A Comparison

From the comments, to address the screeching about Citizen Journalism:

Option 1: Real Journalism

1. Call the Frosts to verify the details about them.
2. Call the agency that handles S-CHIP in Baltimore to find out their situation.
3. Talk to anyone else that can independently verify the Frost’s situation (i.e. doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc.).
4. Publish the facts.

Option 2: Wingnutosphere Journalism

1. Show up at the Frost’s house unannounced and spy on them.
2. Guess as to what the Frost’s situation is based on their car, the value of their house and some Google searches.
3. Talk to neighbors and co-workers to get the inside dirt on the Frost’s (do they throw lavish parties?).
4. Publish their personal information along with your opinion of their situation and invite further scrutiny from the general public based on misinformation.

Pretty much.

And what does it say about the blogosphere that in the end, with all the vast resources of all the citizen journalists, it boiled down to crazy people peering at pictures of the Frost’s kitchen? And even at that absurd level, they were wrong about the Frost’s counters.






51 replies
  1. 1
    The Populist says:

    Brilliant post. This is why these people aren’t journalists anymore than a vigilante is the police or a mob is the army.

  2. 2
    Detlef says:

    You forgot
    Option 2:
    5. Delete embarrassing post from 2004 saying

    After my husband quit his job earlier this year (to become a full-time stay-at-home dad), we had a choice. We could either buy health insurance from his former employer through a program called COBRA at a cost of more than $1,000 per month(!) or we could go it alone in Maryland’s individual market. Given our financial circumstances, that “choice” wasn’t much of a choice at all. We had to go on our own.

    We discovered that the most generous plans in Maryland’s individual market cost $700 per month yet provide no more than $1,500 per year of prescription drug coverage–a drop in the bucket if someone in our family were to be diagnosed with a serious illness.

    With health insurance choices like that, no wonder so many people opt to go uninsured.

    America’s broken health insurance system.

    h/t TBogg

  3. 3
    DougJ says:

    Not sure why, but this post had me in tears laughing. It’s funny when something can be described with no embellishment yet be so absurd, I guess.

  4. 4
    ThymeZone says:

    It’s funny, but tragicomic at the end of the day.

    I wonder how many of these morons would be the first to scream for help when an unexpected medical crisis threw their fragile situation into the financial toilet, as they turn on their tvs to see their government telling them that we have billions for Iraq but nothing for Americans who are screwed?

    But of course, as long as the medical crisis happens to somebody else …. who cares?

  5. 5
    OniHanzo says:

    You forgot
    Option 2:
    5. Delete embarrassing post from 2004

    Seriously. Someone needs to screen capture that before her minions in the Ministry of Truth tip her off to it.

  6. 6
    OniHanzo says:

    It always pays to proofread before clicking submit.

  7. 7
    Calmax says:

    Tim Grieve at Salon’s War Room has the perfect two word answer to these bickering fools: Tony Snow.

    “When Snow announced in August that he was leaving his job as White House press secretary, he said he was doing so because he “ran out of money.” Snow made $168,000 at the White House and presumably received health insurance as a federal employee. Snow said that he’d made “more money” in his “previous career” working for Fox News, and that he didn’t want to dip into what he’d managed to put away before coming to the White House just so that he could keep working there. “I made the decision not to say to my wife and kids, ‘You know, we’ve finally saved up all this money and done these things, and you’re just going to have to give them away so Daddy can work at the White House,'” Snow explained. “We took out a loan when I came to the White House, and that loan is now gone. So I’m going to have to pay the bills.”

    The clear implication: The $168,000 Snow was making at the White House wasn’t enough to handle month-to-month expenses for Snow, his wife and their three kids.”

    Michelle and her friends should do the math.

  8. 8
    libarbarian says:

    It always pays to proofread before clicking submit.

    Proofreading – actually fact-checking in general – is the cowards way out.

    In fact, the only thing more cowardly than fact-checking is to try and whip up mob violence against someone and then hiding behind the phony shield of “journalism”.

  9. 9
    OniHanzo says:

    Good point, libarbarian.

    I cocked up that post of mine because the Democrats pushed me off my keyboard.

    That should take care of that. Now for a lemonade.

  10. 10
    Face says:

    Guess as to what the Frost’s situation is based on their car the car parked outside their house, which may or may not have even been their car…for all she knew could have been the babysitter’s or the bookie’s…

    We’re still 13 months from an election, and they’re this unhinged. I cant wait (sarcasm) to see how bad this gets come summertime, when they go into full, complete oh-fuck! mode.

  11. 11
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    This is why these people aren’t journalists anymore than a vigilante is the police or a mob is the army.

    Vigilantes aren’t the police? Then perhaps you can explain why petty vandalism like graffitti is down 80 percent while heavy sack beatings are up a shocking 900 percent?

    Sorry, just seeing the word “vigilante” is enough to trigger Pavlovian reaction in which I dust off that quote.

  12. 12
    Paul L. says:

    1. Call the Frosts to verify the details about them.

    Because they would never lie or just hang up on you.
    Works all the time. Such as

    “Mr Gore do you use 10 times the energy that the average American uses?”
    “Mr. Gore buys carbon offsets and is helping to raise awareness in global warming climate change so shut the f*ck up.”

    Talk to anyone else that can independently verify the Frost’s situation

    Which strangely according to John does not include neighbors and co-workers.

    You forgot
    Option 2:
    5. Delete embarrassing post from 2004 saying

    You must be thinking of Amanda Marcotte.

  13. 13
    Bombadil says:

    Paul L. likes pie.

  14. 14
    OniHanzo says:

    Just keep shilling, just keep shilling.

  15. 15
    Cyrus says:

    So did you not notice Option 1, point #2 in John’s list, Paul L.?

    Talk to anyone else that can independently verify the Frost’s situation

    Which strangely according to John does not include neighbors and co-workers.

    Perhaps John assumed that appending “… in a way that is not unprofessional and would not make a reasonable person scared” was unnecessary. You’re right, he should have known better.

    I’m a reporter. I occasionally have to track people down by calling third parties. When I do, I identify myself and say why I’m doing so. If Michelle Malkin got someone as left-wing as she portrays the Frost’s neighbor to speak with her as freely as she claims, I find it very hard to believe she was open with the neighbors about who she was and why she was there.

  16. 16
    Mike S says:

    Does it surprise anyone that someone like Paul still defends this idiocy.

    Gump’s words ring true with Paul. “Stupid is as stupid does.”

  17. 17
    chopper says:

    2. Guess as to what the Frost’s situation is based on their car, the value of their house and some Google searches

    actually, it’s guessing as to what the Frost’s situation is based on the value of the house down the street.

    all the screeching about a OMG they have a half-million dollar house!!one!, was based solely on the fact that someone down the street sold their house for that much.

    mmmm, that’s good journalism.

  18. 18
    chopper says:

    Because they would never lie or just hang up on you.

    that’s true, since they support SCHIP they are, by definition, liars who will automatically tell falsehoods to anyone and everyone.

  19. 19
    Zifnab says:

    Does it surprise anyone that someone like Paul still defends this idiocy.

    A little, yeah. At a certain point, it seems like shame would just be beaten into you. But apparently, according to Paul, you’re not really a journalist until you picked through someone’s trash.

    But then this is all par for the course when it comes to Faux News reporting. Smear, smear, smear. Get the facts totally wrong. Throw a pants-shitting hissy-fit over how outrageous your inaccurate data is. Get called on your bullshit. Accuse the world of being out to get you when you get called on it. Lather. Rinse. Report on Paris Hilton. Repeat.

  20. 20
    Tsulagi says:

    If it weren’t for the continued unwanted attention placed on the Frosts, I’d say let the Wingnuttians stay the course on this crusade. Let them keep working it according to their time worn Principle of Stupid. Soar into heights of POS! status never before reached.

    Don’t let anyone silence you, Michelle. You deserve to become the undisputed Queen of the Nutters eclipsing that stick bitch, Annie. She came up with Jersey Widows to great applause. You could label the Frosts the Moochers of Baltimore. Show the nutters you know how to fight.

  21. 21
    ThymeZone says:

    You could label the Frosts the Moochers of Baltimore.

    The Frosts are the Welfare Queens of our time.

    Over a period of about five years, Reagan told the story of the “Chicago welfare queen” who had 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards, and collected benefits for “four nonexisting deceased husbands,” bilking the government out of “over $150,000.” The real welfare recipient to whom Reagan referred was actually convicted for using two different aliases to collect $8,000. Reagan continued to use his version of the story even after the press pointed out the actual facts of the case to him.

    — Washington Monthly

  22. 22
    Detlef says:

    Paul L.,

    your heroine Michelle Malkin “reported” that the Frosts, two adults and four kids, could get health insurance for as low as $452.
    According to her website, this is from her new syndicated column:

    The Frosts claim it would cost them more per month than their mortgage, reportedly $1,200 a month, to buy private insurance. But insurance bloggers quickly found available plans for a family of six with premiums as low as $452/month.

    While writing something completely different in 2004 describing her own situation. How come?
    Little disconnect between her reality and the reality of others?

  23. 23
    ThymeZone says:

    But insurance bloggers quickly found available plans for a family of six with premiums as low as $452/month.

    We’ll need to see the statement of coverage for that $452 plan please. Be sure to include the provisions for preexisting conditions, and the pharmacy coverage that goes with it. Also the list ofexclusions, and what outpatient and rehab care, if any, are covered.

  24. 24
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Jonathan Cohn, by following Option 1, has just done an extremely thorough job of looking into the Frosts’ situation on the TNR website — and pointed out that the main reason they genuinely can’t get health insurance is because of their combination of (1) being self-employed, and (2) having preexisting health conditions. (The response of one of their main accusers, Bob Vineyard at “InsureBlog”, to this news was — literally — to clap his hands over his ears and chant “La la la, I can’t hear you!”)

  25. 25
    John Cole says:

    Jonathan Cohn, by following Option 1, has just done an extremely thorough job of looking into the Frosts’ situation on the TNR website

    GOD DAMN YOU, SCOTT BEAUCHAMP.

  26. 26
    Jake says:

    We’re still 13 months from an election, and they’re this unhinged. I cant wait (sarcasm) to see how bad this gets come summertime, when they go into full, complete oh-fuck! mode.

    [Updating “To-do” list]:
    1. Dig moat around house.
    2. Acquire large dogs.

  27. 27
    chopper says:

    god, concrete countertops? that shits more expensive than gold!

    The Frosts claim it would cost them more per month than their mortgage, reportedly $1,200 a month, to buy private insurance. But insurance bloggers quickly found available plans for a family of six with premiums as low as $452/month.

    and i’m sure that, in their insurance quotes, those ‘insurance bloggers’ factored in two kids with permanent disabilities including brain damage. totally, i’m absolutely sure of it.

    hell, if there’s one thing i’m absolutely sure of in this whole mess, its that if the frosts could get full coverage for the whole family including the two disabled practically-uninsurable kids for 450 bones a month, they’d be on it already.

  28. 28
    The Populist says:

    LOL Bubblegum Tate…

    I live in a major city and graffiti is actually up and worse than ever before, ;)

  29. 29
    laneman says:

    [Updating “To-do” list]:
    1. Dig moat around house.
    2. Acquire large dogs.

    Bwa ha ha ha

    But, I’m right behind you.

  30. 30
  31. 31
    Krista says:

    hell, if there’s one thing i’m absolutely sure of in this whole mess, its that if the frosts could get full coverage for the whole family including the two disabled practically-uninsurable kids for 450 bones a month, they’d be on it already.

    But that’s the thing, though! If they only make $45K between the two of them per year, $450 is still a very sizeable chunk of change. My household income is about that, and I sure as hell would not be able to afford a $450 monthly healthcare premium. But, according to wingnuttia, if I can’t afford that payment, then I should either never have children, or if I do, I should live in a trailer and work two jobs, rather than avail myself of a government program for which I freaking qualify.

  32. 32
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Be sure and catch Cohn’s update to his earlier comment, on the plight of “somebody else in Maryland who couldn’t find health insurance. She and her husband had to buy insurance on the individual market and — predictably — there was no affordable coverage to be had. Who was this person? Why, none other than Michelle Malkin.”

  33. 33
    jake says:

    Who was this person? Why, none other than Michelle Malkin.

    OK, that’s not funny. Please tell me that feculent she-beast does NOT live in Maryland. Alan Havuseenmy Keyes spewing toxic hate around the state is bad enough.

  34. 34
    John S. says:

    Which strangely according to John does not include neighbors and co-workers.

    As far as I’m concerned (and it is my list), you cannot independently verify the kind of information we’re talking about in this scenario by talking to neighbors and co-workers.

    Do your neighbors know your net worth? Do they know what kind of health insurance you have? Do your co-workers know where your kids go to school? Do they know their medical history?

    Neighbors and co-workers know gossip. All they know about you is what is said about you and what you tell them.

  35. 35
    Rome Again says:

    [Updating “To-do” list]:
    1. Dig moat around house.
    2. Acquire large dogs.

    Unfortunately I cannot dig a moat around my apartment, but, I am building fake soundproof walls and I will be using environmentally sound material, so perhaps it will also deter Malkin Carbonite.

  36. 36
    D-Chance. says:

    jake Says:

    Who was this person? Why, none other than Michelle Malkin.

    OK, that’s not funny. Please tell me that feculent she-beast does NOT live in Maryland.

    How do you think she was able to drive by the Frost family’s business and house so quickly?

    And now… it looks like Miss Ann got jealous of all the attention that Stalkin’ Malkin is getting, so she stirs up her own little hornet’s nest. http://www.dailykos.com/storyo...../184540/12

    That as-of-yet-unnamed Democrat candidate looks better and better every day…

  37. 37
    laneman says:

    OK, that’s not funny. Please tell me that feculent she-beast does NOT live in Maryland.

    Bethesda, MD, if I am not mistaken – less than 3 miles from me.

    SHUDDER

  38. 38
    jcricket says:

    But of course, as long as the medical crisis happens to somebody else …. who cares?

    Actually, these are the same people that protest abortion clinics one day, and then go in and get an abortion the next day, and then back out to the protesting.

    The party that brought you the “ex-gay” movement is not one to be swayed by a little hypocrisy or petard hoisting.

  39. 39
    jcricket says:

    John – you forgot to add “check authenticity of 12 year old’s statements by passing audio through program on your PC” (to the option 2 section). For all we know he isn’t really a 12-year old boy. It’s probably Hilary Clinton or something.

    PS. Clinton did it too.

  40. 40
    jcricket says:

    And John, this is particularly telling:

    with all the vast resources of all the citizen journalists,

    Real journalism is hard. Go ask Murray Waas how easy it was to uncover what he has, or Sy Hersh. The “vast resources of citizens” don’t necessarily amount to anything (even if directed in a non-wingnutty way).

    But these jackoffs wouldn’t know how to do real investigative journalism if it were spoon fed to them. The same crowd that wants to torture every darkie that thinks about Islam wouldn’t understand the months or years it can take to unravel a complicated issue while preserving source confidentiality.

    To them it’s all about font kerning or whatever else you can discover in a drive-by of someone’s house or a public records search done in 10 minutes.

  41. 41
    jake says:

    How do you think she was able to drive by the Frost family’s business and house so quickly?

    Flying Monkey?

    I thought she went to Iraq to prove that Jamil Hussein did not exist anywhere outside of the Libtard Imagination. If so, a domestic flight to stalk a 12 yo through the streets of Bal’more wouldn’t phase her one bit.

    You’re kidding, right? Please?

    For the record: if trAnn Coulter lives out here I don’t fucking wanna know about it.

    COULTER: No, we think — we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say.

    Yep. The buzz from “Kill all their leaders and convert them to Christianity,” has worn off so this walking genital wart has gone in search of a bigger thrill. Yeah, I know what the fuckers who talking about “perfecting” the Jews want us to think they mean, but when someone says “We want the Jews to be perfected,” I hear it in a creepy German accent.

    But I also feel I owe a little thanks to Anndy. It’s people like her, the psychotic wannabes who emulate her and the Bible waving, hooker humping evans, who’re driving a long cold iron stake through the heart of the GOP. Maybe when it rises from the dead it will interesting to have around but until then its kind of fun watching these insane clowns tear down their own “Big Tent.”

    COULTER: Yeah. You have to obey.

    Yaah. Get her a monocle, jackboots and a riding crop and … she’s ready for her next client.

  42. 42
    tBone says:

    But, according to wingnuttia, if I can’t afford that payment, then I should either never have children, or if I do, I should live in a trailer and work two jobs, rather than avail myself of a government program for which I freaking qualify.

    A trailer? That’s a little extravagant, don’t you think? If these Welfare Queens and their endless broods of squalling brats can afford to live in lavish doublewide comfort, why should my tax dollars support their hedonistic lifestyle? Suck it up and move into a cardboard box if health insurance is so important to you.

    And two jobs? Just two? Last time I counted, there are 24 hours in a day – perfect for fitting in three 8-hour shifts. Don’t be a slacker and then whine about how you can’t afford luxuries like health insurance for your kids.

  43. 43
    tBone says:

    Yep. The buzz from “Kill all their leaders and convert them to Christianity,” has worn off so this walking genital wart has gone in search of a bigger thrill.

    Do you really have to insult genital warts like that?

  44. 44

    Osama bin Malkin

    I’ve been busy this week preparing for the Small Press Expo so I haven’t really had the amount of time necessary to explain in complete detail just how contemptible Michelle Malkin is. I admire Ezra’s challenge to Malkin to debate…

  45. 45
    r€nato says:

    And what does it say about the blogosphere that in the end, with all the vast resources of all the citizen journalists, it boiled down to crazy people peering at pictures of the Frost’s kitchen?

    Just because someone owns a toolbox, it doesn’t make them a carpenter.

    Just because some wingnut stalks the Frosts, it doesn’t make them a journalist. It does, however, make them a total douche.

  46. 46
    r€nato says:

    according to wingnuttia, if I can’t afford that payment, then I should either never have children, or if I do, I should live in a trailer and work two jobs, rather than avail myself of a government program for which I freaking qualify.

    I’m certain that the wingnuts, if they were to be faced with a situation similar to that of the Frosts, would choose to deny their children medical insurance for the sake of their political principles.

    Because that’s what any loving, normal parent would do… right?

  47. 47
    Beej says:

    And, for cryin’ out loud, do any of these people understand anything about insurance companies? The Frost children have “pre-existing conditions”. This means that even if their parents were able to get private insurance for the children, a very iffy proposition, either the pre-existing conditions are going to be excluded or the premiums are going to be enormous. $452??? I don’t think so. Try $4520 per month instead. That’s way more realistic.

  48. 48
    Nancy Irving says:

    Malkin: “The refusal to do assets tests on federal health insurance programs is why federal entitlements are exploding and government keeps expanding.”

    Medicare is a “federal health insurance program.” Does Malkin mean that seniors who own their own homes should not qualify for Medicare?

  49. 49
    zzyzx says:

    Bad news, according to National Review we’re not rich anymore:

    Republicans need to launch an aggressive middle-class tax offensive.

    For example, we don’t need six income-tax brackets. Here’s a thought: Take the 33 percent bracket that starts at $188,450 and get rid of it.

    So apparently people who make over 200k a year are middle class. It’s amazing how quickly inflation kicked in.

  50. 50

    I loved the term that someone used: “intermittently employed”.
    Best friend of mine is a carpenter. He would be delighted if he could have “non-intermittent” employment! Can’t work when it’s raining (imagine that!), can’t work when his clients have no work for him.

    There is not a farging self-employed person *anywhere* who does not experience downtime that isn’t of his or her own doing. In case it wasn’t noticed, there is a housing slowdown. There aren’t as many people that buy houses and want cabinetry as there were. It’s all over the real-estate blogs.

    Malkin knows this. She prefers we all pretend her “self-employment” doesn’t involve burying herself in someone’s groin.

  51. 51
    jcricket says:

    Malkin knows this. She prefers we all pretend her “self-employment” doesn’t involve burying herself in someone’s groin.

    The image of Michelle in her faux-cheerleader outfit buried face deep in Richard Mellon Scaife’s wrinkled crotch will haunt me for-EVAH!

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  1. Osama bin Malkin

    I’ve been busy this week preparing for the Small Press Expo so I haven’t really had the amount of time necessary to explain in complete detail just how contemptible Michelle Malkin is. I admire Ezra’s challenge to Malkin to debate…

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