Like all DJs recognized in the most recent TopFinds Awards, I am honored to be counted among such fine and motley company. In this new Wild West of internet reporting, the many no-holds-barred shootouts taking place at DJ are a thing of beauty to behold.
I'd like to open up the shooting gallery with a recent account from the New York Times regarding their horrific recent performance in the Marketplace of Ideas:
'The New York Times Company, the parent of The New York Times, posted a $335,000 loss in the first quarter — one of the worst periods the company and the newspaper industry have seen — falling far short of both analysts’ expectations and its $23.9 million profit in the quarter a year earlier.'
The Times goes on to blame a faltering economy and severe drop offs in print advertising for their woes, but I believe the problem goes much deeper than that. I would certainly not expect the Times to report objectively on this subject, as they rarely do on any. And therein lies the rub. Who wants to buy a newspaper when you know what you're going to read ahead of time?
That's the difference, see? If you go to the LA Times or Chicago Tribune, you know what you're going to find. Conversely, if you go to the Drudge Report, KOS, HuffPo, Little Green Footballs or even Digital Journal, you may think you have an idea of what to expect, but you never do. Not really.
Also, the MSM have been subtly (and not so subtly) engaging in the kind of taunting and ridiculing of Pajamas Media journalists that seventh-graders long gave up on. Check out this 'Confederacy of Dunces' hit piece from the Village Voice's Roy Edroso, which even comes with a 'stupid/evil' ratio for each offending Righty blog.
The attacks could not be more personal. Here is Mr. Edroso's 'objective assessment' of LGF:
CHARLES JOHNSON (Little Green Footballs; littlegreenfootballs.com)
FUN FACT: Coined the terms idiotarian and anti-idiotarian for, respectively, people who don't think like him and people who do.
CANDIDATE: None, but prone to close late and reliably anti-idiotarian (i.e., Republican)
STUPID/EVIL RATIO: 40/60
The glaring irony here is that Mr. Edroso is condemning LGF as attacking people who don't think like him. Yet that is exacly what he does for seven pages, and in very personal and insulting terms. It must irk the esteemed Mr. Edroso to see numbers like this:
Comments on Edroso's Righty Blog hit piece at the VV website: 42
Comments on Edroso's Righty Blog hit piece at the LGF website: 1,234
I linked to this 'article' through the Little Green Footballs website which, by the way, single-handedly put the kibosh on Dan Rather's own TANG hit piece on President Bush by proving the 35-year-old document in question was a modern-day forgery. They have also caught Reuters and AP pushing PhotoShopped pictures of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict as genuine.
I ask you, who is doing the real rolled-up sleeves investigative journalism here? Remember also that Matt Drudge made his mark publishing the Monica Lewinsky story that Newsweek had sat on for six weeks and probably hoped to bury. Again, who are the real journalists here?
The Village Voice did a lot better with David Mamet's 'Why I am no longer a Brain Dead Liberal' OpEd, which garnered 551 comments and raged across the Internet.
Food for thought, and not just because a lifelong liberal like David Mamet evolved into a conservative. If a famous lifelong conservative turned liberal and wrote an OpEd in the Voice, I'm sure that one would burn up the wires too. But Mr. Edroso's 'OpEds,' which are nothing more than juvenile schoolyard taunting and name-calling of right-leaning blogs, don't cut no ice with Homey. Most of us are grown-ups here and expect a lot more.
Yet another missed opportunity. Mr. Edroso could have written a well-researched investigative piece on right-leaning blogs, interviewed the site managers on their opinions, what motivates and drives them ideologically, and what impact they might have on the upcoming elections. He didn't, because it was too personal for him. He has no desire or inclination to really understand how the other side thinks, except for what he can cherry-pick to demean or insult. Columbia School of Journalism, I'm thinking?
Anyway, 'nuff said on that subject. Back to DJ.
I look very much forward in the future to reading the sometimes passionate, sometimes objective but rarely boring efforts of DJ journalists in all their glory or lack thereof, warts and all. I also look much forward to 'having at it' with fellow TopFinds honoree Susan Duclos as we go toe-to-toe on the FLDS scandal.
Susan is a passionate advocate of the children and nemesis of all things FLDS, which can count themselves lucky Ms. Duclos is not on the prosecution team.
I, on the other hand, have been looking at the more impersonal legal and technical ramifications of developments in the FLDS case regarding the mysterious 'Sarah' and Sheriff Doran's 'inside informant' (who may no be so inside after all), among others which bring into question the initial legal grounds for the warrants, the first search of the premises and the YFZ raid, complete with snipers and armored personnel carriers, that followed.
Have no doubt that Ms. Duclos and I both detest the cultish brainwashing of children and any sexual, physical or mental abuse that took place as a result. If all the horror stories are true, we both want the children never to go back to the YFZ ranch, and want their abusers prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
But there have been stunning and amazing developments in the case, like the revelation that the mysterious 'Sarah' may be Rozita Swinton of Colorado, who was arrested on charges of making a similar call in February that sent the Colorado Springs police into a frenzy, searching for a child in distress who seemed to have existed only in Ms. Swinton's twisted mind. She may have single-handedly undermined a four-year ongoing investigation by crying wolf and put all other evidence into question, even the warrants themselves.
In this heated debate, I find myself in the unenviable position of Jose Ferrer as he went after the reprehensible Captain Queeg in The Caine Mutiny. Bogart's mentally unstable Queeg was no doubt unfit for command of the USS Caine. But the officers involved in the mutiny could have handled the situation a lot better, and it didn't help that some were driven by their own shallow personal motivations to bring Queeg down.
But in reality, is my position all that unenviable? My 20+ years in telecommunications allows me to bring to the story my own expertise on how cellphone communications and emergency tracking and locating systems really work, which brought to mind a great many questions and suspicions of how the evidence at hand was processed. To me, the relevation of Rozita Swinton was really no great surprise. I wrote about it long before the story broke.
Best of all, our relentless back-and-forth on the FLDS has been respectful, intelligent and reasoned. Unlike, say, Mr. Edroso's hit piece in the Village Voice, or even Dan Rather's TANG docs fiasco.
Looking forward to much more of the same. Best Regards To All, The Mad King (TMK)
NEWS TIPS: Did any of you know that today, April 19th, is the anniversary of the Waco Branch Davidian and Oklahoma City bombing tragedies? Or that tomorrow is the anniversary of the Columbine school shooting tragedy, which coincides with Adolf Hitler's birthday as the Columbine killers planned it to?
Scribble away, fair DJs. They're all yours!