The Columbia Journalism Review Has Another Problem, Now
I had the misfortune of clicking through to the Columbia Journalism Review via a link at The Weekly Standard. Evidently they don’t even know what a milblog is – this blog isn’t one, for the record. But looking at another item of theirs, see bottom, they also have another problem, now.
CJR does not examine the complexities and challenges of pseudonymous writing, or the fact that the New Republic has failed to produce any corroboration for Beauchamp’s account, or the delicacy of fact-checking spouses of your own employee. Instead, CJR writer Paul McCleary attacks milbloggers for being chickenhawks:
Their target, of course, is Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp, of TNR fame, and he’s taking a beating by critics who apparently have nothing better to do than furiously Google his name all night long and troll his MySpace page.
Let’s revisit a June piece at CJR by Gal Beckerman discussing Internet disclosure and blogging during the Libby fiasco. It seems, according to CJR, what Beauchamp himself published on the web should be left alone and kept private. In the Libby case, third party letters are fair game, mock away, it would seem. Given the particulars, this goes beyond simple hypocrisy, or a double standard. It’s just plain biased.
The lawyers for Scooter Libby made a bizarre argument – at least to my ears – for why the letters attesting to Libby’s character, written to the judge in his perjury case, should be kept out of the public eye: "the real possibility that these letters, once released, would be published on the Internet and their authors discussed, even mocked, by bloggers."
Excuse me?! …
But in the past, in the age before blogs, wouldn’t enterprising journalists have gained access to them as well? They might only have had their newspapers as a place to print them, but would that have made for any less "mocking." The only difference is that it would only take place in our heads and at dinner conversations — and not out in the world for anyone to see. Maybe that’s what’s so annoying to the likes of Kissinger, et al.
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