Saturday, January 15, 2005

"I'm rubber you're glue ..." 

" ... whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you."

Well, here's the sad outcome of the "blogger ethics" controversy fomented by the Republican Noise Machine, using Harvard's blogging [cough] conference as a front—you remember, the one that didn't invite any democratic bloggers (back)— apparently as a distraction from the Armstrong Williams payola story, and maybe yet another Rove-ian black-ops style move to mark Howard Dean up on his way to election as DNC chair. Big yawn.

You can read the sordid details at Kos. Poor old Bob Novak. When will he leave the life?

The saddest part of the story is this:

The Wall Street Journal has long been known for having a true Chinese wall between its Neanderthal editorial page—you remember, the one that hawked anti-Clinton conspiracy theory videos—and its news operation. Which made sense: The WSJ is the newspaper business reads to do business, and it's hard to run a business (at least, the operational side) if you're not at least partially reality-based. So the news side of the operation has long remained relatively sacrosanct.

So, how crazy are the wingers? To smear a couple of bloggers, they broke down the Wall Street Journal's Chinese wall. First, a real-life, actual, hardworking reporter called Kos to see if there was a story. The reporter concluded there wasn't. But the winger powers that be at the Journal decided they didn't like that, so they sent a couple of hacks write the smear that they wanted. Chuck at Kos has these ugly details, which are all sourced to the original Journal reporter.

Well. So much for editorial integrity at the Wall Street Journal. The pillars of American journalism—The Times, The Post, and the Wall Street Journal—have been standing a long time. All have been family-owned business, have not been gobbled up by multinationals, and have stood for at least some level of reality-based integrity in their news operations. The Post (despite Steno Sue and its complicity with the winger coup against Clinton) seems still to stand, though shakily. The Times has been crumbling for a long time, and now they're hopeless. Now the WSJ is beginning to totter as well. It's a shame. Tell me again why we have the First Amendment?

UPDATE A world class takedown from Steve Gilliard.

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