Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Testy Journalists

Lara Logan is the latest of the Official Journalists to weigh in on the McChrystal article by Michael Hastings in Rolling Stone. Matt Taibbi responds, impolitely.

There's been a spate of journo indignation lately: that Hastings dared to write what he actually heard from McChrystal and company, instead of keeping it within the family; Logan joins David Brooks, most notably, but there are others arguing that if you want access, you have to play the game. Which says far more about their practices and how much the public can depend on them than it does about Michael Hastings.

And then there was the uproar at the Washington Post about un-toilet-trained bloggers from, presumably, more of those Official Journalists, as Dave Weigel was outed by an anonymous member of an off-the-record e-mail list who decided to break those rules (an Official Journalist, perhaps?).

And, a week or so back, James Risen's obscenely-expressed fury at bloggers who dare to question an Official Journalist's story.

It's the summer, supposed to be lapsing into the unofficial August vacation for Official Journalists known as the Silly Season. But the world seems to keep ticking on, as do the bloggers, and the future of the news business remains very much up in the air. So it's not surprising that those who consider themselves part of that elite profession might be getting testy.

It's an unruly world out there. Journalists are supposed to explore it. But it looks like some of them have been all too protected for far too long.

Meanwhile, the blogosphere shows them up once again. We can contrast this to Risen's tantrum or to the propensity of newspapers to hide corrections in small print on an interior page. The serious bloggers I know are not afraid to say they were wrong.

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