Tuesday, August 09, 2005

CNN's Intrepid Internet Reporters:
Groundbreaking or Grave Digging?

CNN's The Situation Room premeired yesterday featuring a new catagory of correspondent entitled the "Internet Reporter." Now I'll be honest I would be excited if someday my lowly blog got a nod from the Internet Reporters. I mean it is CNN after all. BUT aside from the fact that it won't happen, I mean I'm not Atrios after all, what would be gained other than a day of bragging rights compared to what is lost in the long term for "NEWS". Is news reporting on the blogs a good thing? I have many reservations and I love blogs. I'm a believer. Hell I'm a blogger.

However I do not see context to what the Internet Reporters are doing. Most people watching CNN probably do not even know what a blog is much less their utility. As Judy Woodruff said of the former "Inside Politics" blog reporting... " We could tell more about who they are and where they get their information. The only thing stopping us from doing that now is time.” Well they certainly have time now (3 merciless hours of the hi-tech Situation Room). Yet there is no more context than when Abbi Tatton and Jacki Schechner were lowly blog reporters on Inside Politics. When Jon Klein unveiled this brainchild he said, “We want to demystify blogging. We want to peel back all those layers and also do a reading of the blogs that our audience doesn't have the time to do.” Well that is just all wrong I'm afraid because blogging IS multi-layered and it does require putting in time to be informed. Now if all you want is to be able to spout off in a conversation that the bloggers are all over topic X to impress someone as to how in tune you are, then yes catching a segment of the Internet Reporters will meet that need. But if you are curious about an issue and eagerly want to follow it's developments then No the Internet Reports will not do. Blogging is all about linking. It's hopping all over the blogosphere to pull in information, of which some is integrated into your view of the issue yet much of it is discarded.

And there is alot to discard. Face it there is alot of crap on these Internets. People are free to say just about anything. Someone writes a post. Someone links to it. One link leads to another and another and soon people think the content along the way is true. The Internet Reporters
have already been burned by this circle jerk on the so-called Air America Scandal.......

From Dkos:


Well, many of the conservative bloggers are talking about a New York investigation into the possible diversion of funds from an inner city Boys and Girls Club to the liberal radio station Air America. This started with Brian Maloney over at TheRadioEqualizer.blogspot.com.

He picked up a small mention as part of a larger article in the "New York Daily News." And as part of that article, it turns out that the former CEO of Air America was also on the board of that Boys and Girls Club. And that's where the investigation continues right now into what sort of diversion of funds may have taken place.

TATTON: Working with Brian Maloney on the store is Michele Malkin at MicheleMalkin.com. She's been really pushing it. This is a blogger driven story that she feels is not getting enough coverage in the mainstream media.

Michele has been linking to statements put out from Air America on this case. What they're essentially saying is the funds in question that are being investigated were to previous business owners of Air America, that they have nothing to do with those preview business owners and so they are not responsible for what's going on here.

The debate carrying on at DailyKos.com, whether webmaster of Air America, that's Adam Mordecai, is posting the most recent statement saying that they have no obligation to the previous business owners, but their still working with the Boys and Girls Club. And very much the Boys and Girls Club very much has the support of Air America.

SCHECHNER: That did not stop the conservative blogs from posting all sorts of headlines like "Al Franken Steals Money From Kids and Old Folks" or things like JackLewis.net, "Liberals Stealing From Poor Kids." They really, you could take your pick of blogs on this one. That sort of vein.

But over at the larger blogs like WhizbangBlog.com, they're doing what Michele Malkin and what Brian are doing, and they're looking deeper into the statement from Air America saying whatever the answers are at this point, it's not enough for them. And they are going to continue to push the investigation.

Joe, we will send it back to you.

So it was Maloney linked by Horowitz, then Hewitt and Malkin picked up Maloney and ultimately Hewitt's "trump card" was his use of the Internet Reporters....

CNN's Inside Politics blog sp[ecialists [sic] Abbi Tatton and Jacki Schechner spent the entire second segment of today's show on Air America's woes.
That's quite a circle jerk of supposed investigating into nothing but allegations that have been ably dismissed by Air America, NOW.

Yes now. Time is different in the blogosphere. Things can blow up and die out in hours. Is it responsible for the Internet Reporters to cite a blog phenomenom at 3:00 when it is blown out of the water by 5:00 after The Situation Room has closed for the day? Will our Intrepid Reporters come on air the next day to retract their previous reporting. "Sorry folks it was Bullshit. This is live you know , bear with us." (Though I doubt they'd say Bullshit if ya know what I mean) I don't trust that would happen. Even if they would the damage has been done when those casual consumers lacking time to actually read the blogs watched the erroneous report but not the retraction. And don't kid yourself. With the nature of the blogosphere this could happen alot more often than Judy Miller mistakes.

Isn't one of the complaints now that the quality of the news has greatly diminished due to the pressure to be first and fill 24/7 air waves? Do we want to accelerate that speed further? And hasn't the Plame Leak brought into question the use of anonymous sources? Do we want reporting on blog posts with possibly NO sources at all? Perhaps The Intrepid Reporters can address these concerns but again I am doubtful.

So as much as I'd love to get a shout out from the Internet Reporters on CNN someday..... I am willing to forego the chance to call everyone I've known to brag I was on CNN, for the sake of preserving an already sinking American press. Besides I'd much rather get a link from Atrios and actually I'd rather read the blogs. Wouldn't You?

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