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The tale of the broken irony meter (update)
Posted by: McQ on Monday, August 20, 2007

You have got to read this post by Josh Marshall. It is freakin' hilarious. The long and short of it is an LA Times article by a journalism professor decries the blogophere as being "rife with disputation as it is thin on information, or more specifically, reporting, writing that demands "time, thorough fact-checking and verification and, most of all, perseverance.""

As Marshall says, fair enough, not an untrue statement. But the fun begins when Marshall finds Talking Points Memo (TPM) listed as one of the examples of what the professor claims.

So Marshall sends an inquiry to the professor. The professor replies, "I didn't put your name into the piece and haven't spent any time on your site. So to that extent I'm happy to give you benefit of the doubt ...".

That seemed an odd reply. Marshall, thinking he meant he didn't name him specifically in the article again queries the professor to which the professor replies, "I said I did not refer to you in the original. Your name was inserted late by an editor who perhaps thought I needed to cite more examples ... "

As Marshall incredulously asks:
And this is from someone who teaches journalism?
Well, yeah. Are you beginning to understand the depth of the problems which continue to be uncovered within the MSM?

Fact-checking and verification? Nah, the editor inserts TPM, and without once visiting the website, the professor signs off on an example which undermines his whole point and premise about the superiority of the MSM in the realm of 'fact-checking and verification'.

You just can't make this stuff up, I tell you.

UPDATE:
Oh, my ... read this.
 
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the Ed Cone piece is far more damning than the editorial insertion. I’ve seen and heard of enough screw ups by editorial staff* to make me think that editor inserted TPM without Skube ever seeing it or having a chance to sign off on that particular mistake, as opposed to the overall mistake which the column obviously is.

(*For instance, trivially but very illustratively, replacing "tack" with "tact" in a volume of nautical history by an author who, from other details in the book, knows that sort of nautical terminology like the back of his hand. The mispelling obviously came from an underintelligent revisor somewhere in the bowels of the publishing house.)
 
Written By: kishnevi
URL: http://
the Ed Cone piece is far more damning than the editorial insertion.
I think you’re missing the ironic point - "thorough fact-checking and verification". Whether it was the editor or Skube, it wasn’t fact-checked or verified. Yet that was a major complaint against blogs in the piece.

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I didn’t miss the ironic point. But that particular lack of factchecking is probably editorial. Whereas the lack of research revealed in the Cone piece is definitely Skubic and far more devestating. It’s a barrage of cannon, whereas Marshall’s post is merely a burst of riflefire.
 
Written By: kishnevi
URL: http://
But that particular lack of factchecking is probably editorial.
Yes, but the point Skube is making is that the role of the editor is to ensure the fact-checking and verification are properly done (something, he contends, blogs lack).
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog

 
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