Friday, February 18, 2005

Milbank and Daily Kos

In yet another sign that the Daily Kos has morphed from a lefty-fringe site into the Democratic mainstream (or vice versa), Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank has just given the site an interview in which he discusses the Gannon kerfuffle (which the grownups at the Post have decided not to cover, so far). Tom Maguire asks the important questions:
Now, as to the Milbank interview - what are the journalistic standards here? Daniel Okrent wondered about the same thing a few weeks back, in the context of NY Times reporter Judith Miller appearing on a television show, saying "you would have every reason to think she was speaking with the authority of the paper".

Well, did Dana Milbank speak with the authority of the Washington Post when he chatted with Keith Olbermann last week, or (by e-mail) with SusanG recently? If so, why has the Post not broken this story that the White House may be lying about the day pass for Gannon - I find no mention of it there, yet I see it at E&P.

Or is Dana Milbank using Olbermann and the Daily Kos as an outlet for the innuendo and speculation he can't quite slide past his editors? If this becomes an accepted practice it will make sympathetic blogs quite a helpful forum for reporters . . .

Who wants to bet that the old media will stop fretting about dangers of the blogosphere the day after reporters understand what Milbank has just done won't get you fired?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

My favorite part.

Just before the interview, Kos implores:

"But please, be kind to Dana. He's one of the good guys in the mainstream press."

Oh THAT liberal bias.

Bizarro Jack said...

Well, you could look at it like that, or as if a Washington Post reporter, under some fringe pressure to turn something that is probably nothing into something that is news, decided to take it to the fringe rather than putting the fringe in the paper. If dKOS wants a story, and it's not worth anyone else's time, why not give a mini-story to dKOS?

I think Dana Milbank's comments were pretty professional, and give a decent summary of why there's no story (yet, possibly ever).

Cal Lanier said...

The grownups at the Post haven't acknowledged Gannon yet? Then who wrote these 23 articles on the subject?I don't see why Dana Milbank shouldn't interview with Daily Kos or anyone else. He's a journalist, and was commenting on a media story.

I think conservative bloggers should pay attention to the Jeff Gannon investigation. Right now, the response seems to be either contempt or derision. But if you consider their investigation on its own terms, it was very solid data gathering, of a sort that most on the right (and the media in general) aren't terribly familiar with. (Here's my longer take on it. )

Anonymous said...

Cal-

The problem is that the interesting parts of the Gannon story are buried beneath a massive pile of speculation, conspiracy theories, and hateful name-calling. Once you dig out the interesting bits they don't seem like the "scandal" that Americablog, Atrios, Oliver WIllis, et al are describing. My take on this is that Jeff Gannon was a seedy guy who got caught navel gazing in some very rare air. By reading Kos and Willis, you would think that Karl Rove was operating a gay sex ring out of the WH basement.

Bottom line: the reporting was good, but the story is lame. Milbank knows better, which is why this story is not on the front page of the Post. I think the point of this post was that Milbank has defected to the kids table so he can tell potty jokes.