They could call it Cooties Media

Well, Glenn Reynolds and David Corn agree: Open Source Media, whatever-it-is, needs fixing. Looks like they’re backing away like Murtha from the war.

  • Carson Fire

    Don’t understand the Murtha reference… he’s been against the war for a long time, despite MSM misreporting.

    Corn and Reynolds actually sound less pessimistic than you make them out to be. Corn is presenting a realistic evaluation; I don’t think a network of independents can just fall into place through careful planning like a tech company or a warehouse store. By contrast, you see Corn quoting the demented airbag Wolcott as comparing OSM to “Dr. Josef Mengele”. This is outlandish hyperbole, and betrays a leftist paranoia that any communication involving ideological opponents is by definition rank lies and propaganda — an attitude that is obnoxious and uniquely un-democratic.

    This seems to prove what Eileen said about much of the complaints being spurred by ideology. If some dope says that our troops are the enemy, no big deal! If those politicians screaming to pull out of Iraq can’t actually commit themselves to doing so in a real vote, why Republicans were just up to dirty tricks! But if a young blog network (or whatever they’re supposed to be) has some editorial “startup problems” (Corn’s more realistic evaluation), many (coincidentally left of center) bray as if they are witnessing the downfall of FoxNews II.

    More from Corn:

    I’m still waiting to see OSM straighten itself out. The debut was hardly that of a powerhouse site, and changes, I’m told, are in the works. I hope quickly in the works. The site needs more action, pizzazz, and raison d’etre.

    He’s got it exactly right. Those are the weaknesses of OSM that I saw as an uninvolved visitor, but they are not insurmountable for a young network, and it doesn’t sound like he believes they are.

  • Jeff Jarvis

    It’s the first open admission I’ve seen that it’s messed up.
    And Murtha’s just a punchline, man. Got a better one?

  • corvan


    OSM’s biggest asset at the moment is the lunacy of its enemies. I’m afraid that includes you at this point. You haven’t made even an attempt to be fair or balanced about this thing from the beginning. Frankly, I’m wondering why. Is it something personal? I notice you’ve tossed the F-bomb at Bill Quick, and you seem to have developed a hatred of Roger Simon. Is it something professional? You’ve been very reticent about answering questions reagrding your relationship with the NYT. What is it?

  • Carson Fire

    Heh, punchlines bomb sometimes.

    It failed because the setup (claiming that Reynolds and Corn are backing off) doesn’t seem to be what’s really happening, and the punchline (Murtha) is based on misinformation, journalists’ failure (once again) to do basic research instead of swallowing whole talking points that they want to believe.

    As for this being the “first open admission” — good grief, they just launched the day before yesterday, right? As corvan suggests, there does seem to be a hidden subtext to all this. Bloggers usually have some distance between themselves and their subjects, but OSM commentary makes me feel like I’m reading ugly notes being passed around in the classroom.

    Maybe this is why MSM reporters become so partisan. Such constant exposure to their subjects, and government and politics stop becoming distant things to report, and instead become personal things that must be defended or attacked.

  • Steven Den Beste

    Since when has anything in the blogosphere ever been “fair or balanced”?

  • tony

    Jeff already told you people that he was invited, thought about it and said no. Now he’s commenting on their failures the same way a lot of the blogosphere is. OSM has been in the Technorati Top 10 discussions for the last week. So if the blogosphere can talk about the trainwreck, why can’t Jeff?

    Furthermore, the first time Reynolds talks about it, all he says is the blogosphere’s right, OSM is broken and needs to be fixed. So are you saying that Reynolds is partisan because he’s critical of his own thing?

    What Reynolds has yet to do is explain the name controversy, apologize on behalf of the board that he chairs for lying and saying that open source media did not hand over to the Pajamas Media people, tell us what their new name will be since Open Source is both a lie and someone elses name, discuss why they allowed a big wig from to stay onboard but fired a xxx journalist and what the difference of the two men are, explain if their new york office is still a mailbox drop off, tell us who their advertisers are, and discuss why they chose Judy Miller as their keynote – and describe what his “debate” was with her.

    if a lawyer, let alone a law professor, would rather take the 5th on his new venture, one of the most talked-about and controversial organizations this year in the blogosphere, then the red flag is flying high: theres trouble in paradise, OSM is a trainwreck, prepare for more pictures to be taken around the UT campus – aka nothing to see here.

    instead of attacking Jeff for writing about what the rest of the blogosphere is writing about, why dont you think about what the Instapundit refuses to write about.

  • kcom

    “So if the blogosphere can talk about the trainwreck, why can’t Jeff?”

    In the words of the Gipper, “There you go again.”

    Show one credible quote where someone claims that Jeff is not allowed to talk about OSM. Just one.

    You are making a mistake that seems rampant in political discourse at the moment. Someone criticizes a specific point that someone else has made and the response to that criticism is to claim that the person doing the criticism is saying the person has no right to say anything. That’s just hogwash.

    Criticism of someone’s take on an issue is not the same as a claim that they should shut up. The sooner this little rhetorical device is dead and buried the better off we’ll all be.

  • tony


    corvan called Jeff part of the lunacy of OSM’s “enemies”, and then accused him of being unfair and unbalanced because he chose to write about OSM’s failures, intentional confusion, lies, and headscratching choices.

    that makes me believe that according to corvan, unless you agree with the Pajama Party in their choice of keynote speakers, pornographers, names, and fake addresses then you’re a loon and an enemy. thus, you’re not allowed to talk about it.

    if you’re suggesting that corvan isn’t a credible person, and therefore unable to produce a credible quite, then i’ll accept your comment and move on.

  • kcom

    “you’re a loon and an enemy. thus, you’re not allowed to talk about it.’

    No, I don’t agree with that conclusion (and it is a conclusion). I don’t know anything about corvan (since, I admit, I’m only an occasional visitor here) so my response is not based on anything specific to him. It’s just that when I read your post it was like the straw that broke the camel’s back. I’m just really getting sick of the following scenario:

    Person A criticizes Person B for some specific thing.

    Person C says to Person A: What you’ve said about Person B is [pick one]wrong, unfair, illiterate, poorly thought out, a personal attack, etc.

    Person A responds to Person C: Are you saying I have no right to criticize Person B?

    Person C is not saying that all. No reasonable person reading his words could draw that conclusion.

    The reasonable response to C is not “Are you saying I have no right to talk about that?” The reasonable response to C is “Here’s where you’re wrong about my criticism. Person B is wrong, unfair, whatever because…” followed by actual points of argument.

  • corvan

    No, I simply pointed out that Jeff’s refused to answer questions about his own invovlement with media related businesses, that’s he’s been slinging the F-Bomb at members of OSM and that he blatantly mischaracterized what both Corn and Reynoolds in fact wrote. You can go to Corn and Reynold’s site and see what they say. It bears no realtionship to what Jeff said. He’s also taken some shots at Roger Simon, both here and at Bill Quick’s place that seem rather personal to me. Not to mention, he’s had not one criticsim of the obviously unhinged DennisThe Peasant’s rants here on this blog. I’m sorry if that seems fair to you. It doesn’t to me. Perhaps I was wrong to claim that Jeff has leapt onto the lunatic fringe. maybe he knows exactly what he’s doing. That doesn’t make it right.

  • tefta

    Which editorial board member will bail out first? I pick Reynolds. He has nothing to gain, other than perhaps some serious money, but if that was what he was after, he could be making millions working in a high powered law firm. On the other hand, he has a lot to lose. He is after all, the blogfather!

    It was creepy when Simon told us that Judy’s feeling were hurt by what was said about her while she was in jail, and it was even creepier reading Reynolds tell us and in all caps, no less, “I NEVER THOUGHT I’D SAY “I’M IN COMPLETE AGREEMENT WITH DAVID CORN” SO MANY TIMES in just a couple of days.”

    If Reynolds goes over to the dark side, is there any hope left for humanity?

  • Jeff Jarvis

    Corvan: Take off the tinfoil hat, man, it’s too tight; cutting of the circ.
    I like Roger fine and the folks i know who are involved in this.
    But it’s a bad product with no evident business model and when i say that you accuse me of all kinds of evils.
    Hey, it’s the blogosphere, people can have opinions. And I’ve stated mine.
    Even OSM’s editorial board knows it’s broken.
    Why don’t you go attack them and accuse them of treason.

  • corvan

    I’m not accusing you of treason. I am wondering about your honesty. Are you saying you didn’t refer to a call from Roger Simon as “whiny” at Bill Quick’s site. Are you saying you didn’t email Bill Quick and tell him to F himself. Are you saying you didn’t belittle Roger Simon when you referred to his post regarding Judy Miller in an earlier thread. Are you saying you didn’t mis-characterize what both Reynolds and Corn wrote. Are you saying that hoping a death watch will be started on OSM is fair? Are you saying that you called down Dennisthe Peasant for calling Simon a crook oh your blog. Are you saying that you’ve stated your business relationship with other media outlets in response to my questions? Jeff, I’m not calling you names. I’m pointing out your own statements and asking you questions about them. Your the one that is calling me names. Aren’t you practicing just the sort of defensive, smug, churlishness you often chide your brethren in the MSM for…or at least the brethren you don’t happen to work with, or for. I like Glenn Reynoplds. I enjoy Roger Simon’s site. I hope OSM succeeds. If it doesn’t it won’t be any skin ooff my back. You, on the other hand, seem, from your conduct and your own words, to have a very large vested interest in attempting to ruin it. I’m wondering why. And frankly I’m not getting any straight answers from you. And as long as we’re at it I’ll ask one more question you refuse to answer. Do you believe that the lesson a reporter wishes his audience to take from a sotry is more important than the facts of the sorty. So far whenever I have asked that, you have called me names. What will you do this time?

  • Private Radio

    I have to pipe in here and defend Mr. Jarvis on the Bill Quick thing.
    Mr. Quicks daily pundit is a pretty good blog but he goes emotional bananas on the OSM subject.

    How about this example:

    Quick is a little too quick to judge…….

  • corvan


    I’m not arguing that Quick has a temper, and that it explodes too fast. But telling Quick to F-Off then reporting here, before he trashing OSM, that he and most the folks over at OSM are friends seems a little dodgy. As does claiming that he and the folks he knows over at OSM get along well, when he’s been exchanging epithets with Quick. Besides, look at Reynold’s post on OSM and Corn’s. Jeff did mischaracterize them. Maybe he’s right about OSM, maybe it will fail, but the way he’s attcked it without laying out his disagreement with Quick, and without laying out Corn’s statement or Reynold’s for all to see makes me wonder if his motives are as pure as he has implied that they are. And I’m still waiting for an answer about Jeff’s relationship with other Media providers, and his answer to my question about the message of a story versus its facts as well. Also whether he’s willing to admit it or not Jeff did refer to a phone call he recieved from Simon as whiny, but he hasn’t been reall forth coming about that, either. Instead he says I’ve accused him of treason. I’m sorry, but he’s avoiding the issue and the questions.

  • Jeff Jarvis

    You bet, I told Bill Quick to go fuck himself. I said it in public on his blog on the post where he slandered me, a post where he turned off the comments. He attacked me just because I dared to question OSM. Well, it turns out I’m now far from the only one questioning OSM. And Bill can still go F himself.
    And Corvan: Let’s talk substance. Tell me what is so wonderful about OSM today.

  • Richard Bennett

    In any event, OSM(tm) will gain more from its critics than its toadies and sycophants, “corvan”.

  • corvan

    I’m not defending OSM. I’m wondering why you didn’t report that you believed Quick had slandered you before you ratcheted up the OSM basing here on the site. I’m wondering why you mischaracterized what Reynolds and Corn said. I’m wondering why you’ve decided to deride Roger Simon personally. Maybe OSM will give up the ghost, maybe not if you think it will, fine. I’m just wondering why you’ve been less than forthcoming about your relationship wiht Quick, your treatment of Simon, and your own relatiopnship with media provders while you were doing the bashing. The attacks look a tad personal to me. I hope I’m wrong.

  • corvan


    I like your blog. I agree with you calling Dean Esmay out on his stand on HIV, but you’ve referred to the folks at OSM as poofs jesus freaks and worse. Now you’re refering to me as sycophant. I’m sorry. You’re being no more stright up about this thing than Jeff. I don’t care if you think OSM will fial. hell, it might. I do care that you’re bashing the creation without telling folks about your diagreements with and contempt for its participants.

  • Eileen

    “They could call it Cooties Media”

    Interesting. I always find Jeff’s titles to be instructive (and also frequently humorous). But the phrase ‘thou doth protest too much’ keeps surfacing in my brain related to every post he writes about OSM.

    I had not read Jeff’s disclosure section lately, but I see this item there currently: “Now he is working as editor of a new news startup, still in stealth.”

    Also interesting, eh?

    I cannot help but believe that the more vocal detractors of OSM have other fish to fry. Otherwise, one might reasonably expect a wait and see attitude (of, say, more than two days) before piling on and (mis)characterizing/concluding the site is ‘broken’ or ‘a train wreck’, etc., or calling for “death pools”/anticipatorily wishing to strike a death knell for the newborn OSM as many seem intent on engineering/err, opining.

    I will be interested to hear news of Jeff’s “news startup” when stealth is no longer required.

  • corvan

    So will I.

  • Jeff Jarvis

    Eileen: the startup is nothing like OSM. Of course, I can’t figure out what OSM is. But whatever it is, it won’t be anything like anything I’m working on.
    I’ll throw out the same challenge: You defend OSM because it’s conservative, it seems.
    I’ll defend it based on the nice people there.
    I’ll overlook the name screwup and hope they’re quick and clever enough to fix it this week.
    But I’ll still say to you: Tell me what’s compelling about the product today, from an editorial or from a business perspective. That’s all I’ve been saying: I don’t get it.
    Do you? Convince me, then.

  • corvan

    But Jeff, that’s the problem that’s not what you’ve been saying. You’ve been tossing off personal attacks, and hiding arguments you’ve had with its particpants. That’s the problem.

  • richard mcenroe

    Jeff… why… why… it’s the synergy, the, the vertical integration, the, um, paradigm shift, of course! From what to what? Sorry, that’s proprietary information…

    I have no idea what is supposed to make OSM different from, say, slate or salon, neither one of which has exactly set either the business or blog world on fire (Out of my natural preference to avoid bitchiness unless absolutely convenient, I refrain from mentioning Huffingtonpost.)

    What does OSM offer? A layer of interference, excuse me, an editorial board, between blogger and reader? A de facto leveling of opinion and style? Isn’t that what people aren’t buying in print anymore?

    I refrain from commenting on the personal situation between Roger and Dennis. But I wish Roger would offer a more concrete response to Dennis’ itemized complaints. In the end, I suspect it comes down to who has hard copies where.

  • Eileen


    I haven’t analyzed every aspect of OSM or really come to any grand conclusions at this point. But I liked their article titled, “Is Paris Still Burning” posted on day one because *for once* the writers focused on media blackouts and bias in coverage of the riots. I like the fact they’re providing coverage of news we just don’t ever get via the MSM, like information from milblogs. I view OSM as a venue for providing some modicum of ‘balance’ or perhaps an occasional ‘counterpoint’ to the dinosours’ world view/ideology which we are otherwise subjected to daily. [For example, right now there is possible news of Zarqawi’s death in Mosul, which the AP barely mentioned in passing in an article titled “Two American Soldiers Killed in Iraq” (or something close to that without looking it up).]

    I like the idea for the Carnival of Prewar Intelligence slated at OSM today/tomorrow. I expect it will provide a nice cross section of ‘facts’ and opinions.

    In short, I’m ‘observing’ OSM. I expect it to improve. I expect it to become more compelling over time. [According to CJ they will include trackbacks soon.] I respect many of the bloggers collected there.

    And no, I’m not defending OSM because it’s supposedly mostly conservative. I object to misstatements of fact related to it’s choice of name and I object to what I view as kneejerk assassination attempts before they’ve even existed for a week. More. I believe certain liberals *fear* (perhaps a poor choice of words, but also perhaps accurate) the power that OSM might [eventually] represent in terms of its contribution to (further) exposing left wing bias in the news.

    I’m interested in ‘fair and balanced, FACTUAL – meaning all the facts, not just the cherrypicked, reporting’. Of course I don’t agree with David Corn. But I’m not threatened by his involvement at OSM…or by any other liberals who team up there.

    I think I speak for many when I say we are starving for straightforward and complete news coverage. If OSM is able to somehow *help* achieve that, then I’m all for it.

    As for your own venture, thanks for the explanation, and I wish you well.

  • Private Radio


    The thing is, with the possible exception of the blogjam, all those things you mentioned are already being done very well elsewhere.

    Now if the blogjam could get Colin Powell to appear then we’re cooking with gas.

  • Private Radio

    Just to add to the above, if OSM spent 1/10 as much as they did on the party and *paid* a big shot like Powell or Franks or someone big that is not a blogger, well then I’d tune in. That’s buzz.

  • Eileen

    Private Radio,

    I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to read 80 blogs a day. It’s tough – for me at least – to fill in the gaps in MSM reporting by doing so. [On a woe is me note, I have an old computer and an extremely slow dialup connection, which means it takes that much longer to find the news.] It is my hope the OSM network of bloggers will assist in collecting at least *some* of that missing information in a more centralized location.

    Re Colin Powell, right you are! Add Rummy for good measure and a fascinating stew..

  • Private Radio

    Eileen, maybe they can build a great site like that, sort of a polished and broader version of instapundit.

    But won’t the pressure to monetize that mess it all up? OSM bloggers may only link to other OSM bloggers. And then resentments build.

    That’s a recipe for disaster.

  • richard

    I think I speak for many when I say we are starving for straightforward and complete news coverage. If OSM is able to somehow *help* achieve that, then I’m all for it.

    Show me the money. They promised us chicken salad and served us chicken shit. Whatever it is you are starving for, you can’t convince me you found it over at OSM. Everything about it is half-baked, colorless, amateurish and downright weird. They didn’t pull it out of a hat; they’ve had many months to work on this, and a huge amount of planning went into their party, though it soon became the laughingstock of the blogs and some mainstream media as well. Why not a similar focus on content, design, innovation and a commitment to Simon’s original “vision” (in quote marks because it morphed with the wind).

    What Jeff is doing is fair, legitimate and a service to his readers. If you think he mischaracterized Insty and Corn, well, get over it; he did not, but even if he did, I don’t think it would be from any malice or intentionality. OSM left themselves open to this, making every mistake they warn you about in business and PR 101. If you make a hoopla, complete with fireworks and celebrities and press releases and luxury hotels, there’d damned well better be some substance underneath the tinsel. Right now, the emperor is stark naked (aside from a dusty fedora) and Simon has damaged his crediblity, perhaps irreparably. Dennis Le Peasant, for all his crudity, makes his arguments coolly, logically and with lots of dates and evidence. Simon dismisses it all cavalierly (“he’s stabbing us in the back”) without ever acknowledging whether he stopped returning Dennis’ calls and went to the VC behind Dennis’ back. Come on, we aren’t stupid. Who’s doing the stabbing?

    This food fight is just beginning, because Roger himself laid the groundwork for it by flying too close to the sun, making extravagant promises, changing his mind too often, screwing the “little bloggers” who believed in him, and by being in general a true shit. So don’t expect this to die down anytime soon. They promised us bloggers the world (and no, I never applied to Pajamas Media myself so no sour grapes), and now we know what it’s all about: less than zero. Damn straight the bloggers are out for blood.

    It was fair going after Rather and Sheehan and other fakers. Now Roger and Charles get to see what it’s like on the receiving end. It didn’t have to be this way, but they decided they were Masters of the Universe. Oh, how the mighty hath fallen.

  • diane

    One thing to remember is that the majority of people now questioning it supported it and many voted for Bush. To try and frame their concerns in partisan rhetoric is wrong, not just a political mistake, but a lie.

    Even the most radical proposal, that of “cut and run” is not just one of flaky lefists. General Odom was head of NSA under Reagon and is neither ignorant or unpatriotic. I for one want his arguments considered.

    I myself have doubts. For example I think the existing civil war can deepen. Dozens of neighborhoods and villages around Baghdad are “purifying” with Shiite fleeing Sunni areas and vice versa. This is often a setting for genocidal civil war. So I think we may need to have some force there.

    But I want this issue faced and discussed, just as we need to deal with the slowing economy there, the health crisis, the crime and corruption.

    In addition to General Odom’s arguments we must also face that of many other critics including a large number with military and defence experience. They feel that the war on Iraq has weakened our capacity to fight other terror.

    Obviously resources which could be used elsewhere are focused on Iraq. These include intelligence analysts, translators, special operations units and simple attention. Our strained land forces are almost forced to reduce their numbers in Afghansiant.

    There are also consequences with our allies. They have been crucial in the capture of thousands of suspected terrorists and supporters. Alienation can reduce this cooperation. This is especially true among Arab nations were we are increasingly seen as supporting Shiite oppression of Sunni.

    The later brings up another big issue. Iran is a member of the axis of evil and seems intent on increaing it’s power and building nuclear weapons. We are limited in how we act there because of our vulnerabilities in Iraq.

    Iranian backed militias control much of the south through which our communications lines run. These same militias are intertwined into the government and the security services. They and the militias of anti American (but not Iranian ally) Sadr control many areas outside of the south. If they were to start acting against us we could face serious losses and problems.

    I do not support withdrawal from Iraq, I don’t know the answer, I fear the sonsequences; but I do understand why many informed and patriotic people do. I think we have serious problems there and the best way to deal with them is to bring these issues forth and analyze them, not simply divide into simplistic partisan positions.

    I am willing to accept some rightists critiques of some leftist, but I see the right engaging in the same lack of for the real problems and solutions over there. The are caught in silly political games.

  • Karl

    To those people who were defending the name choice – against any and all good reasons otherwise – it looks like OSM – now Pajama’s Media once again – agrees with the detractors:

    And Eileen – almost no one can read 80 blogs a day – without an aggregator – sign up for one. Most are free. Newsgator and Bloglines are terrific. And once you do – you will know more fully why Jeff and others are scratching their heads at the site. You can build your own alternative without them – and it would be better. “Build” isn’t the right word.

  • kcom

    And here’s one more sign that Glenn Reynolds is “backing away” from Pajamas Media. He’s dropped his ads from BlogAds and is now running Pajamas Media ads. Wait a minute, that doesn’t make sense…. Oh, never mind.