The double negative

The double negative

: Armando at Daily Kos gets all bitchy at Jay Rosen for praising Dan Okrent. Dan’s sin, as near as I can tell, is that he dared to see the side of the critics of the liberal newspaper and criticize the paper too much — except as it refers to coverage of the runup to Iraq, in which he didn’t criticize the paper enough (note that he didn’t try; he didn’t deal with things that came before his time).

Kos is true to form and true to its own mission: It is an advocacy site that sees the world through it’s blue lenses. Rosen, on the other hand, is a media criticism site and he sees the world through his green eyeshade.

There’s also this little gem:

And Rosen has a lot to say about Jayson Blair. But this line was particularly stupid to me:
Ultimately Daniel Okrent will have had more influence on the New York Times than the notorious Jayson Blair.

I mean really. Jayson Blair was a third string reporter, how much influence did Jayson Blair have on the Times?

Well, Jayson Blair caused the firing of the two top editors at The New York Times and the hiring of aforementioned public editor and two major, profession-changing reports from The Times on improving the professionalism and trust of journalism. I won’t stoop to Armando’s level and call what he says “particularly stupid,” but I will call it clueless.

  • RipJB

    Funny how Jayson Blair was top news 24×7 but plagarists like Mitch Albom, Judith Miller, Doris Kay Goodwin, Mike Barnicle, Sam Smith who slept with a teenager, etc. etc. etc. are never ever talked about. Blair’s only crime was that he was of a darker shade then the others and the cable networks didn’t have any other story to cover that month.

  • JB et al

    Wasn’t Barnacle canned? Didn’t Bob Greene get fired? Didn’t Stephen Glass have some free time on his hands after his escapade?

  • Armando

    The definition of the word “influence” -
    http://www.selfknowledge.com/49080.htm.
    Explain to me how Blair had it. That the Right Wing howling over Blair caused the demise of Raines is NOT the same as saying Blair had influence.
    By contrast, Miller has influenced, in the true sense of the word and in deleterious ways, the entire body of Times coverage of Iraq.
    Perhaps you and Rosen are thinking of another word.

  • Skate

    I’m not sure your quotes back up your point, Jeff. If, as Rosen contends, “Daniel Okrent will have had more influence on the New York Times than the notorious Jayson Blair.Jason Blair” it is hard to fit that in with your point that Blair “caused the firing of the two top editors at The New York Times and the hiring of aforementioned public editor and two major, profession-changing reports from The Times on improving the professionalism and trust of journalism,” then it sounds like he had a *lot* more influence on the NYT than Okrent.
    I think your point, in this case, is an inconsistent one.

  • Dexter Westbrook

    Anybody remember who Janet Cooke was?
    Anybody remember who the Washington Post ombudsman was at the time?
    Unfortunately, Jayson Blair’s name will be remembered long after Okrent’s is forgotten.
    I’m afraid Jayson Blair has influenced the Times and journalism more than Okrent could ever have hoped.

  • Armando

    Dexter:
    You gotta be kidding me. At the least one could argue Jayson Blair’s actions were the kindling to the Right Wing explosion on Raines.
    But Janet Cooke affected nobody except Janet Cooke.
    But even that distinction does not make Blair influential. What influence (please check the definition at the link provided above) did Blair have?
    Think of it this way, the assassination of the Archduke of the Austro-Hungarian Empire sparked WWI. But his influence was zero.
    The word is simply misused by Jeff and by Rosen. As I understand their point now, I accept I was too harsh, but I really took them to mean influence, as they used the word, influence.

  • Armando

    The assassin’s influence I mean.

  • Dexter Westbrook

    Saying “Janet Cooke affected nobody but Janet Cooke” is, forgive me, as clueless as it gets.
    Janet Cooke, Jayson Blair, USAT’s Kelley and others have had a huge influence on the practice of journalism, and the trust — or lack thereof — that people have in journalists.
    Their names have become a collective slur used by anyone who doesn’t like a story in the press, no matter how well documented/sourced it is.
    Few of these people have heard of Dan Okrent, and fewer still have been influenced by anything he wrote, did or said.

  • Otis Wildflower

    “3 a : the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command b : corrupt interference with authority for personal gain”
    Hmm, smells like Blair to me… (Jayson, not Tony)
    http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=influence

  • Armando

    Dexter:
    Come on Janet Cooke? You know you have a weak point as you must throw in Kelly and Blair. I said Cooke. And you know Cooke influenced no one. I take that as you agreeing with me on Cooke.
    Otis:
    Er, and do you think it describes Okrent? you see the trap don’t you? Rosen and Jeff you the word influence for both Blair AND Okrent. Do you think they mean THAT definition? I don’t.
    I think Rosen and Jeff were doing better before you “helped” them.