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Shooting From the Hip

After 2 months or so of guest blogging here at Wizbang I have learned one undeniable truth. Blogging is hard!

Rush Limbaugh has a line to the effect that doing his show is harder than it looks because he makes it look so easy. I've done talk radio and in many ways, having a blog is harder. I have even more respect for those of you that can do this for years at a time. I don't think I could.

I learned something else last night. The hard way...

Last night I got a phone call with some information about Nick Berg. Much of which I posted last night. Some of it I have not run with because I don't trust it as much as I trusted the password story. I won't post the rest yet, but I'll say this about it. We know nothing about the time between when he left Iraqi (U.S.?) custody and when he showed up in an orange jumpsuit. If my source is correct about what happened, it raises considerable questions about Nick Berg.

That knowledge lead me to overshoot one point. I said: "This guy was dirty. We has over there trying to help the terrorists and they killed him."

Like many bloggers I started posting things in people's comments long before I started writing here. I learned last night that (to me at least) there is a difference. I look at comments of more like B.S.'ing in a bar room. That is the kind of thing that is better placed in comments.

In hindsight I would have not put that line in the post. -Or at least I would have phased it differently.

That is not to say I don't think the stories coming out don't stink to high heaven. They do. Also it is certainly not to say that his Father is not a political hack who used his son's death for political purposes.

Spoons said it best: "It's time for Mr. Berg to fade into obscurity and grieve in private. Otherwise, people are going to start remembering that just because he lost a child doesn't mean he's not an asshole.

But I might have overshot the target on that one line.

So for those of you who beat me up and said I drew that conclusion too fast... (I do have more information than most people but...) OK, you have a point. In my rush to get the story out, I shot from the hip. It was not a legitimate opinion drawn from facts it was a gut hunch.

But- For those of you who want to give his father a pass or think we should not check out Nick Berg's story with a fine tooth comb, forget about it.


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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Shooting From the Hip:

» Outside the Beltway linked with Beltway Traffic Jam

» A Single Southern Guy In America linked with Ramifications of the Berg Video and the Ethics of Blogging

» e-Claire linked with Distasteful Tasks Fall to Adults

Comments (11)

In all honesty, is it reall... (Below threshold)

In all honesty, is it really responsible, ethical, or even decent, to make such a charge WITHOUT disclosing the information that led you to reach that conclusion?

If you want to say that you have info that "raises serious questions"--fine. Post that information and let the readers make up their minds whether it raises such questions.

Otherwise, it's just rumor-mongering and speculation. If you DON'T want to disclose the information--then don't claim that there are "serious questions" about Nick Berg caused by anything other than what is publicly available.

So I guess I'm the only one... (Below threshold)

So I guess I'm the only one who shrugged off the "dirty" line as hyperbole?

I wasn't referring to the "... (Below threshold)

I wasn't referring to the "he's dirty" line since Paul retracted it. But I WAS referring to whole "serious questions" line of speculation absent evidence.

When I linked to your post ... (Below threshold)

When I linked to your post and blockquoted it, you'll note that I omitted that part of it. ;)

To be frank, I did not give... (Below threshold)
Paul:

To be frank, I did not give it much thought at the time.

I did a search on google news and I checked drudge and saw nobody had it. If the truth be told I was thinking as much about the scoop as the content. (So shoot me.)

There was no major public outcry but still, after sleeping on it I thought the better of it. I started to ignore it and I could have easily. However Steven Taylor's comments convinced me posting on it was the right thing to do.

The reason to include that I have more information was to give you a snapshot into the decision making process at the time.

At the risk of "rumor-mongering" I'm still not so sure the story checks out. Considering the accuracy of my source so far, that is a fair comment. (time will tell)

Like so many things in politics it comes down to where you sit.

If you sit on the right side of the isle it is likely you see a fairly new blogger who realized he said something he wanted to clarify and he did.

If you sit on the left side of the isle you see satan.

After this I'm not real sure I really care.

Paul,Perhaps you h... (Below threshold)

Paul,

Perhaps you have learned another thing. And I mean no offense.

But, whatever the circumstances, it's provocative and troublesome to say "I have secret info that I can't share, but it leads me to say X."

No offense; I think you've been doing a fine job here.

If you've got info and back... (Below threshold)

If you've got info and backing for it, fine. But without any backing, or at least good explanation of why you can't/won't disclose the backer, I'm going to take you with the same block of salt with which I approach those who quote unnammed "senior government officials".

Not a bad point Commissar. ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Not a bad point Commissar. I just used it as a snapshot into the thought process but I can see how it annoyed some people.

But now I'm damned either way... If I release it, as some have urged, I'll be blasted for rumor-mongering. If I don't, I get blasted for naming unnamed sources.

I feel like George Bush.

Then don't release it. ... (Below threshold)

Then don't release it.

If you can't back up your information, it's worthless. If you can't fact-check your sources, you're going to get your ass handed to you when you post things like you did last night.

Bloggers may not be journalists, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't act like one in regards to checking your facts and being sure your sources are impeccable.

(digging the hole EVEN deep... (Below threshold)
Paul:

(digging the hole EVEN deeper)

For Kathy and everyone else grumbling (both publicly and privately) about my so-called "Mystery Source."

If you use your secret decoder ring on your box of Cheerios, run it thru an enigma machine and then you actually READ the post you will see I made it clear he was with AP. (I forgot my cloak and dagger.)

I've worked both talk radio and I've done a fair amount of photojournalism* work, so I have many friends in the news biz. Sometimes my cell phone rings.

Everything he has told me has checked out so I have confidence in him. I can understand completely if it is non-transferable.

Paul

* I've even had a 3 pictures on CNN.com... Now ain't that special.

Meryl, I've read your work ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Meryl, I've read your work and I respect you but I gotta ask, did you READ what I wrote?

I DID NOT RELEASE IT!

The things I did release have all been confirmed!

Bloggers may not be journalists, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't act like one in regards to checking your facts and being sure your sources are impeccable.

I ran what I knew would be backed up! I freaking beat CNN by an hour and I nailed it!

(duh, just as you suggested,) I have not run what I could not confirm. When I can confirm it I will run it.

So do me a favor...

Spare me the high and mighty journalism lectures until you freaking read what I wrote.




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