This is almost too good. It’s the standard Big Media snobbishness about bloggers — coming in a quote from one of bloggers’ biggest punching bags, Helen Thomas:
“What I really worry about is that I think the bloggers and everyone, everyone with a laptop thinks they’re journalists,” Thomas said. “And, they certainly don’t have our standards. They don’t have our ethics, and so forth. There’s a deterioration.”
“[T]hey certainly don’t have our standards. They don’t have our ethics . . .” Well, she’s right about that.
Here’s one example.
On January 2, crab-grass blogger Dan Riehl wrote a post about a wide array of media outlets that got taken in by a phony Facebook entry for Bilawal Bhutto.
On January 3 — the next day — the L.A. Times‘s Rosa Brooks published a column that quoted the phony entry:
And who knows? Maybe Bilawal’s not such a bad choice for the Pakistan People’s Party. A history student at Oxford, he already has a constituency — at least on Facebook, where someone has established a new fan group called “Let’s not assassinate Bilawal Bhutto because he’s hot, OK?” Bilawal’s own Facebook profile is fairly modest: “I am not a politician or a great thinker. I’m merely a student. I do the things that students do like make mistakes, eat junk food … but most importantly of all … learn.” Still, “My time to lead will come.”
The L.A. Times has since issued a “For the Record” item that states:
Pakistan: Rosa Brooks’ Thursday column about political dynasties cited a quote from Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s Facebook profile. Facebook has since found the entries to be “not authentic” and disabled them.
This papers over the fact that the writing was on the wall the night before Brooks’s column ran. At 7:59 p.m., a New York Times blog quoted a Facebook associate warning that the account had been set up by someone else — and blogger Riehl had picked up on it by 11:03 p.m. But dinosaur Big Media columnist Brooks still had a column printed the next day quoting the phony entry.
If Rosa Brooks had bloggers’ standards, I guess the L.A. Times wouldn’t have had to issue that correction.
But Helen Thomas is right. We don’t have their standards.