“Wow, I can't believe I'm actually defending John McCain, but he didn't say he was disdainful of blogging. He was disdainful of hyper-blogging, that instead of having an interaction between subject and journalist, the journalist gets the initial response, and blogs about that. No follow-ups, no conversation, just a quick blog post with the first impression. No research, no context, just a blog post. And he's kind of right: that isn't journalism.
Blogging is great and is not going away, even if McCain gets elected. But journalist do a have a role of seeing "the big picture", of seeing connections between McCain's current statement (whatever that may be today), and his past statements and the statements of others. Follow-ups help clarify that.
Followups give us context for the statements. No context, then people can twist them to fit their own view. It doesn't justify the statements, but a good followup conversation can prevent cries of twisted words, or allow your opponents to use the same ambiguous statement their own way.
While the quick gotchas can be REALLY fun, there need to be some bloggers out there who take a pause, take a breath, and ask the deeper questions, not race to be the first one to blog about the gotcha.
Now please don't make me defend McCain anymore! Go, Obama!”
OCKerouac on Oct 30, 2008 at 11:07:00
“Impressive... My opinion has been changed. The hyper-blogging to which McCain refers is not very responsible journalism, and pushes the definition of journalism itself.
I do wonder however, how much of this 'gotcha' blogging that McCain says is going on is really his own doing? He seems to be a 'big reaction' kind of politician, saying things that will get the 96 point font treatment on the front of the nation's newspapers. As much as I agree with you that it's irresponsible of bloggers to take a snippet and run, I get the feeling JMc would not be complaining if the American people's reaction was positive.
It's also fair to note that rarely do the follow up questions that inevitbly come reveal any further depth to the original statement. Take the most recent 'Obama is a socialist' example. It's a bold, eye catching, get all the bloggers blogging type of statement that would likely be better tempered with some follow up. Larry King did last night, and McCain still stuck to his rediculous view that Obama is, in fact, a socialist, because he wants to raise taxes on the rich.
Would it not stand to reason that someone who refers to a tax hike on the richest Americans as 'Socialism' would also be the type who would want their catch phrases sent out into the world for public consumption? As much as your take is spot on, isn't he kind of responsible for it?”
LutherBrixton on Oct 30, 2008 at 10:38:41
“"But journalist do a have a role of seeing "the big picture", of seeing connections between McCain's current statement (whatever that may be today), and his past statements and the statements of others. Follow-ups help clarify that. "
I'd actually replace the word journalist with bloggers in this comment. The reason I, and many others, read blogs such as Greenwald on Salon, and Atrios, and Digby, is because (unlike today's mainstream journalists) they put what politicians say in context with what they said yesterday. Actually, that's what I like about Jon Stewart as well. Journalists today allow the most outrageous lies and hypocritcal statements to go unchecked. Just watch a press conference, whether it's with the president or the press secretary. and notice how many flagrant lies are told without any objections being raised from the White House journalists.
Bloggers do the work journalists are supposed to do, but no longer do, because in Washington the beltway media care more about being "pals" with polticians than objectively covering them.”