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January 05, 2005

Another Superb Rip On that CJR "Bloggergate" Piece

Power Line, of course.

I found this particularly interesting:

Pein tries to argue that the mainstream media talked to various friends and associates of President Bush after the CBS scandal broke, and identified them as such, but somehow did not sufficiently portray them as "right wing," etc. For example:

Joe Allbaugh was usually identified in press accounts — in The New York Times, the Baltimore Sun, and USA Today, to name a few — as Bush’s old chief of staff. He is much more. In 1999 Allbaugh, the self-described “heavy” of the Bush campaign, told The Washington Post, “There isn’t anything more important than protecting [Bush] and the first lady.”

Wow, there's a failing. Only describing Allbaugh as President Bush's former chief of staff wasn't enough to alert the audience to the fact that he was a dreaded Republican, whose knowledge should be disregarded.

Liberal reporters believe passionately in disclosing all possible credibility-eroding partisan biases of Republican sources. As for liberal sources-- well, they're content to identify them only by their job-- "Havard law professor," "budgetary expert," etc.

And as for themselves-- no disclosure about their own leanings.

Why is this? One would think that if the public were served by disclosing the possible biases and agendas of sources, that rule should extend to practically everyone, including liberals' favorite liberal go-to sources, and of course to liberal reporters themselves. If the public would be served, as Corey Pein maintains, by examining Joe Allbaugh's partisan leanings, why would it not equally be served by disclosing his own partisan leanings?

And of course he does have them. The Wardrobe Door does a small amount of checking and finds that Pein doesn't pass the same test of maximum disclosure he's advocated for Joe Allbaugh:

So what about Pein himself? Where do you think his politics fall? Well it turns out he was an editorial intern for the liberal magazine The American Prospect [an avowedly liberal advocacy magazine; the blogger quotes the mag's mission statement as evidence for its admitted liberal activism-- ed.]

Pein was also an assistant editor for Environmental Practice, a professional journal for the National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP). Anybody want to argue that Environmental Practice is a pro-Bush publication or even neutral?

Now, were these "shadowy links" of Pein's disclosed in his piece?

Take a wild freaking guess.

By the Way: Sorry for late start on blogging. The Mu.Nu posting site was down for a bit, and then the actual site was briefly down as well.]

Update: Blaster notes:

[Quoting from the Pein hackery:] It classifies Burkett as a member of the “loony left,” based on his Web posts. In these, Burkett says corporations will strip Iraq, obliquely compares Bush to Napoleon and “Adolf,” and calls for the defense of constitutional principles. These supposedly damning rants, alluded to in USA Today, The Washington Post, and elsewhere, are not really any loonier than an essay in Harper’s or a conversation at a Democratic party gathering during the campaign.

[Blaster:] Isn't that the whole problem?

Corey Pein just doesn't see it that way, Blaster.

Michael Wolff, a confirmed idiot, has already been quite clear on the liberal position on Rathergate: We all know it's true, so who cares if we have evidence for it? He's stated this nearly explicitly. When a veteran journalist informed him, patiently, that journalism wasn't about what "we all know" but what we can actually verify, Wolff pooh-poohed him as if he were calling some ticky-tack holding call.

Which would seem to be Andrew Sullivan's position on Susan Sontag's assumed homosexuality-- We all know she was a lesbian. Since we all know it, can't we dispense with confirmation or authoriatative citation and the like? Look, we know it. Shouldn't that be enough?

Alas, no. It shouldn't be enough. Partisans -- particularly liberal partisans posing as reporters -- "know" an awful lot of things that they either cannot prove or are flat-out provably false.

Hey, look, gun to my head-- sure, I'm thinking that Sontag was a lesbian. I think most rumors are true. But just because I think that most rumors are true doesn't mean I think the press should be permitted to traffic in them, citing them as genuine, just because four out of five liberals agree that they're true.

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posted by Ace at 02:40 PM

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