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September 26, 2004

Hugh Hewitt on the Times' Puffing for Paleoliberals

Instapundit didn't seem especially bothered by the NYT article on blogging, notable only for its failure to actually interview any bloggers making genuine news:

I think it's a pretty good article. Some people are unhappy that it focuses on the lefty bloggers, but that was the intent of the piece from the get-go, and it's been underway for a while -- I had a long conversation with the reporter a few weeks back -- and it's not as if folks like me and Andrew Sullivan and Mickey Kaus haven't had our time in the media spotlight.

With all due respect, Mr. Instapundit, you and the increasingly left-wing Andrew Sullivan may have in fact had your time in the media spotlight, but the bloggers who were most important in breaking this story haven't yet. Yes, the PowerLine guys have been on Fox and CNN, but that's because they deserved to be.

They, along with LGF and Bill from INDC (he who now just interviews subjects at will!) also deserved to be in a NYT article on blogging. They weren't, and they were omitted quite intentionally.

Furthermore, this sentence:

Some people are unhappy that it focuses on the lefty bloggers, but that was the intent of the piece from the get-go

... is simply a non-sequitor. Yes, of course the NYT set out to only interview lefty bloggers. And that is a defense against the charge of political bias how, exactly? Once again, the NYT is determined to promote leftist causes and leftist voices while ignoring their opponents; I don't see how the fact that this was their "intent from the get-go" is some sort of mitigation.

And we know that the NYT decided that maybe it ought to interview Charles Johnson with all this Rathergate craziness going on. They did interview him; they then not only failed to quote him, but to even mention the man's existence.

But Hugh Hewitt sums it up best:

This piece is what the lawyers call "an admission against interest" combined with an undeniable expression of liberal bias in MSM. The admission is that the blogosphere matters a lot. The expression of bias is the incredible series of whopping omissions in the coverage. This is MSM's attempt --and there will be many more-- to "credential" some of their favorites in the blogosphere, thus elevating them and hopefully their readership. How can you be surprised that the way left Times profiles way left bloggers for their way left audience to hopefully bookmark and consult as a sort of internet annex to the still dominant New York Times?

It is a vast cry for help, a plea for reinforcements. The bloggers are inside the citadel, so call in the allied bloggers.

As I wrote yesterday, this is just more Maginot Line thinking by MSM, and more of the same can be expected. The MSM is acting in response to the challenge to its authority as the Vatican did to Luther, first with indifference, then with threats, and eventually with attempted suppression and finally with capitulation and internal reform. The attempt at suppression will come in legal forms, with lawsuits about fair use and threats of business libel, but all for naught. The bleeding isn't just at CBS, and the wounded are angry.

The Times' motivation is transparent. With right-leaning bloggers suddenly getting getting all the attention, and deservedly so, given that they'd broken a major story, the Times has decided to give the left-wingers a little undeserved exposure of their own, to try leveling the playing field a bit.

Fair enough.

Does anyone imagine that if left-wing bloggers had broken a major story and were thus getting all the attention from the rest of the liberal legacy media that the New York Times would have tried for a bit of fairness and given prominent exposure to right wing bloggers?


Anyone at all?

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posted by Ace at 07:49 PM

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