Tuesday, September 14, 2004

CJR Speaks!

Apparently cowed by a piece earlier today about their absence from the CBS News story, Columbia Journalism Review's Campaign Desk has posted an explanation. Steve Lovelady writes:

The short answer to the question is, we're not in the business of saying, "You may be a bad boy; drink your medicine." We're in the business of saying "You are a bad boy; drink your medicine." And, as of this moment, despite the flurry of charges and counter-charges, it's not clear whether CBS has been had by some undercover operative intent on smearing the president, or whether the network itself is the victim of a smear campaign.

You see, they have no idea what the truth is. CBS might be involved in a hoax. CBS might be the victim of a vicious right-wing smear. The whole thing is--what's the word?--inconclusive! If the people at Campaign Desk are guilty of anything, it's that they're too fair-minded to get caught up in this hasty, rash, ugly business.

I believe them!

And until someone shows me a videotape of the forger sitting at his Dell, typing the documents, hitting print, taking the documents off the laserprinter, Xeroxing them, and handing them to Dan Rather, CJR is going to continue to uphold their standards of fairness and decency!

Of course, it wouldn't hurt to do a little reporting on this stuff, would it? After all, there are actual facts involved in the story which a fair-minded organization might try to chase down. Oh never mind.

One other question for Lovelady: Why did CJR ignore the AP no-boo story last week, too? [Duh . . . Fairness and decency.--ed Right!]

Update 4:59 p.m.: This post is probably too mean. Let me be clear: I really like Campaign Desk. It's part of my daily reading. We kid because we love.


Anonymous said...

Dude, cmon, give those peeps some crow who said Donnie Mac couldn't do it.

Anonymous said...

Jonathan, two thoughts: Although I also think the CBS documents aren't authentic, I'd be more inclined to share your outrage at the media critics if your own publication — or you — showed a shred of skepticism about the Swift Boat Vets. What's the word, indeed.

And although Romanesko and Campaign Desk haven't aimed their lances at your favorite target, another liberal media critic has from the start: The Boston Phoenix's Dan Kennedy, whose Media Log is part of my daily fare. (http://www.bostonphoenix.com/medialog/index.asp)

Glad you're blogging!

Chris Walton