Big Reason

Welch fluffs Breitbart:

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.

The point Welch is trying to make is simple: the fact that people like Brietbart have no journalistic standards of their own doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with them critiquing and influencing actual journalists. And that’s a valid point.

But as is usual with glibertarians — even newly minted ones like Welch — there is a vast oversimplification. It is not problematic (it’s good, in fact) for the media to pick up on legitimate stories uncovered by even the the most unhinged, partisan bloggers. It is is problematic that the Times and Post feel they have to kow-tow to Beck/Breitbart in order to prove that they’re not teh librul.

It’s quite remarkable to contrast the Opus Dei style ritual self-flagellation the mainstream media went through about the ACORN story with the complete lack of comment they gave about the fact that Josh Marshall started covering the US Attorney scandal months before the Times or Post picked it up. In fact, it’s a bit worse than that — Mike Kinsley and Jay Carney openly mocked Marshall’s investigation (Carney later apologized).

The trouble with conservative critique of the media is that it’s too often hysterical and bullying. For every Dan Rather memo they’ve uncovered, they’ve looked at a thousand families’ countertops (figuratively speaking). The mainstream media’s cowardly response to the bullying is not a good thing, no matter what the Reaonoids think.

I’d like to think that if the Koch family paid me whatever they’re paying Matt Welch, that I’d still be saying this….

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit






48 replies
  1. 1
    Bootlegger says:

    Make no mistake, the MSM isn’t critiquing blog reporting because it lacks their J-school ethical standards, its because the blogosphere is openly critical of the MSM which is something the Villagers simply don’t do to each other. When they respond to Con bullying by curling up in a fetal position it’s to avoid a non-substantive critique”, but when they respond to bloggers substantive critiques they attack the critic.

  2. 2
    inkadu says:

    they’ve looked at a thousand families’ countertops (figuratively speaking)

    Ok. Fill me in. I don’t get this one. My only guess is that it’s related to that expansion of child insurance where one example of a “low middle class” family had countertops made of pex-heated granite or some nonsense.

  3. 3
    Morbo says:

    Jon Stewart’s finger wagging at the media on the ACORN deal was also pretty sad to behold. He might as well have shamed them for missing all the stories uncovered in Borat.

  4. 4
    DougJ says:

    My only guess is that it’s related to that expansion of child insurance where one example of a “low middle class” family had countertops made of pex-heated granite or some nonsense.

    That is correct.

  5. 5
    Mojotron says:

    Isn’t Breitbart the same guy who was drunkenly screaming at and flipping off people who were protesting child conscripts in the Congo?

    fake edit: yep. What an ass.

  6. 6
    geg6 says:

    I’m a girl, so I can say this.

    The MSM is a bunch of whiny ass girls, obsessing about which of them is going to get a wink from the quarterback to meet him under the bleachers after the game. And after putting out for the manly QB, they get treated like the cheap sluts they are. And the cycle begins all over again.

    What I really don’t get is why they continually mistake the pasty, fat geek who pulls the wings off flies in biology class for the QB.

  7. 7
    Crashman06 says:

    Welch fluffs Breitbart:

    This phrase just made me burst out laughing. Thanks Doug, I needed that today.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Michael D. says:

    We need to stop with terms like “glibertarian” and “rethuglicans” – even thought they are 100% true! We need to critique these bastards with facts and figures. When people on the opposite side of an argument read a post with words like “Rethuglicans” and “Glibertarians” they stop reading. SO they never see what you write.

    You might feel they are stupid, but engage them on their terms. Saying, “Hey, I disagree with Libertarian ideas…etc” is different and more palatable than saying, “Hey you fucking rethug…”

    Seriously. I agree with you, but lay off the insults out of the gate. Show them they’re wrong by argument instead of invective – which I know you do, and mostly they don’t listen. I just think this is a better way.

    Communicate privately to your friends who believe this shit with invective. :-)

    Be.
    Better.
    Than.
    Them.

  10. 10
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    I will believe that the media is not in on the take when someone asks the President that, if he is so concerned about unemployment for Americans, why we continue to allow immigration of new workers.

    It would also be interesting to know the reasoning behind Hedge Funds not being required to disclose their short positions to the SEC.

    And why is it that crime in white areas is reported on while the reality of crime in the cities is completely ignored?

    It looks to me like the media is covering up for concentrated moneyed interests. All three of the above attempts to control the imagery act to lower the cost of labor (resources), and insulate the High from the Middle (security).

  11. 11
    inkadu says:

    MSM: “We’re not stuffy! We like bloggers, especially ones that are pushing stories which we would love to cover, but are too embarrassed to generate on our own because even by our craptacular standards those stories are partisan hackery based on rumor, innuendo, and paranoid ravings from a basement in Dubuque.”

  12. 12
    DougJ says:

    We need to stop with terms like “glibertarian” and “rethuglicans”

    I agree on rethuglican. I love “glibertarian”, tho, and I will never stop using it. I will also not apply it to people who are libertarians who make some attempt to be thoughtful.

  13. 13
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Michael D.:

    SO they never see what you write.

    Because they typically never read it in the first place. And methinks you afford these people too much respect.

  14. 14
    Michael D. says:

    @Midnight Marauder: True: But when people write about you that you are a socialist LIBRUL. do you just stop reading? I do. And so you should.

    But maybe I’m different.

  15. 15
    DougJ says:

    But when people write about you that you are a socialist LIBRUL. do you just stop reading?

    You’re missing the point. The whole purpose of the word “glibertarian” is to distinguish the glib silliness of Welch/McArdle from more serious libertarianism (I probably wouldn’t call Will Wilkinson a “glibertarian” tho he is occasionally).

  16. 16
    inkadu says:

    @Michael D.: On a related note, we should also stop calling people concern trolls.

    @Morbo: Aigh! I’ve always thought “who are these people who need the lexicon?” And now I know. (Slightly OT – My friend has concrete counter with bits of granite and mica in it. If you sand it down and give it a polish, it looks great.)

  17. 17
    Don says:

    I should know better than to respond to B.O.B. but this is one of my crank points.

    There is only one valid question to ask regarding respone to illegal immigrant workers: “If we really care about this, why don’t we crack down on it at the root cause: the employer level?” We could hire every citizen part-time to watch the border and prospective workers would still find a way to get in because WE HAVE THE JOBS AND MONEY THEY NEED. The drug war has shown that trying to choke off something at the demand level is an impossible quest.

    Any other question about dealing with illegal workers is a stupid and/or disingenuous question. Enforcement statistics show that enforcement and fines against employers have fallen over the last eight years. We don’t WANT the problem solved because we like our cheap veggies and inexpensive lawn service.

  18. 18
    Zach says:

    I think I was one of Charles Johnson’s last hilarious targets of investigation before he realized how silly the whole thing was. When the person responsible for the greatest success in your movement turns tail because you’re all too embarrassing, it should be a sign.

    Charles Johnson gets way too much credit for discovering rationality. He conveniently figured out how stupid everyone else was on inauguration day. Clearly it was only then that it was clear that he was keeping company with people who thought Obama was the Manchurian candidate.

    I lived a block away from Graham Frost & Co. during that whole ordeal. I thought about bringing them a cake.

  19. 19
    LD50 says:

    But when people write about you that you are a socialist LIBRUL do you just stop reading?

    Hey, the ‘soçialist LIBRUL’ epithet is incredibly handy as an immediate indicator of which articles or blog posts one can safely ignore. I’d hate to see that fall out of used. Other such ‘scroll down now’ words are ‘lib’, ‘libtard’, ‘Obamacon’, ‘Obambi’… yeesh, there are hundreds!

    On a related note, we should also stop calling people concern trolls.

    While I agree that term (and ‘troll’) are grossly overused, there is a certain type of person for whom ‘concern troll’ is exactly descriptive. The perfect example is when someone wanders into a liberal blog and tells everyone “you libs would start winning more elections if you became just like the Republicans”. Granted, that type has been a lot more scarce in the last 3 years.

  20. 20
    Morbo says:

    @DougJ: Took the words right off my keyboard. It’s for that reason that I can’t stand certain comment threads (C&L jumps to mind) because they’re nothing but people using rethug, repug, etc. generically for anyone on the right. Glibertarian is just perfect for the certain subset of libertarians and corporatist Republicans that call themselves libertarians who never got past their Ayn Rand phase.

  21. 21
    Zifnab says:

    @Bootlegger:

    Make no mistake, the MSM isn’t critiquing blog reporting because it lacks their J-school ethical standards, its because the blogosphere is openly critical of the MSM which is something the Villagers simply don’t do to each other.

    Say what? Say… whaaaaaaaaat? Saywhat?
    Turn on the freak’n radio once in a while. Listen to a bit of Limbaugh or Savage. ALL they do is criticize the media. They’ve been doing it for decades. Then flip over to FOX News and watch them go into a stirring rendition of, “Only We Are Fair And Balance” (in G-major).

    It’s quite remarkable to contrast the Opus Dei style ritual self-flagellation the mainstream media went through about the ACORN story with the complete lack of comment they gave about the fact that Josh Marshall started covering the US Attorney scandal months before the Times or Post picked it up. In fact, it’s a bit worse than that—Mike Kinsley and Jay Carney openly mocked Marshall’s investigation (Carney later apologized).

    They’ve got a bit of stockholm syndrome going on here. The MSM regularly gets beaten up in the alternate media venues, and the pundits have gotten increasingly introspective as they grow more and more focused on ratings and eyeballs and less on work product.

    “Why does Dan Rather get so many nasty letters? Clearly he’s not young and hip enough, and he’s way too liberal. Bring in Katie Couric.”

    “Why isn’t Katie Couric doing well? She’s not being taken seriously because she’s too young looking and talks like a hippie. People want to hear about Iraq and Michael Jackson. Stick her out there in the field until people start liking her again.”

    So the media just starts flogging itself on impulse now. Everyone wants FOX News style ratings. The only way they know how to get them is to kowtow to right wing ideologues. This, combined with the increasing corporate heavy hand in media, presses everything to the right.

    The ACORN scandal was just this year’s Anna Nicole Smith. It’s sensationalist heavy but practically void of content. And it’s right-leaning, so you get less flak from wingnut disc jockeys when you just run with it.

    The modern media is beaten up and increasingly neurotic. Were it a horse, I’d say put the damn thing down.

  22. 22
    Calouste says:

    @Bootlegger:

    Make no mistake, the MSM isn’t critiquing blog reporting because it lacks their J-school ethical standards, its because the blogosphere (or at least a significant minority of it) actually adheres to those ethical standards rather than just paying lipservice to it whilst cashing corporate paychecks like the MSM.is openly critical of the MSM which is something the Villagers simply don’t do to each other. When they respond to Con bullying by curling up in a fetal position it’s to avoid a non-substantive critique”, but when they respond to bloggers substantive critiques they attack the critic.

    Fixed.

  23. 23
    Bootlegger says:

    @geg6: Or, why they are fluffing the fat kid for the next media whore.

  24. 24
    Bootlegger says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    And why is it that crime in white areas is reported on while the reality of crime in the cities is completely ignored?

    Are you fucking serious? (No, of course you’re not)

    First its all they’ve ever talked about and second, the only time they mention crime in whitey’s hood they produce it as the equivalent of man bites dog.

  25. 25
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    People more efficient than tractors at performing work. Hyman Rickover addressed a group of physicians in 1957:

    “Finally even the versatile water buffalo is displaced by man who is two and one half times as efficient an energy converter as are draft animals. It must always be remembered that while domestic animals and agricultural machines increase productivity per man, maximum productivity per acre is achieved only by intensive manual cultivation.”

    Read it all.

    This is the goal, and our future, as it is the most efficient use of biology and resources. There will be two types of humanity: master/servant. The London School of Economics also wrote of this. Of course, London teaches us that we all become identical, and then diverge. The Goldman Sachs types think that they will be in charge. They are wrong, but this is what they think.

    I met one of these types once. The equation relating world population and petroleum production is:

    4.5 additional barrels of oil per year = 1 more person on earth.

    As another example of a corrupt media, the press is representing legal private gun sales as illegal. You do not need to perform a background check to participate in a private gun sale. Bloomberg is a paranoid control freak.

  26. 26

    @geg6:

    I’m a girl, so I can say this.

    OK. But little boys are WATB’s from my experience with two daughters in 2nd grade. Whining boys are just as irritating as whining girls.

  27. 27
    Bootlegger says:

    @Zifnab: But their critiques are not substantive, they are the equivalent of “hey ref, pull your head out of your ass.” To which these referees apparently actually try to do it. But when Glenzilla makes substantive points about their lack of true reporting and the way they pimp for points, suddenly Glen Greenwald is shriiiiiilllllll.

  28. 28
    Bootlegger says:

    @Calouste: I’d agree with that in addition to what I said (and you crossed out).

  29. 29
    Bootlegger says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: What. The. Fuck.

    You are one shovelful short of a load.

  30. 30
    JK says:

    @Michael D.: @DougJ:

    We need to stop with terms like “glibertarian” and “rethuglicans”

    I prefer wankertarian to glibertarian and moron to rethuglican

    The whole purpose of the word “glibertarian” is to distinguish the glib silliness of Welch/McArdle from more serious libertarianism

    Serious libertarianism is an oxymoron. There’s no such thing as serious libertarian.

  31. 31
    JK says:

    Welch fluffs Breitbart

    Matt Welch is a fluffernutter.

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

    You’re goddamn right Andrew Breitbart is no Pauline Kael. Breitbart is a thuggish, knuckledragging neanderthal. Kael was a great writer and a great thinker.

  32. 32
    gnomedad says:

    the fact that people like Brietbart have no journalistic standards of their own doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with them critiquing and influencing actual journalists. And that’s a valid point.

    True. But personal credibility matters. Once you cave to the idea that you must prove your “open-mindedness” by addressing the arguments of any moonbat who once had a valid point, you open yourself for what is essentially a denial-of-service attack.

  33. 33

    Marshall:

    “Part of my assumption here is that you’d have relatively few states opting out and they’d tend toward lower population states, likely clustered in the South and mountain states. So I suspect that a substantial majority of the population would be in opt-in states, providing the bargaining power that would make the public option threshold viable. “

    In other words, the healthier states with less poverty would leave, driving up the costs for the rest that stay. See: Wyoming and Idaho.

  34. 34
    AkaDad says:

    I’m going to be serious for a change and expand on what Michael D. said.

    It really is a hell of a lot easier to get people to change their minds if you don’t get personal.

    When I’m trying to persuade a non-lefty, instead of using the generic “Republicans”, I say “Republican politicians.” It makes a big difference.

    When someone says stuff that isn’t true, I don’t attack them. I look at them horrified and say “Who told you that?”, or “Where did you hear that?”, or depending on the person I’ll say, “Are you drunk?” Depending on the answer, I might say, “I stopped listening to him/her/them. He/she/they constantly get their facts wrong.” Or I’ll tease them with, “Do you believe everything you hear?” I then give them the facts and suggest that they go online and look it up for themselves.

    You can’t convince everyone, but try it, it really does work.

  35. 35
    Meanderthal says:

    But when people write about you that you are a socialist LIBRUL. do you just stop reading? I do. And so you should.

    The red flag for me is “sheeple”. I hate that word with an entirely disproportionate passion, and anyone that uses it in a serious fashion is a person I’ll cheerfully ignore.

  36. 36
    Calouste says:

    @Bootlegger:
    The cross-out was for clarity rather than for disagreement.

    Calling out other journalists on bad reporting and lack of regard for facts is of course part of the journalist ethical standards which the MSM ignores.

  37. 37
    Zifnab says:

    @Bootlegger:

    But when Glenzilla makes substantive points about their lack of true reporting and the way they pimp for points, suddenly Glen Greenwald is shriiiiiilllllll.

    The wingers have been chipping away at the media for half a century. It goes right back to Nixon. Rush has been on the air for something like thirty years now. He wasn’t taken seriously inside the first ten. Hell, Fox News dates back to ’96.

    The fact that Greenwald is even being addressed in the Village indicates that he’s making headway. Likewise, TPM is an infant beside the doddering dinosaurs in the old media. Markous Molitias is just now starting to get regular face time on cable news.

    These guys don’t gain credibility overnight. Neither did their right wing counterparts. And the wingers have full corporate sponsorship at their backs. We’re all just getting by on kick backs from George Soros.

  38. 38
    Bootlegger says:

    @Calouste: Oh, I know, just rolling with the argument.

    Calling out other journalists on bad reporting and lack of regard for facts is of course part of the journalist ethical standards which the MSM ignores.

    And its damned close to costing them whatever shred of credibility they have left.

  39. 39
    Napoleon says:

    @AkaDad:

    AkaDad said: “You can’t convince everyone . . . ”

    And more importantly, you don’t need to. Elections are won by 50% + 1.

  40. 40
    Bootlegger says:

    @Zifnab: I don’t disagree with this. I only mean to distinguish between criticism that is non-substantive “working the refs” (see Hannity, Levin, et al.), and substantive criticism that gets to the facts of the matter. Conservative media outlets have done the former for some time as you say but I really think its the the substantive v. non-substantive that is the difference in the MSM response. They can’t seem to take the substantive criticism seriously or they question their own validity. But the non-substantive criticism they can address because its only a matter of style.

  41. 41
    AkaDad says:

    And more importantly, you don’t need to. Elections are won by 50% + 1.

    Exactly.

    How long would it take for us to have Medicare for all if we argued it as pro-business?

  42. 42
    AkaDad says:

    Forget what I said above.

    If we removed the health care burden from businesses, that would destroy the economy.

  43. 43
    catclub says:

    AkaDad @43

    Um, how long has Medicare been in existence? That plus some unknown
    number of future years.
    GM should have been pushing it the last 15 years – but has not.
    CEO solidarity is very tight.

    When Andrew Tobias wrote “The Invisible Bankers” about insurance
    companies, I think he emphasized life insurance companies, but health insurance execs are not exactly pikers when it comes to manipulating government.

  44. 44
    catclub says:

    Ack!
    AkaDad@40 not 43.

  45. 45
    DougJ says:

    Kael was a great writer and a great thinker.

    She’s my favorite critic of any kind.

  46. 46
    me says:

    Apparently, from the comments, Reason’s entire audience is made up of people who admire Palin for her intellect and Paultards.

  47. 47
    J says:

    I’d add the MSM’s total lack of embarrassment at their failure to notice the Downing Street Memos to their blase attitude toward the US attorneys scandal.

  48. 48
    kth says:

    Not sure what Welch’s trip is, like maybe he’s doing a double-reverse contrarian thing: while all of the relatively-smart conservatives are in headlong flight from the Palin-addled hordes in their faction, Welch seems to be saying, wait a second, maybe we shouldn’t be marginalizing these people. Maybe they have something to say.

    Which would be more convincing if they actually had anything to say, and didn’t utterly deserve to be marginalized.

Comments are closed.