Monday, March 07, 2005

Clueless on First Street.

Hugh Hewitt has posted questionshe posed and answers he received from Barbara Demick, the soon-to-be-infamousreporter who splashed an apologist propaganda piece on the front page ofthe LA Times last Thursday.

My favorite analysis of this e-mail exchange is located at PoliticalFan .

Personally, I love her opening remarks to Hugh:

"Hello. I still need to get permission from my keepers to appear on the program, but I suspect it will not be forthcoming."
Handlers? Permission? Not forthcoming?What is going on here?

Allwe hear is how journalists are keepers of a public trust. They are doingthe greatest public service by "speaking truth to power". They demand accountabilityfrom all they eviscerate and judge. Yet this reporter, with the power ofThe Tribune Company behind her, writing for a monopoly publication in thesecond largest market in the country has "handlers" that withhold "permission"to appear on a radio show to discuss her latest front-page article?

What kind of smug arrogance is at work here?

Rememberall of the dire warnings about blogs and websites growing as a source ofnews and information? "Where are the editors?" "These people are not professionaljournalists." "Where is the accountability?" "People can just throw anythingout into cyber-space and people may believe it!"


· Here we have a "professional journalist".
· She doesn't just "throw anything out into cyber-space", she gets it on the front page of the LA Times.
· When asked to be "accountable" and have a public conversation about her article, her "editors" don't allow her to speak.

Do you hear the walls of the old media monopoly crumbling?

We must conclude one of two reasons for Ms. Demick's non-appearance on the Hugh Hewitt show:


1.Her handlers do not want her to further exacerbate this embarrassing problemand they are hoping that by avoiding talking about it that maybe it willgo away (fat chance).
2. They feel that they have no obligationto answer for their actions or explain their motives behind this piece andwill sit high in their tower on First Street waiting for their next Pulitzerto come in.

Whichever the reason, it's clear that the dinosaurs atthe Times are absolutely clueless about the new media and how these thingscan begin to snowball.

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