Will Pattt write about it?
Time will tell.
Will Pattt write about it?
Time will tell.
This morning I mentioned that Howard Kurtz had discussed Michael Hiltzik, in a Media Notes column titled To Blog or Not to Blog. But I have discovered that when Kurtz’s column first appeared, it boasted a much funnier headline: Columnist’s Blog: He Hasn’t Been Himself Lately.
Heh. I wonder why they changed it. That headline was much better.
(By the way, I have decided to add a Hiltzik category. I think I need one.)
Go check out Hot Air, a new multimedia blog Michelle Malkin describes as a “conservative Internet broadcast network I founded with a team of multi-talented bloggers.” One of them is our friend Allah. Good going, guys!
Also, our friend Rightwingsparkle, whose picture on her own blog reinforces the widely held (and correct) stereotype that Texas women are the most beautiful in the world (I met Mrs. P. in Texas — I rest my case!), today begins blogging for the Houston Chronicle. You can access her Chronicle blog here. One of her first posts is an excellent entry on Mary McCarthy. Leave her a comment of encouragement!
I suppose they could be working on a big story that reveals all of these facts, and more. But who really believes that? And how long does it take to put together such a story, anyway? Bloggers had this stuff nailed down with lightning speed.
I’ll keep my eye on the situation.
I noted this morning that nobody from any Big Media outlet had called me regarding the Hiltzik story. That has changed. This morning I received a message from an AP reporter whose name sounded like “Bob Javelin.” The message came in about 9:00 a.m. I was already in court. I returned the call at 12:05 p.m., and was told he wasn’t in. By about 4:35 p.m., he hadn’t called me back, so I tried again, and was told that he had gone home for the day.
But hey — at least he called!
Michael Hiltzik’s business column usually runs on Mondays and Thursdays. It’s not there today. Kevin Roderick says he doesn’t know whether it means anything or not. Neither do I.
The Hiltzik blog suspension is the first item in Howard Kurtz’s Media Notes column today. Howard, who wrote the Post‘s initial news article on the debacle, still doesn’t seem to understand: It’s not the pseudonyms. It’s the sock-puppetry! The concept of Hiltzik’s pseudonyms defending and praising each other doesn’t come across at all, which is what allows a Hiltzik defender quoted in the column to say this:
It’s unclear why Hiltzik would take such a risk, but not everyone is critical. Claude Brodesser, who writes a Los Angeles column for the Web site Media Bistro, writes that anonymous posting is part of the Internet culture and that even reporters should enjoy that freedom. “Hiltzik might have cloaked his identity — something seemingly at variance with the Times’ policies — but what he did was hardly lying or, for that matter, extortion,” Brodesser says.
Aaargh. Maybe sheer repetition will drive the point home. It’s not the pseudonyms. It’s the sock-puppetry!
Kurtz does discuss Hiltzik’s e-mail snooping incident, and quotes some inflammatory stuff that Hiltzik put out under his own name:
Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times hasn’t exactly been pulling his punches.
He has ripped “the right-wing noise machine Hugh Hewitt,” calling the radio host a “close-minded nincompoop” who parades his “ignorance” and shows “his sedulous devotion, like a sucking remora fish, to the imploding George W. Bush.”
He has assailed “the reactionary Kate O’Beirne” for suffering a “loss of bladder control” in her televised comments.
He has slammed Los Angeles writer Cathy Seipp as “one of those people whose desire to Tell it Like it Is tends to be hampered by lack of information.”
Which makes the sock-puppetry even more perplexing. It’s not like Mikekoshi said the nasty stuff that Hiltzik wasn’t willing to say using his own name . . .
P.S. One of my commenters has this observation regarding the media’s overlooking the sock-puppetry angle:
It’s all about framing the argument. They frame the argument around the issue of pseudonyms, a particularly convenient issue because they know it can be a sensitive topic in the blogosphere. So virtual ink is spilled on an irrelevant issue and thus the blatant dishonesty of Hiltzik’s posts is hidden. The sock puppet issue will never get out to most of the people who read printed paper. Did we somehow forget that distraction is the bread and butter of the press?
Sometimes you just have to admire them. Public opinion is putty in their hands. The best we can do is create a temporary embarrassment and maybe restrain some of the more outrageous behavior of their reporters. What happened is what they say happened. Haven’t you heard? I read it in the newspaper.
We’ve come a long way, but the big boys are still firmly in control.
UPDATE: Thanks to Instapundit for the link.
UPDATE x2: But why the WaPo kill the initial, much funnier headline for the column?
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