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February 13, 2005

Will Collier E-Mails With a Question

And I ask one back: Is the point to have a dialogue with the MSM or cause its destruction? Please advise.

Will Collier from VodkaPundit e-mails:

Jay, a serious question. When a former Philadelphia Inquirer managing editor and current managing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review’s website refers to presumably-conservative critics of Eason Jordan as “salivating morons” constituting a “lynch mob” of “Liliputians,” doesn’t that suggest that the “hate” between conservatives and the MSM at the very least runs both ways?

—Will Collier (see his reply to Lovelady.)

If your point is “this is not a one-sided transaction,” yes. Runs both ways, but not in a tit for tat manner. Steve was definitely saying: I have contempt for… He would tell you that, I think.

Here’s another read. Lovelady was acting like bloggers do— but also letter writers to Romenesko. He e-mailed his reaction, which was one part emotion, one part attitude, and one part argument.

Did he follow it up by engaging in dialogue at your blog? (He did, with the same “attitude” but not only that.) Did he cause reaction, get people to talk back? (It’s good blogging.)

Then we might consider his volley, “salivating morons…” a kind of conversation starter. It’s more amusing that way, too.

Mr. Lovelady you can reply to some more at your place. Let me ask you something, serious question, Will: Is the point to have a dialogue with the MSM or cause its destruction?

Please advise.

UPDATE, Feb. 16: Here is Collier’s reply. “MSM, Heal Thyself.”

What I’m interested in is not destruction, but rather disclosure, transparency, reform. You can boil all of the above down to one term that ought to be the watchword for everybody in all of journalism’s myriad forms: honesty. I don’t mind a biased press (more on this later), but I do mind a dishonest press.

Dishonesty, by commission and omission, was at the heart of both the Dan Rather and Eason Jordan blowups.

After Matter: Notes, reactions and links.

Letter to Romenesko:

2/12/2005 4:22:18 PM
From DEREK ROSE: Okay, I’m sitting here in an Internet cafe in Nelson, New Zealand, rather stunned at what the blogosphere has wrought. First Dan Rather, now the news chief of CNN? Whether or not we agree with what happened, mainstream reporters need to start paying a lot more attention to blogs. NOW.

How to save blogs from ourselves. Steve Safran at Lost Remote. My favorite line: “Embrace your biases. But let the other guy embrace his, too.

Cori Dauber, Blogosphere as Lynchmob: “The ground is ripe for this case, unlike the Rather one, to be successfully characterized as an Internet lynch mob, a partisan, ideologically driven effort to target a legitimate journalist for no reason other than that he disagreed with conservative bloggers and said things they didn’t want to hear, or worked for a network they didn’t like.”

Watch Jeff Jarvis call out the New York Times
for its story today about Eason Jordan and bloggers. It is a must read.

New World Man:

I wasn’t going to—and won’t—spend too much time on the Eason Jordan stuff, because other sites (like this one and this one and this one) have so ably covered the whole affair, but Jay Rosen’s question to Will Collier and Will’s invitation to discuss on our own got me to thinking. Rosen asks, “Is the point to have a dialogue with the MSM or cause its destruction?” I hope Will rejects the premise.

Blogger Michael Duff in the comments: “I think, for all their complaining about the media, bloggers actually want the MSM (and the people in it) to be better than we are. And we’re disappointed when it seems to ‘sink to our level.’… We’re paying journalists to be professionals, and we feel cheated when they let us down. We want our MSM to be above things like bias and gossip, or to make damn sure they’re clearly labeled when it decides to dive in.”

Blogger Van der Leun in the comment thread:

Add to that the inescapable envy that must be felt by the “pros” as they note the vast number of online writers with solid skill sets who are also unconstrained by the “needs” and “policies” and “stylebooks” and all the other junk that media companies throw up around themselves to distinguish one apple from the next apple in the bin. Plus there’s the freedom of telling it like you see it without worrying how this might affect promotion within or without the organization. On the one hand, yes, they do it for free, but on the other they are free to do it as they please. That’s gotta grind like grit on the molars.

Posted by Jay Rosen at February 13, 2005 7:09 PM