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September 28, 2005

Oh, That Media Incompetence

Dick Meyer and Jeff Jarvis have been sparring over a statement (dumb, I think) of Jarvis', that it's "easy" to "get the facts."

Well, it's not. And the MSM will continue having a huge advantage over the Shadow Media in that regard.

But the Anchoress makes a great point. The press has such advantages over, say, bloggers -- like actually being able to get a high-ranking muckety-muck on the phone when trying to confirm a fact -- which makes their performance during Katrian all the more inexcusable.

If bloggers reported those sorts of absurd rumors of baby-rapin', we'd be excortiated as irresponsible. But, as a mitigation to our crime, we could say, quite correctly, that we're not professionals, we're not salaried, and we don't have big rolodex and a major media organization behind us to help us confirm such stuff.

But we don't need that excuse, as we didn't report these wild rumors as a general rule (and in the few instances we did... we were quoting the MSM).

The MSM, on the other hand, reported them with little care as to their accuracy.

So yes, the legacy media has a great advantage in this area. So what's their excuse for booting it so very badly?

The MSM continues to insist upon its pre-eminence in the field of gathering and disseminating information. We're professionals, they say. We're bound by a journalistic code which guarantees accuracy and truthfulness, at least to a high degree. "We get 90% of these things right," they always tell us after they make another big mistake.

Did they get 90% of this stuff right during Katrina? I think more like 40%, and most of that stuff was simply reporting what officials at NOLA and the like told them.

Which, yes, is an easy thing to do.

Where they weren't simply being spoon-fed reports from weather organizations -- where they were left to their own journalistic devices -- they irresponsibly reported insane rumors as fact.

If you guys are slow, irredeemably biased, arrogant, and out-of-touch, and now, as is apparent, you can't even do the job of basic fact-verification very well -- what the hell use are you?

As Kevin Pollack said in A Few Good Men, "Were you absent the day they tought journalism at journalism school?"

I'm Only Adding This Because of His Impeccable Use of the Word "Letimotif" Update: Steve From HB suggests...

Ace - I've told you before that the following should be the blogger vs MSM leitmotif.

"Release Yo' Delf"
Method Man
Sung to Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive"

When I first stepped on the scene, niggaz was petrified
Jet back to the lab like they were being chased by homicide
My rap flow does you like Tical, and it will never steer you wrong
And all you bitch-ass niggaz in the industry
your careers won't be lasting long

I really have no idea what any of that means, although this "Method Man" character seems to be a very potty-mouthed and borderline racist sort of fellow. If you're going to use racial slurs, can't you at least get the spelling correct?

Still: leitmotif. I like hearing words I learned in college. It makes those nine grueling years seem somehow worth it.


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posted by Ace at 12:53 PM

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