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Dec 04, 2005


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Okay, the L.A. Times got this nobody academic from Elon University (where the f-ck is that and what kind of an academic accreditation does this mysterious "Elon" have?) to question the credibility of bloggers as reporters. Does this bozo realize that if it weren't for the reporting on Firedoglake and Next Hurrah that the Plamegate story wouldn't have been told fully? Does this dimwit know that Josh Marshall and Talking Points Memo really broke the story of the U.S. Attorney firings?

Sorry, Mr. Skube and the L.A. Times and the Mainstream Media, you got out-reported by the blogosphere, whether you want to give them credit or not.

Do the editors of the L.A. Times have a pipeline to mediocre pundits from obscure colleges? Just wondering. Elon? Do you have any idea where it is? Who its graduates are? Who its professors are? I mean, Elon? And you're questioning the credentials of bloggers?! Give me a f-cking break.

The L.A. Times and the New York Times and the Washington Post would all do well to emulate the solid, professional, and fact-based reporting of Talking Points Memo, of Firedoglake, of Next Hurrah, and other blogs. They may be partisan, but they are also honest about their viewpoints -- which can't always be said of the mainstream media. Please see Judy Miller and Michael Gordon and Tom Friedman of the New York Times. Please see Joe Klein of Time and David Broder and David Cohen and Fred Hiatt and the editorial pages of the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. Etc. We're talking here about major propagandists for the bloody, misguided War on Iraq.

And Mr. Skube should start reading the blogs before he writes about them. That's a Journalism 101 No-no.

Fishbone McGonigle

I asked if he was familiar with the concept of peer editing, which is how blogs correct each other. He said he'd heard of it, as used by students in public schools, where "the peers who edit are the people least suited to do it."

What an arrogant ass. I'd counter that a better comparison would be academic publishing, since those doing the reviewing in both blogs and academic journals a) frequently know a lot about your subject, and b) are not afraid to publicly call you an idiot for getting things wrong.

Ed Cone

radlib1, you sound about as thoughtful as Skube on the subject of Elon. It's a fine small school, and he has serious credentials as a journalist. The point is the content of his work, not his academic brand.

The elitism you show toward lesser-known colleges seems ironic when deployed in defense of the leveling tool known as blogging. If one doesn't have to be a pro journalist from the New York Times to write well and make a difference, why should one have to be a famous prof from Harvard to opine in the LAT?


I agree he should have done more research before writing his article, but that doesn't change the absolute accuracy of his assessment. Of course an article condemning the journalistic nature of blogging would be upsetting to bloggers. So go blog about how upset you are, and leave real journalism to professionals - fallible though they are.

Ed Cone

That he didn't do his homework in a column boasting that pros do their homework and bloggers don't is a rather more serious problem than you imply.

On a more practical level, if he had done his homework he wouldn't have made the inaccurate assessment that he did. Jay Rosen is working on a fact-based rebuttal to Skube's column.

And for what it's worth, I am a professional journalist.


I think it's fair to say that a skimming of blogs on the Internet will reveal more "bad" blogs than "good" blogs, in the sense that Skube was judging them. He accurately expressed his experience. Yes, more research would have found "good" blogs to soften his tone, but exceptions to the rule do not invalidate his point.

Ed Cone

What would a brief glance at cable news or local newspaper tell him about the quality of professional jouralism?

Would he compare opinion pages to news fronts?

And would he base a critique all of professional journalism on a woefully incomplete study of the field, and do so in a piece boasting of the thorough and accurate practices of the pros?

It's not that critiques of blogging are bad in and of themselves, it's that this one was fatally flawed.


Skube's article was an opinion piece, yet you're holding him accountable to standards that only apply to fair and balanced (un-opinionated) news. If I understand your argument correctly, his fatal flaw is that he is a hypocrite - but that incorrectly assumes that opinion articles and news articles share the same set of standards. There is nothing wrong with Skube's article, and at the same time, I support the rebuttal piece showcasing the positive side of blogs.

Ed Cone

We're entitled to our own opinions, but not our own facts. When an opinion columnist makes an assertion of fact that is incorrect, being an opinion columnist is no defense (I'm an opinion columnist, btw, as well as a reporter and a blogger).

Dude gets facts wrong, e.g., the bloggers he cites by name all get paid for their writing, but he says they write for free. He ascribes things to writers he later admits to not reading. He makes generalizations that swamp his particulars. And he does it all while lionizing a craft that supposedly rises above such things.

(Note also that my post above these comments is actually about an even-more egregious column Skube wrote in 2005 -- which makes his repeated offense worse).

You are entitled to your opinion that Skube's points about argumentative blogs overshadow the flaws in his piece. I would disagree. But pretending that there is "nothing wrong" with his column seems a non-starter.

allen wall

"$KREWby-D00DY Sk00l uv jeer-all-i$m" - skube's "bull-shitter prize:" "faux gnus"

Zena Princess

He's such an idiot. Most journalists will tell you that you just have to DO IT. Trial and error...most classes won't get u a job at the times. And some journalists like this are too frightened or paid off to even write the REAL news, the truth. Might as well have a monkey writing the news....


What Skube apparently doesn't realize is that it's harder to lie, fabricate and misrepresent when thousands can call you a fraud to your face (okay, to your monitor) and provide facts and details to back it up, rather than, in trying to refute,writing a letter-to-the-editor that gets buried.

Bloggers have a built-in credibility that the run-and-hide MSM will (likely) NEVER have.

Steven Davis

Ed, I knew Calvin from our trip to California. He was one of my roomies. I just decided today to look him up through google. I didn't know!!!! I rememeber you because one weekend you introduced me to The Clash! With London Calling, Sandanista. Can you send me any and everything you have for Cal and his family. Thanks.

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