Friday, March 30, 2007

My Reply to John Harris's e-mail to Glenn Greenwald

Boy is this ever inside baseball (whatever the hell that means). I haven't read Greenwald's reply.

As far as I can tell, the main, indeed the only, argument in this e-mail is that the New York Times and The Washington Post do it as well so it is OK. This applies to sending stories to Drudge (IIRC only the Times does this although Harris is not clear on that point) and changing the texts of stories without flagging updates.

My reply is that maybe that's OK for printed newspapers, but Politico is a blog and blogs are, in some respects, held to higher standards. In particular, it is generally considered unacceptable for a blogger to change or update a post in any way without flagging the change (typically with the word update). Also, there is the google cache, which means that critics can identify unflagged changes and bloggers can be called to account to explain why they do not flag changes becuase they are "ordinary changes made to reflect new circumstances, as distinct from factual errors." Harris better hope that every change politico has ever made without "highlight"ing it corresponds to breaking news and not facts which the Politico postr could have known when writing the original story. I won't bother checking but someone will.

People don't keep all editions of a paper newspaper around for cross checking. Thus it is not possible to slip over things as it used to be. A web site (including www.washingtonpost.com and www.nytimes.com) can be policed more ruthlessly than a paper paper. Does Mr Harris remember the time that comments on www.washingtonpost.com were shut down (and some deleted forever even though they contained no dirty words but rather an embarassing promise to provide evidence for claims in the Post which evidence was not forthcoming). The internet does.

Harris honestly seems to think that he can keep the fact that Politico gets 65% of its traffic straight from Drudge secret. He clearly has not read the comments to the post which prompted his e-mail.

John Harris has a problem. He thinks that Washington Post standards are good enough for the blogosphere. He will learn to his regret that bloggers have standards and will not tolerate the sort of crap the Washington Post pulls correcting errors without admitting them and trying to hide information of interest to readers.

As someone said re swampland -- you're playing in the big leagues now. Get used to i.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Also, I was pleased when I noticed that Karen Tumulty wrote that she was going to atone for not covering health care when she was supposed to be covering health care, and noted Brad DeLong is atoning. But, there was no atoning. Tumulty has not covered health care again in "Time." Where is any responsibility?

Anonymous said...

Dear Brad was right as could be initially in criticizing Tumulty, but wrong in allowing for a smudge instead of an article on health care. I know, Brad wants to be nice, but really....

anne

Terri said...

Also, again, what the heck keeps Barack Obama from saying anything of substance on health care? Not a lot, but anything will do. Darn, I so want an alternative to Hillary Clinton who I dobut I could ever vote for after her fudging on Iraq and telling us troops will be there indefinitely if we vote for her. Where is Obama? Edwards is fine on health care, and all else really.

anne

Anonymous said...

I do get discouraged about Iraq; and so dearly want us out completely and fast fast fast. But, that has been the case these 4 years.

anne

Robert said...

I think that Barak is making a good strategic decision to be vague at this stage. Policy proposals won't please everyone and one has to be all things to all people to be president. I'm sure he wants to talk about policy details (he seems as nerdy even as Al Gore and Bill Clinton while being as charismatic as John Kennedy and Bill Clinton).

And, just one minute. I really like a commenter who contributes more to this blog than I do, but if Hillary Clinton gets the nomination , you had better votre for her in the general or else I will turn off comments or something.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, I understand but do become discouraged now and then.

anne

Anonymous said...

Notice:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/6495753.stm

March 26, 2007

Iraqi Deaths Survey 'Was Robust'
By Owen Bennett-Jones

The British government was advised against publicly criticising a report estimating that 655,000 Iraqis had died due to the war, the BBC has learnt.

Iraqi Health Ministry figures put the toll at less than 10% of the total in the survey, published in the Lancet.

But the Ministry of Defence's chief scientific adviser said the survey's methods were "close to best practice" and the study design was "robust".

Another expert agreed the method was "tried and tested"....

Anonymous said...

The BBC report from what I can understand has been all but ignored by American news reports remembering the y years of war in and occupation of Iraq. Iraqi deaths are routinely given as 60,000 in news reports.

Anonymous said...

Of course, we are directly spending $14 billion a month in Iraq while the figure $8 billion is rountinely used; seemingly the fiscal 2005 spending figure will be forever standard.

anne

Anonymous said...

http://www.juancole.com/2006/10/655000-dead-in-iraq-since-bush.html

October 11, 2006

655,000 Dead in Iraq Since Bush Invasion
By Juan Cole

A careful Johns Hopkins study has estimated that between 420,000 and 790,000 Iraqis have died as a result of war and political violence since the beginning of the US invasion in March, 2003.

Interesting conclusions are that we are wrong to focus so much on suicide car bombings. The real action is just shooting enemies down with bullets. Only 30 percent of the deaths have been caused by the US military, and that percentage has declined this year because of the sectarian war.

And, folks, this is a major civil war, with something close to 200,000 dying every year.

I once warned that a precipitate US withdrawal could result in a million dead a la Cambodia or Afghanistan. Little did I know that the conditions created by the US invasion and occupation have all along been driving toward that number anyway! ...

Anonymous said...

Likely the proper presidential candidate strategy for now is to be as general as allowed, and the press will allow for much generalization, still I wonder if the election call for a difference in specificity.

Barack Obama can use anecdote brilliantly to give a sense of what policy might be shaped, but he did not do so on health care and needs not to make this mistake again.

Darn, I do not know and likely the problem is only that I am so annoyed at the Clintons.

anne

Anonymous said...

No doubt you are right about supporting any Democratic candidate for president, and I am sure my mother will in the end insist on such support as she tells us she insisted on support for Hubert Humphrey in 1968. But, everyone in the family is upset by Hillary Clinton as are all my friends save one who thinks only she actually can become president.

My sense, however, is that if either Edwards or Obama were to echo Kucinich and simply call for a withdrawal from Iraq, Clinton would not gain the nomination.