Monday, March 07, 2005

MISTRUTH: New York Times Continues to Stereotype Bloggers

For this post, Newsclip Autopsy will paste the colourful writing of a fellow dissector, Winter Patriot. This original post was written at The Brad Blog and it concerns a recent article by the New York Times entitled, "At a Suit's Core: Are Bloggers Reporters, Too?" by Jonathan Glater.

As you read the NY Times article which is tagged "News Analyses" by the publisher (and found in the "Technology" section of the paper), you'll discover that there are a number of eyebrow raising details found in the quotes and by Mr. Glater himself that makes this piece less than fair to the bloggers point of view.

Here is Winter Patriot's post, in it's entirety. Enjoy.

That's a VERY BIZARRE article, Brad. I mean the NYT piece, not yours. It has some astonishing quotes, such as:
Attempting to draw a distinction based on the medium used by the blogger or reporter is misguided, said Jack Balkin, a professor at Yale Law School (also a blogger). "In 15 years, there may be no clear distinction between reporters on the one hand and bloggers on the other," he said. "It won't just be an either-or, where you have a reporter for The Chicago Tribune on the one hand, and a guy sitting in his pajamas drinking beer on the other."
What?? Why pajamas? Why beer? Why does it have to be a guy?

Who says a blogger cannot be a woman sitting in her lingerie drinking chablis?

OK OK I'm kidding again ... but really? Just because you publish your articles on the net does that mean you can't bother getting dressed? Hey, Mister Yale Law School professor, I'm wearing pants and a shirt and drinking tea! What do you have to say about that?

He was also quoted as saying this:
Not all blogs are equally influential and not all blogs even try to report, in the usual sense of cultivating sources, actively gathering information and then organizing and presenting it to the public, Mr. Balkin added. "There are millions and millions of blogs, and most of them are for gossip."
How does he know that most of them are for gossip? In order to know that for a fact, he would have to read at least half of the "millions and millions of blogs". Do you think he did that? Is that what law professors do? What rubbish!! But of course the NYT prints it as if it made sense. More rubbish!! Well at least he isn't trying to start a war with this garbage. Of course even if he were, they would still print it!

Then there's this astonishing sentence, not a quote, but something apparently written by Mr. Glater:
So a blogger who interviews people and spends significant amounts of time gathering and organizing information could claim the privilege; a blogger who wrote about good and bad recipes, and who one day stumbled onto a copy of the Pentagon papers and printed them, might not.
Is this man serious? Does he really think a blogger might be called to identify his sources if he happened to post a copy of the Pentagon Papers? Well at least that's not going to be a problem for me, because I can tell you right now: I got my copy in a used book store. So that one's solved, at least. It had been pretty well-used, too. Some secrets!!

And furthermore, I have never even thought of writing about good and bad recipes on please don't read my blog. So I guess he's not talking about me anyway.

And what's with the word "print"? Doesn't Mr. Glater understand YET that bloggers do not PRINT?? That's what makes them bloggers, Mr. Glater! Hey, no problem. I'm happy to help you out on that one, buddy!

But wait! Here's one more bizarre paragraph, again from Mr. Glater:
Yet if recognizing a privilege for bloggers means that everyone online can maintain that they are journalists, judges may conclude that rather than giving everyone the privilege, no one should have it. That possibility worries reporters, who could find themselves at new risk for what they write or broadcast.
Reporters could find themselves at NEW RISK for what they write?? What is NEW about this risk?? Am I dreaming or are certain NYT reporters already at risk for something they DIDN'T EVEN WRITE? And on the other hand isn't there someone who is NOT at risk even though he was the one who SPILLED THE BEANS in the first place?

Oh what a tangled web we weave! Sometimes I think we must have passed through the looking glass...

Phew! Long deep breath ... yesterday I promised myself I wouldn't post any more long rants here, and already I've broken my promise. What should I do as penance? Maybe I'll put on my pajamas, crack open a beer, and write a hot new piece about how not to make chicken soup.

Oops! Gotta run! Here comes Alice!!

Thanks Winter Patriot!
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