that the irony of the blogisphere is that a call center manager can have the power formerly reserved for MSM?

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Jim: In most features, sure. But I’ve often see The Times refer to bloggers without doing this. And, yes, my agenda-antenna were up given the tone of the story and the head.

  • Eric

    I really like reading what webloggers do for money, so it is TOTALLY reasonable for them to comment on their jobs from my entertainment perspective, because news IS entertainment after-all.

  • http://members.shaw.ca/jugrnt/ chipleader

    Interesting read…

  • Kari

    LT wrote: Free speech does have limits. I used the examples of slander and such to back up my point. In this case, I’m not particularly sure what his intent was. Apparantly, whatever was said was “out of the ordinary” enough for CNN to dismiss him. If that weren’t the case, I think we would have quickly seen the tape, and an explanation by Jordan of what he said. Funny how they won’t let anyone see the tape though.
    My reply: The reason I initially mentioned free speech was to point out the incongruity of the statement someone had written above:
    “I’m all for free speech, but not the freedom to spout lies against US troops. That’s not free speech, that’s crap.”
    One cannot simultaneously say they are “all for free speech” and in the next breath say they are not actually for free speech. Those ideas are in direct conflict.
    In reality, in the society we live in, I am fully aware that we have a limited form of free speech. I wasnt trying to lecture you on slander or libel, merely pointing out that those things are hard to prove in the best of cases and this is hardly the best of cases.
    I can’t speak to why WEF isn’t releasing the tape. Perhaps they don’t want to set a precedent. I just don’t know. I know people have a lot of assumptions and we should probably wait until the facts are in before we make up our minds either way.
    LT wrote:
    The only thing done, by the majority of us, was to ask for proof, retractment, and personal accountability.
    My reply: One of my points was that as a community, though we’d like to think otherwise, we don’t ask that from everyone equally.
    And my other point was, if this is Mr Jordan’s opinion, he has nothing to answer for. An opinion is just that – an opinion. Last time I checked the blogosphere was awash in unverifiable opinions. Proof is not necessarily required in order for someone to hold an opinion (would that it were). Of course an argument will carry more weight if there is proof, but the sheer absence of proof does not negate the argument.
    Eileen wrote: I relied on your own statement: “Sorry I have not had time to run all over the right side of the blogosphere keeping up with breaking developments today.” You made it pretty clear what your own sources were in that statement.
    My reply:
    I should apologize for the catty tone there. All I meant was that I don’t consider Captain Ed’s blog the last word on this matter nor did I have time yesterday to follow the unfolding ifs, ands or buts. Nevertheless, my reply does nothing to prove that everything I read comes from left-leaning blogs. It’s a mistake to think that.
    KL wrote:
    Don’t whine. It’s beneath you. But to answer your question, maybe it’s because you jumped into the conversation with an accusation of sanctimony. Kind of set the tone, yes?
    My reply:
    I didn’t accuse you of sanctimoniousness. My initial comment was directed to Mr Jarvis’ over the top description of blogs. Which I happen to think is flawed. As for whining…LOL.

  • Kari

    LT you wrote: My apologies.
    My reply:
    None necessary.
    I noticed someone saying you were headed for Iraq? If I didn’t misunderstand that – please accept my sincere wishes for a safe trip and happy return.

  • kl

    “I didn’t accuse you of sanctimoniousness.”
    I didn’t say you accused me of anything.
    “As for whining…LOL.”
    There, that’s better!

  • http://thepopulist.typepad.com The Populist

    I have a blog, (which no one reads), until today I thought blogs were pretty cool. Today is Febuary 16th, and until today I had never heard of Jeff Gannon. Not from the mainstream press, or even my mainstream internet news sources (MSNBC and Yahoo).
    Unbelievable.
    Unbelieveable that a gay hooker was planted in the White House by the bush administration, and unbelievable that this is not front page news. Your article about blogs and the mainstream press is excellent. I have been surfing weblogs all day on this story and I am more and more impressed by the writing and depth of editorial weblogs.
    Blogs arent cool anymore, they are quickly becoming a major source for news.

  • Wilson Kolb

    Populist, don’t be fooled by Jeff Jarvis’s posture as the advocate for the blogosphere. He has actually been urging the blogs NOT to keep digging on the gay hooker story. He says it’s irrelevant that the phony journalist was a gay hooker, and accuses the blogs who have kept at that story of being part of a lynch mob.
    The gay hooker story is starting to get some attention, although the mainstream media is still reluctant to run with it. I think it’s partly because they’re intimidated by the government and partly because they’re squeamish about this being a GAY hooker.
    If the fake journalist had been a call GIRL and not a call BOY, or if it had happened during any Democratic administration, the mainstream media would be all over it and so would Jeff. But a call BOY in a Republican White House, and the story is suddenly untouchable.

  • Blanknoone

    I appreciate your call for a meeting between blogs and the old media. But in addition, I think you should be asking for a correction from the NYT. They clearly took a quote of yours deliberately out of context and twisted its meaning into something that is almost polar opposite to its original meaning. All with a ‘snip’ The NYT has a mechanism to handle that. Give them the benefit of the doubt and ask them to fix it. And then you can slam them even harder when they don’t.

  • Wilson Kolb

    Blanknoone, Jeff has no interest in “slamming” the New York Times. He wants to become their annointed spokesman for the blogs, a status he’ll then leverage into multiple TV appearances in hopes of getting a paying position of some sort as being the voice of the blogs. Don’t look for Mr. Jarvis to be some sort of advocate for vigorous, unfearing, independent journalism via the Internet. He’s looking for a sinecure.

  • Klaus Voormann

    Why hasn’t Jeff even mentioned Keller’s lengthy reply?

  • Chap
  • Mark