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Harpers Mag gets their knickers in a knot

I have been tuning in to a lot of the Blogger's Roundtables that the Pentagon has been offering up lately. I used a number of them as raw material for my last podcast on the role of al Qaeda in Iraq. Now, I learn that Harper's Magazine thinks there is something wrong with this. Grim at Blackfive has an extended post about the issue. The crime we are accused of committing? Listening and writing.

I'm still going through the transcripts, which identify some but not all of the blogger-Surrogates. They include military writers like Andrew Lubin, from the aptly named blog On Point and Jarred Fishman, The Air Force Pundit. Other participants have included Michael Goldfarb of the Weekly Standard, Jonathan Gurwitz, an editorial writer for the San Antonio Express-News and contributor to the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, Victoria Coates and Streiff from RedState, Mark Finklestein of News Busters and Austin Bay, who blogs and conducts podcasts for Pajamas Media, and writes a national security column for Creators Syndicate.
Hey what about me? What is the Wizbang Podcast, chopped liver?
Some of the bloggers are transparent about taking part in conference calls. Goldfarb took part in a June 26 call focusing on Guantanamo Bay with J. Alan Liotta, principle director for the Pentagon's Office of Detainee Affairs; when he wrote about it he noted that Liotta's remarks were made "to a few bloggers on a conference call this morning arranged by the office of the secretary of defense."
For shame! Michael has a source and he provides an attribution to him. There's more shocking behavior going on out there:
By the way, just today the Surrogates program held a blogger's roundtable with Brigadier General Robert Holmes and another conference call for civilian defense experts with Brigadier General Edward Cardon. Look for both men to be quoted--very sympathetically--in newspapers and on websites shortly.

Before these bloggers start to complain that they've done nothing wrong, I'd like to ask how they would feel if a group of handpicked, administration-friendly liberal bloggers had done the same thing during the Clinton years. I believe they would have objected vociferously-and I would have agreed with them. No one, on any side, should let themselves be used to spread the administration's gospel. At least not anyone who can pretend to journalistic standards.

That last one is priceless. Pretend to journalistic standards, eh? Isn't that what happens every day to the journalists covering Iraq? (Note the snicker quotes for Mike Drummond.) Don't they just parrot all the Democratic talking points spreading anti-administration gospel? We're just fighting back against their spin.


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Comments (5)

I think the best answer to ... (Below threshold)

I think the best answer to this was by Grim (if I'm not mistaken) on Blackfive. (Or on his own blog and linked to Blackfive.)

"I feel an actual, personal loyalty to our fighting men on the ground. They protect us: the loyalty works both ways. In other words, I am not a journalist. I am an American citizen, engaged in our healthy national debate. I don't need credentials for that; and if the price of the credentials is adopting some sort of "neutrality" between America and her enemies, I don't want them."

Read the whole thing, links, etc. You all know how to find Blackfive, I know you do. :-)

CharlieMy thoughts... (Below threshold)


My thoughts at B5 on this:

"Hmmm... do I smell fear?"

Yes, that is fear emanating from the "journalists" in this debate. Or should we call them Luddites?

Having been a consultant for many years, I will share a secret: The only thing a consultant has to sell is the validity and usefulness of his ideas. That's all there is in the bargain. The client/customer wants ideas and solutions; the consultant either has them or not.

The dinosaur media is crashing into this dynamic at high speed. What the dinosaur media has never contended with until the advent of new media is that the guy around the corner may have an idea equally as useful...at no charge, or at a charge so nominal as to destroy the dinosaur business model. This fear, and hubris, is at the heart of this debate.

I mentioned this earlier. Read Halberstam's "The Reckoning". It is a brilliant treatise on how the Japanese utterly decimated the domestic auto makers in the 1970's. It's happening now with the dinosaur media. And they hate it. That's why they call themselves "journalists" and consider bloggers the equivalent of pre colonial savages.

Their apparent 'fear' is th... (Below threshold)

Their apparent 'fear' is that journalist, who they perceive as being friendly to the administration (or perhaps it's enough to simply not be hostile), are receiving information directly from the source ? They're then jumping to the conclusion that said journalist are incapable of evaluating the information and will simply act as a conduit for those 'dubious military people' spreading misinformation ?

I smell projection.

Take a contrarian view for ... (Below threshold)

Take a contrarian view for a moment. These are all useful observations, but where, in fact, does the majority of fodder in the news barrel come from? Wire services? Old media stories? on-scene observation? I try to maintain the perspective that, if tonight at midnight, all the "traditional news sources" were to fade to black, there would be far less useful, relevant, actual news for me to peruse as I review my favorite blogs. As I criticize the "offended Professional Journalists", it's useful to distinguish between sawing dead limbs off a tree to save it from disease, and sawing off the very branch one is sitting on in your zeal for sawing.

De beste hypotheekrentes en... (Below threshold)

De beste hypotheekrentes en mooiste huizen van de beste makelaars en makelaar randstad.






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