The Breitbart Dilemma

Respectable news outlets aren't the only ones having trouble processing the fact that a purple-eyed partisan like Andrew Breitbart is producing impactful journalism this season. The ancient Atlantic magazine–which, strangely, appears to have morphed into a sort of Blogger's Monthly–has been furrowing its brows at Breitbart & Co. both in print and online.

Regular Atlantic contributor Conor Friedersdorf, writing at The Daily Beast (and earning a high-five from Andrew Sullivan), poses the question:

ACORN is just the latest example of how conservative media love to blast The New York Times for its shortcomings. So why can't they live up to the Gray Lady's standards?

Easy answer: Because it's possible to criticize X on grounds of Y without yourself doing Y better than X. In fact, it's probable, given the fact that X is powerful enough to be a regular target of criticism. (If you think about it, media criticism is one of the only categories of criticism where the critics at least somewhat participate in the act being criticized–no one expected Pauline Kael to make better movies than The Sound of Music, but they lapped up her reviews anyway.) Andrew Breitbart (a friend of mine) is nobody's Pauline Kael, yet he produces bits of real-world journalism that eventually The New York Timeses of the world have to catch up to. This fact is apparently enough to make people's brains pop.

Take the normally interesting journalist Mark Bowden. Writing in this month's Atlantic, Bowden discusses two political gadfly bloggers who, out of political motivation, dug up the two videos of Judge Sonia Sotomayor that most news networks were playing on the day of her nomination to the Supreme Court–the "wise Latina" speech, and another one about appellate courts making "policy." Instead of asking the (to me) obvious question–why is that the tens of thousands of paid journalists in this country who did work related to Sotomayor's nomination failed to unearth the newsworthy videos?–Bowden spins the anecdote into Exibit A of All That Has Gone Horribly Wrong in Journalism. Excerpt:

I would describe their approach as post-journalistic. It sees democracy, by definition, as perpetual political battle. The blogger's role is to help his side. Distortions and inaccuracies, lapses of judgment, the absence of context, all of these things matter only a little, because they are committed by both sides, and tend to come out a wash. Nobody is actually right about anything, no matter how certain they pretend to be. The truth is something that emerges from the cauldron of debate. No, not the truth: victory, because winning is way more important than being right. Power is the highest achievement. There is nothing new about this. But we never used to mistake it for journalism. Today it is rapidly replacing journalism, leading us toward a world where all information is spun, and where all "news" is unapologetically propaganda.

Reading this, you'd almost think that Sotomayor's nomination was derailed, that the "wise Latina" quote ended up defining her, that the bulk of journalism about her was based on partisan misunderstandings of a long and presumably boring speech she gave at Duke. None of that is remotely true.

More relevantly to the journalism discussion, partisan media criticism is not "rapidly replacing journalism," it's supplementing journalism, forcing journalism to be sharper, and frequently committing acts of journalism in its own right, despite not being motivated by the same allegedly pristine Mission guiding postwar American newspaper types. That fact is not difficult for most consumers to grasp, but it's proven maddeningly elusive for keepers of the old flame. Here's the scoop: Media critics are more motivated by politics than journalistic purity, and in their extra motivation they can and will occasionally steal the old guard's lunch. They–and more importantly, their work–should be held to the same standard that people apply to alt-journalism from all sources, not just those whose politics seem yucky.

Read Breitbart defending himself here; Friedersdorf responds here. Watch Breitbart on ReasonTV here and here. And in December 2004, I used him as my lead example of a column called "Biased About Bias."

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  • ||

    The Atlantic is positively putrid now and I will definitely not be renewing my subscription.

    When your lineup of regular contributors includes Clive Crook, Andrew Sullivan, and Sandra Tsing-Loh *shudder*, you've got some serious house-cleaning to do.

    I pick up an Atlantic from the mid-90s and weep softly at what it has now become.

  • ||

    And Ta-Nehisi Coates for all the latest in hip-hop and racism in videogames, yo!

  • ||

    I will definitely not be renewing my subscription.

    Drink!

  • ||

    And same for the New Yorker. I could tolerate its yuppie attitude before, but now that's about all there is betwixt its covers. Elizabeth Kolbert the enviro-whacko with the shit-smeared asshole (no plush TP!!!) has free reign over their pages.

    It always cracks me up how the New Yorker and Atlantic basically come straight out of the gate advocating the farthest-left policies, and then there are luxury car and jewelry ads scattered throughout. Make up your mind dudes, is prosperity evil or not?

  • Mike M.||

    Welcome to the Alice-in-Wonderland modern America, where the socialists are all fabulously wealthy.

  • ||

    That's the truth. If it weren't so serious, it would be hilarious that the wealthy are as a group, socialistic. Apparently guilty over their money, but more than ready to hand over my money AND remove any opportunity (i.e. capitalism) from society.

    Here's a mind-bender of an idea. For the rich, give away your millions until the guilt recedes.

  • ||

    The issue is that most of the wealthy today, inherited their money from parents, who actually made or built something. They feel guilty that their money came from the hard work of their parents.

    They have for the most part sold off the businesses that their parents built with blood and sweat so, that they can have three or four houses, a few high dollar cars, and contribute to various charities and political causes to stave off the guilt.

  • ||

    Not so ironic if you think about it. Most of the people on top of a socialist system end up fantastically power and even wealthy, by comparison to everyone else. Some people are just more thrilled by being the only person with a pool on their block, than they are with simply having a pool.

  • ||

    This reminds me of the sick feeling I got in my stomach the other night watching that show where Mario Batali and Gwynth Paltrow frolic around Spain in the Mercedes, eating and drinking and saying pretentious stuff. I guess PBS differentiates between greedy bankers who get vilified on Frontline or Moyers and decadent liberal celebrities.

  • ||

    so true...you could always sift through the innocuous crap to read "annals of medicine" and other great pieces, but once bush derangement syndrome hit every aspect of the magazine became basically unreadable...the cartoons weren't even funny anymore...i remember an article by idiot in chief Al Gore...didn't understand a single word of what he was trying to say....a bunch of verbal diarrhea...the articles became more and more obtuse and directed to the left wing whaco's that you speak of....i cancelled my subscription w/ a very nasty note...never read Atlantic and never will

  • ||

    There is nothing new about this. But we never used to mistake it for journalism. Today it is rapidly replacing journalism, leading us toward a world where all information is spun, and where all "news" is unapologetically propaganda.

    Weird, apparently "journalism" wasn't invented until the mid 20th century. Journalism must not have existed at all in the 18th and 19th centuries, judging from their newspapers.

  • nicole||

    It sees democracy, by definition, as perpetual political battle.

    What exactly are we supposed to see democracy as other than this? It's a contest where the winners get to routinely violate the rights of the losers, according to their preferred manner. Democracy is not a truth-finding exercise.

  • ||

    That's the most cynical idea I've seen expressed in a long time. Are you trying to be funny or ironic or something?

  • ||

    That is not cynical, it is pragmatic - and the root of the ingenuous 'checks and balances' grounding of the U.S. Constitution. (I.e. the founding fathers believed that parliaments and democracy led to despotism, that only a system that rewarded continuous competition ensured honesty. A law requiring honesty assures nothing, a scrutinizing competing interest assures everything.

  • John Markley||

    That statement by Bowden leaped out at me for its sheer childish idiocy. The only form of democracy that isn't "perpetual political battle" is the sort of fake election dictators occasionally have.

  • ||

    Because it's possible to criticize X on grounds of Y without yourself doing Y better than X.

    Sort of reminds me of when artists/musicians respond to critics by saying, "Well, can you do what I do? No! Now shut up." I have no idea how to perform a triple bypass surgery, but that doesn't mean I won't hold doctors to the appropriate standard of care FOR A DOCTOR if they're working on me.

  • Mister DNA||

    Sort of reminds me of when artists/musicians respond to critics by saying, "Well, can you do what I do? No! Now shut up."

    I've always responded to this argument with, "I've never been to culinary school, but I know when there's a fly in my soup."

  • ||

    I like "You don't need to be a chicken to know a bad egg."

  • Ike||

    "You don't have to be an Oscar-winning director to know whether it's wrong to drug and rape a 13-year-old girl."

  • LarryA||

    "If you're an Oscar-winning director you don't have to know it's wrong to drug and rape a 13-year-old girl."

  • ||

    How exactly is it wrong?

  • ||

    This sort of shit happens in sports all the time among fans. A coach gets criticized and his defenders will, within about 3 exchanges, issue the charge of "you couldn't do any better!"

  • ||

    The Atlantic is shocked that someone actually bothered to read the public speeches given by a Supreme Court nominee. And at the same time has no problem with one of its headline bloggers being obsessed with Sarah Palin's OBGYN records. Seriously, almost a year after the election, Sully is still at it.

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlan.....-data.html

    The Atlantic are Democratic partisians and they are angy that they can't control the narative anymore. Seriously, if during his confirmation process someone had dug up a ten year old speech of John Roberts saying something embarassing, does anyone here think the Atlantic wouldn't have held it up as great journalism? Who are they trying to kid here?

  • ||

    Like the Slate ladies jumping up and down about an innocuous lawyer joke he made.

  • ||

    Bowden dares to insinuate that journalists are purveyors of impartial truth rather than players in the political process?

    If his dick was half as bloated as his ego he'd put John Holmes to shame.

  • Mad Max||

    'Weird, apparently "journalism" wasn't invented until the mid 20th century. Journalism must not have existed at all in the 18th and 19th centuries, judging from their newspapers.'

    I agree. Or as the kids say, QFT.

    In the early years of our Republic, and for quite a while thereafter, newspaper editors used their papers to promote the cause of their party. Editors were seen, and saw themselves, as part of their parties, and expected to be rewarded with government jobs and printing contracts if their party won. The exceptions would be those editors who were so committed to an unpopular cause that they advocated it even if it made them politically untouchable. (see, for instance, William Lloyd Garrison's abolitionist paper *The Liberator*).

    Then some editors came along who decided to cater to their readers, using a business model relying on advertising and subscriptions rather than party patronage. It was this development, not scolding from thumbsucking J-school profs, which allowed the development of a technically nonpartisan press.

    Yet somehow, even the nonpartisan press had its causes, which may or may not have been as respectable as the causes promoted by political parties.

    The Media Formerly Known as Mainstream (MFKM) - NY Times, etc. - promoted what amounted to a 'bipartisan consensus' in favor of the federal welfare/warfare state. They didn't care which party supported federal consolidation, so long as one (or both) of them did.

    Now we see more of the old partisan journalism, although without the same extremes of patronage (I'm sure it's not free of patronage, just not as extreme as in the spoils era). And there are some Garrison-style bloggers who promote causes.

  • Terry||

    Thanks for a historically accurate response. Glad to know there are others who realize that this type of biased and partisan journalism is nothing new. What might be new, however, is the pervasiveness of it on the left.

  • Terry||

    Thanks for a historically accurate response. Glad to know there are others who realize that this type of biased and partisan journalism is nothing new. What might be new, however, is the pervasiveness of it on the left.

  • Kolohe||

    (a friend of mine)

    R. Stacy McCain is a racist.

    Or at least that what Little Green Footballs says.

    Really.

    (n.b. just reporting not deciding to borrow a phrase)

  • ||

    Mad Max,

    Let's get our terms straight here. When you work for a big newspaper and advance a leftist agenda, you are a crusading journalist. When you are a blogger who advances a conservative or libertarian agenda, you are a partisian hack who needs to be silenced.

  • JB||

    When you work for a big newspaper and advance a leftist agenda, you are a crusading journalist retarded fetus.

    Fixed.

  • Ike||

    When you work for a big newspaper and advance a leftist agenda, you are a crusading journalist retarded fetus conquering hero to people who don't want to think for themselves.

    (Sorry, JB, but big newspaper-types with leftist agendae would never allow a retarded fetus to come to term.)

  • ||

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Now THAT'S the truth!

  • ||

    Thanks Mad Max for the history. I think it is just a matter that the "journalism," what ever the fuck that means, is continues to evolve. And perhaps it is moving back towards an era where entities wear their bias straight up front. Because, for me anyway, watching the MSM brag about being objective but then just seemimg to be a mouth piece for the government, lead me to other sources like here and The Agitator. Perhaps the least-common-denomitor don't-offend-anyone-lest-we-lose-readers business models fails all points on the political spectrum and it is human nature to go find like minds who want to see the world examined with the same philosophical lens.

    HOly shit...preview is back...

  • JB||

    "he produces bits of real-world journalism that eventually The New York Timeses of the world have to catch up to. This fact is apparently enough to make people's brains pop."

    It hurts their vaginas. Especially those at the Gray Cunt.

  • ||

    So why can't they live up to the Gray Lady's standards?

    What standard would that be? Maybe it is the one where they hire and promote Jayson Blair? Perhaps the standard that requires 7 corrections for one article? Or maybe just the glaring hypocrisy of a paper that is indefatigable in its defense of personal choice and complete abdication of state oversight when it comes to abortion yet sees no role for it whatsoever when it comes to any other healthcare policy.

  • Mike M.||

    What standard would that be? Maybe it is the one where they hire and promote Jayson Blair?

    Him, that journalistic legend of yore Walter Duranty, and that paragon of integrity and accuracy, Judith Miller.

    How could a mere Hollywood blogger live up to such lofty standards as those.

  • Andrea||

    Yes, I want health care decisions to be like abortion decisions: Private.

    If Obama spent half as much time protecting the right to privacy with respect to health care decisions as he does wrt abortion, we'd all be better off.

    Haven't heard much about rationing abortions. Will there be a lifetime limit, say, of 2?

  • ||

    Don't forget about Dowdy Maureen. It takes talent to be a successful plagiarist.

  • cmace||

    Then they have their bogus concept of Ojective Jourbalism. All this means is 'you agree with me or you're not a journalist'.

    Pretty soon everyone agrees with one another and they wonder why newspapers are dying. Who needs two newspapers when all the content is the same.

  • Chris in Toronto||

    Please tell me that "Jourbalism" was intentional! Please. But, intentional or not, it's a great turn of phrase. We should all adopt it when discussing the MSM (or MFKAMS).

  • Jimbo||

    This is another example of an old business model being destroyed by the new dynamics of electronic communication.

    See the record industry for an idea of where this is going to go.

    Let's face it, when your product is something that can be digitized and distributed for almost $0, you have problems making money.

    You are going to have a lot more competition when people can compete with you for almost nothing.

    The blogger in his PJ's can potentially have as big an impact as an old media company at a cost approaching $0.

  • ___||

    @swillfredo pareto

    You really ought to read Friedersdorf's original article as well as his response to Breitbart. Welch took the quote from Conor about the Times way out of context. Friedersdorf criticizes the Times for Jayson Blair and several other "sins."

  • Matt Welch||

    Way out of context? It was the freaking subhed. Also, I provided handy links to both his posts.

  • ||

    I did read it. From the first sentence on it is a pretentious pile of hagio-fellatio. Telling me everything that is wrong with other journalists tells me nothing about the New York Times. I do not have a problem taking the staff of the New York Times seriously because they failed to catch corruption at ACORN. I have a problem taking them seriously because they have a nakedly progressive editorial slant, they publish under the guise of objectivity and because they have never met a government program they were not in favor of.

  • ||

    Perhaps Shakespeare would not have had a character say, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."
    Henry VI, part 2 (act 4, scene 2)

    Today maybe the journalists would be a better choice.

  • @||

    Andrew Breitbart (a friend of mine) is nobody's Pauline Kael

    Well, that's a relief. To quote Frau Kael, who was throwing around "fascist" before it was chic:

    "Dirty Harry is obviously just a genre movie, but this action genre has always had a fascist potential, and it has finally surfaced....[S]ince crime is caused by deprivation, misery, psychopathology, and social injustice, Dirty Harry is a deeply immoral movie."

  • ||

    I'm always amused by that attitude toward crime. Of course, if it were true, then (e.g.) the '30s would have had far more crime than the '70s. Do liberals have a response to that uncomfortable fact?

  • ||

    Of course their attitude toward crime is amusing. Nothing that comes out of a leftist's mouth makes sense in the real world. Every syllable is meant to obfuscate, not explain reality. Dirty Harry is immoral for stopping criminals no one else will stop? The criminal in the first movie was killing children (black & white) and had kidnapped a schoolbusful leading up to the final scene. Apparently, Kael identifies with the child murderer/rapist/kidnapper. Someone needs a thorazine big gulp.

  • ||

    Libtards please read a real history book, we are a Republic, not a democracy. I am willing to keep the illegals if every Democrat moves to Mexico or Canada.

  • Chris in Toronto||

    Canada doesn't want 'em!

  • ||

    Right On Spicy!

  • Sean Healy||

    Fuck Andrew Sullivan. If a Jew wrote about gays the way he's begun writing about Jews...

  • ||

    I expect the NYT to now fire all their movie critics, and social and theater writers, because they aren't out there making movies or on broadway. They have no right to criticize!

  • Dello||

    "Easy answer: Because it's possible to criticize X on grounds of Y without yourself doing Y better than X."

    One need not be royalty oneself to see that the emperor is wearing no clothes.

  • @||

    The critics are wearing no clothes.

  • ap||

    ugh, conor. the guy who wants to be liked by everyone and ends up producing inane tripe that is as coherent as some mish-mash of tom friedman and david brooks.

  • Morgen Richmond||

    I commented on Bowden's article about my work on the Sotomayor nomination here:

    http://www.verumserum.com/?p=8223

  • ||

    Excuse me, but the Gray Lady had loads and loads of time and opportunity to investigate ACORN over the past decade, and they chose to look the other way. There was lots and lots of smoke, and the Gray Lady chose to not look for the fire. Stop running this jive past us: "So why can't they live up to the Gray Lady's standards?...Easy answer: Because it's possible to criticize X on grounds of Y without yourself doing Y better than X."

    That is simply a false choice argument - a classic Saul Alinsky strategy of deflection when the radical Left cannot win the argument with solid facts!

  • ||

    Of course, after the last election hearing legacy media bemoan 'partisan' alt media sounds like a joke setup. I'm waiting for a punch line....

  • John S||

    Matt,

    Gadfly blogger here. At base, my problem with Mark's contention is that he's demonstrably wrong about what Sotomayor said. It was not a narrow statement about race-based jurisprudence. It was a very broad statement about race, society and wisdom itself. "Wise Latina" didn't define her only because so many left-leaning "journalists" were willing to accept her belated and self-serving explanation of what she'd meant.

    I wrote about Friedersdorf's piece last night, which did seem to have trickled down from Bowden in some ways. He's right that there is a lot about the Times that is worth emulating. And maybe he has a point that we're too quick to overlook it in our irritation with the not-so-good parts. But his solution is wrong. Outlets like Big Hollywood and Drudge (and Verum Serum) aren't striving for a balanced, journalist-as-judge approach, the kind Bowden lauds. Our role is different. As Limbaugh used to say and maybe still does -- I am the balance.

    It's hard to avoid the thought that maybe Mark and others in the old media just don't like us putting our grubby fingers on their scales.

  • ||

    Whenever I hear the word journalistic ethics, I reach for my revolver.

  • Steven E. Smith||

    Breitbart's tendency to whine when attacked is unbecoming, and it doesn't help him here, especially when his critic is a) sympathetic towards him; and b) makes a number of ethical points about opinion journalism that Breitbart just ignores. Having seen Andrew draw a similar hissyfit about something Luke Thompson wrote a couple years back, he would be well-advised to just acknowledge that people can disagree with him without being evil incarnate.

  • Glenn Koons||

    What I find amusing is that the Left looks to Kos, Moveon, bloggers as their Olympian news sources and wonder why readers are dumping the NYTimes, WAPO, and other liberal outlets plus not looking at MSNBC because: these outlets are pure kow towers to leftist Obama like socialist pacifist pols, groups, and MSM heroes. Ethics and facts seem to be outside the pale of reality for the Left anymore. The public is finally realizing this and when they see an investigation like Andrew's on ACORN, it rings true while leftist slush, looks like pure propaganda. And they are right.

  • ||

    You would think that one's command of the English language is such that one would not have to use profanity in order to make his/her point...omit the profane words please!!!

  • Inarticulate||

    Fuck off.

  • Monte Beckham||

    Eat me

  • Robert Stacy McCain||

    "Respectable news outlets" probably don't include

  • ||

    "Regular Atlantic contributor Conor Friedersdorf, writing at The Daily Beast (and earning a high-five from Andrew Sullivan)"

    Well, the enemy of the friend of the friend of my friend is my enemy, so of course Sullivan is going to criticize conservative media for attacking the NY Times for ignoring ACORN, friend of Obama.

    Or to save time: Sullivan is anti- anything that is anti-Obama, no matter how attenuated the connection.

  • ||

    I started reading The Atlantic when the late Michael Kelly was the editor. It has fallen a long way since then.

    I kept up my subscription mostly because of two blogger/writers - Megan McCardle and Jeffrey Goldberg. But I can't take it any more. The Andrew Sullivan crowd is just taking over and there's less and less worth reading in each issue. So, the renewal notice will go into the trash.

  • ||

    I think that we have come full circle with Journalism. There used to be a wider variety of newspapers prior to that business consolidating. There was an open market for viewpoints and people did not hide their true beliefs. (When a powerful publisher used its market power to mislead and rile up the public, it was labeled Yellow Journalism.) Publishers pretended to be balanced journalists to head off complaints of abuse. Magazines like Time and Newsweek were more muted when they had less competition. Today, it is a truly open market for ideas and that is healthy, as long as people stop pretending that they are above human frailty. Human nature is to have "enlightened self interest" which is individually and selfishly defined. Which is why open news flow without pretension is good. And why altruistic socialism and that notion of 'can't we all just get along' is pure sillyness.

  • ||

    The comments here are a better read then the article...

  • Mark||

    I also cancelled my subscription to the Atlantic. I will not support a left wing agenda with my hard earned dollars.

  • Monte Beckham||

    Thank God for Andrew Breibart and all like him that attempt to tell the truth.Rags like yours and the Times have seen their last days drawing to a close,thank heavens.Leftist leaning propoganda machines like these will soon be gone forever.By the way---Buck Ofama

  • LarryA||

    So why can't they live up to the Gray Lady's standards? Easy answer: Because it's possible to criticize X on grounds of Y without yourself doing Y better than X.

    Except the criticism by the Gray Lady is that the bloggers are “doing Y better than X.”

  • ||

    hey matt, maybe he's not a partisan. maybe you are. maybe he's not the fringe of journalism. maybe you are. idiotic article, from an idiotic idiot.....

  • ||

    I am trying to decide where the "spin" is in the Breitbart stories. OK, he's conservative, but the ACORN tapes were real, and prove the moral bankruptcy of that august organization. No spin, just truth.

  • ||

    A couple of years ago, James Fallows appeared at Princeton University where I teach and gave an endowed lecture on "The Future of Iraq." He felt compelled to begin his lecture by announcing that, "no, I've never actually been to Iraq." My God, what passes for journalism.

  • ||

    I think that Jimbo hit it on the head. Journalism's big problem is more about cost than the editorial nature of the content. While I think the blogosphere can help sharpen reporting and I think the Atlantic's take on the Sotomayor tapes is ridiculous, I still find value in both the Atlantic and the NYT. The NYT remains my favorite newspaper because of what they can still achieve with respect to reporting and analysis. If you want to read some of the best reporting from the Iraq war, just read C.J. Chivers reporting on the Navy medic trying to save a marine in Anbar. That was journalism at its absolute best.

    But bloggers usually can't get former marines and first-rate journalists (like Chivers) on the ground, embedded in Anbar.

    So there still is a place for the dinosaurs if they can figure out how to survive. Otherwise, the freelancers need to figure out a way to grow the resources to report internationally and also self govern with meaningful editorial standards. I don’t know which is more likely.

    Don't forget it is loons on the far left who blame the NYT for the Iraq war itself (while some of you blame it for the welfare state).

  • J.||

    I also let my Atlantic subscription lapse a couple years ago. Shame too, because it used to be a pretty good read usually.

  • ||

    It seems that, in journalism, a sense that one is losing power generates more than a modicum of anger in the power losers. The only possible reason the Atlantic Monthly's of the journalistic world would decry blogger output, rather than celebrating same, is that the Old Gray Lady is getting her lunch eaten daily by the purple-eyed upstarts.

  • FriscoDB||

    Breitbart didn't live up to the NYT's standards. The standards that permit the running of a story the weekend before the 1992 election reporting an old rumor that Bush 41 had an extramarital affair while overseas many years prior.....or the standards that permit the running of a story the weekend before the 2000 election reporting Bush 43's DUI....or the standards that permit the running of a page one story during the 2008 presidential campaign implying, without any confirmation, that McCain had an affair with a lobbyist....or the standards that permitted the AP do photoshop smoke flumes into a picture of a Lebanese cityscape to visually establish that Israeli planes were bombing indescriminately.....or the standards that permitted Reuters to stage a picture of a dead Palastinian going as far as to have him smeared with mud, placed on a stretcher, and later claiming that picture was meant to be representative.

    What a hoot. When these pricks were the only game in town, I held my nose and sifted through the bias for the news. No more.

  • ||

    Well put. I might add how much coverage did phony Bush military discharge documents "uncovered" by CBS news get on all the airwaves and The Gray Lady amongst many, many others before being debunked?

    The internet, to be sure, has hammered the old MSM. But their refusal to at least ATTEMPT to report news fairly is yet another coffin nail. Good riddance.

  • TallDave||

    Megan McArdle is the only reason to read Atlantic.

  • cooperscopy||

    It's obvious the mainstream media will not do the work of energetic reporters and bloggers, who may or may not have a political agenda.But, what does it matter. It's clear the mainstream media has a political agenda. Protect Barck Obama at any cost....http://cooperscopy.blogspot.com/

  • ||

    If the proper journalistic practice is that X can not criticize Y unless X can demonstrate more proficiency than Y at whatever X criticizes then I guess we will not see the NY Times or MSM in general criticizing Obama or the military in the future. Well, Obama anyway. Guess they forgot this principle previously with Mr Bush.

  • Roscoe||

    Not bad. But, why do you assume that the NYT is any less biased than Breitbart? The Gray Lady doesn't live up to the standards she espouses. The mainstream media are just as biased as Breitbart and Drudge.

  • Commenter||

    The absolute worst part about the Atlantic is their semi-literate blogging hack, T.N. Coates.

  • ||

    Used to love the Atlantic. Now just the same tripe as the New Yorker in a bit different format. It and Newsweek are out the door next renewel,

  • Andre Kenji||

    I may be biased because I think that Breitbart is pathetic whiner and a very mediocre writer, but I don´t see nothing here. ACORN has relatively low budget. It´s not a giant menace to nothing, and the Republicans are only interested on that because they can use it to attack Democrats by guilt by association.

    The videostint against them, in fact, resembles the most terrible thing of mainstream journalism: the How to catch a predator series. Maybe the employees would call the cops after the pimp leaves, maybe they didn´t think that was serious. No one knows.

    It´s also pathetic that a Supreme Court Justice is reduced to two quotations. It´s true that there were blogs that ignored this to really study Sotomayor´s judicial record while the mainstream media repeated ad naseaum the two quotes that bloggers found and Mr. Welch is so proud of.

  • ||

    Had it not been for "Buckhead" and some others at FreeRepublic, Dan Rather and CBS would've foisted that made-up TX Air National Guard smear on President Bush and Senator Kerry would possibly have won in 2004. To my mind, John Kerry is a taller, more patrician Barack Obama, so that real unemployment would already be at 30% vs. the 17% we are currently experiencing.

  • ||

    Things must really be getting FUBAR for the Fringe Media and Dead Tree Rags.

    It is becoming ever more readily apparent from their; When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.

  • ||

    People are still missing the point. The MSM is still desperately trying to get a government bailout. All those 50-something liberal editors need to get official government status in order to make it over the finish line and collect a pension. They will do anything for Obama in exchange for survival. It is not just that they are Democratic Partisans. They need to tap the only font of money and power in a Messiah-Based Economy. And even if they can't get their bailout, they expect to have the Government crush their competition.

  • VinceP1974||

    The future of this country is absolutely fucked.

    There aren't enough people who will even give lip service to the Constition, let alone demand those in power abide by it.

    Unless the left is purged from the Editor's job and the University, the blockade on information about the dangerous cultural corruption that pervades our country will never be ratcheded up to the level needed to the people in general to correct themselves.

    Just look at what is happening right now.

    Congress is given a bill by the destructive Speaker of the House , the $1,000,000,000,000 stimulus bill.

    The bill that was written by an outside Leftist group called the Apollo Alliance.

    The bitch gave the house less than a day to consider and vote for the bill. Which the assholes did.

    Since then,the stimulus bill had the opposite effect. It had the OBVIOUS effect for anyone who has comon sense.

    businesses in America are being suffocated by the Govt borrowing so much money, there isn't much out there for everyone else... they're also being starved by the imminent explosion of taxes.

    And they're starved by the fear of Unionization.

    (Those last two things are what made the Depression last so long)

    Our currency is being devastated gby this.. and if it collapses that means no more Imports.

    No more oil

    No more military

    This Government is burning the country to the ground and if it werne't for the widely criticized Fox News and talk radio... no one would know shit about what is going on.

    And now these fuckers wnat to take over health care.

    Did I wake up in a fucking nightmare?

    This is a catestrophe.. we cant' rely on the Fed Govt to stop this... the only thing will be civil war or a coup... or we die

    We can not survive as an economic basketcase reliant on a JIT supply chain.

  • ||

    We live in a target-rich environment for journalism. We have 535 elected officials who somehow become millionaires on $150K a year while maintaining two residences (or more). EVERY political decision is subject to prior sale, but the 4th Estate does nothing to document the link between political contributions and legislation. Radical organizations write the legislation that our representatives don't even read, but journalists do nothing. Our president is surrounded by the most radical and disgusting group of advisors in history but journalists do nothing. Two 20-somethings in silly costumes investigate an organization that gets millions in government funds while traditional journalists do nothing. Our president is instituting "fundamental transformation of America" though he has no Constitutional right to do any such thing: and journalist snooze.
    An effective press is essential to our Republic but we have none.

  • ||

    What is interesting in the Atlantic (I actaully have a subscription) is that after the aforementioned article, there is an Article by Kaplan and the Aljeezera network. Now, without going into politics, it is indisputable that if you want to see overseas events, that network cleans the clock of CNN, ABC, NBC, and CBS - indeed, it provides more information than all of them put together.
    And I would ask Bowden this: Is Aljeezera more of less biased than CNN, ABC, CBS, or NBC?
    Answer - it doesn't matter. If they get it wrong, report that its wrong, but if your not even in the game, don't bitch about the results.

  • ||

    I find it extremely ironic that "news" sources are whining about distortions, inaccuracies, lack of context, and the proliferation of propaganda. They practice all of those things on a regular basis, and are just angry now, because people have figured out that mainstream news is unreliable "infotainment." They don't want to share the audience or revenue. Too late.

  • shecky||

    I'd love to defend Breitbart. He'd make it much easier if he were less of a thin skinned whiner. He gives me warm fuzzies the way Michael Moore does.

    The big problem I see is that the likes of Breitbart are about as good as the right gets. Which is pretty fucking sad no matter how you look at it.

  • ||

    It's amazing the stuff that is pawned off as journalism these days. I take our local paper to the coffee shop in the morning and we play "Find the headline" for each story. If one reads far enough one usually finds that the headline doesn't fit the story but is spun so the casual observer will get the impression the editor wants. Locally, journalism comes down to editing faxes about local events and reading the "police blotter" on line or repeating what the local TV stations put out - generally with equal enrgy and inetrest. It's become a lazy and biased profession, as can be seen from the product. Diogenes523

  • ||

    "Welch fluffs Breitbart:"

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=27981

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