NY Times Ed: "The Major Press is Under Attack"

Published: Wed 23 Feb 2005 03:03 PM
"The Major Press is Under Attack"
By William Rivers Pitt,
Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times, was the keynote speaker at Columbia University's Blue Pencil Dinner on Friday night. In his talk, he made it abundantly clear that the flagship of American journalism doesn't think much of the rise of the alternative media:
On the state of print journalism in America today, Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times, said, “This is not a time when editors swear off alcohol.”
Keller was the keynote speaker at Friday night’s Blue Pencil Dinner, an annual Spectator fund-raiser held in Low Rotunda. The event served both as a chance for Spectator staffers to learn about journalism from insiders and for alumni to reconnect with the paper.
Keller’s speech focused on the struggle of print journalism to maintain its relevance in the face of constant cable news updates, increased blogging, and failures in credibility.
He noted that, according to a recent opinion poll, the public’s trust in journalists is at its lowest point in decades. He attributed this in part to the increasingly polarized nature of the American public, who look to the press for support of their viewpoints.
“At the moment,” he said, “the major press is under attack from ideologues on the right and left.”
Keller also sees “blogging,” or online writing that blurs news and commentary, as a mixed blessing. While he celebrated the blogger’s ability to uncover breaking news, he noted that a blog’s inherent bias might be detrimental to the reader. “A blog is still a view of the world through a pinhole,” he said, noting that it can sometimes fall as low as being a “one man circle jerk.”
The rest.
These comments on bloggers come, of course, in the wake of the Gannon/Guckert/Whomever scandal. Mainstream journalists are, to put it mildly, deeply freaked that bloggers so thoroughly deconstructed the mythology of 'Gannon the Journalist' in so short a time. If it can happen to him, well...
The Plaid Adder, writer for DemocraticUnderground, has come up with a few simple rules for Gannon-like reporters out there. Keep to this set of guidelines, and you'll never be exposed:
Are you a right-wing shill? Do you worry that one day you're going to open your mail and find out that the Revolutionary Army of Liberal Death Bloggers has sent YOU the Black Spot? Learn how to protect yourself against these unprovoked and scurrilous partisan attacks by adopting the Plaid Adder's...
1. Don't 'hide in plain sight.'
If you hide in plain sight, people are gonna find you. I'm just sayin'.
2. Avoid appearing on television.
Once images of you making an ass of yourself have been beamed into millions of homes across the nation, you've opened the door to a world of hurt. In our culture, people who make asses of themselves on television are considered 'celebrities,' and during the time which their 'celebrity' lasts, such people cannot even go to the bathroom without having some idiot post about it at
3. If you are gay yourself, try not to publish gay-baiting articles with your name on them.
Some gay people enjoy gay-baiting, especially if they're closeted hypocritical bastards who vainly believe that they will escape persecution as long as they give enough head to the men who do the persecuting. But most gay people feel differently about this, and take particular joy in exposing those people. Many of these people are also practiced in administering withering sarcastic remarks, and are highly skilled and efficient gossipmongers.
4. If you happen to be a professional prostitute, then launching a website to advertise your services is probably a sound business idea. However, in that case, triple-dog daring your inquisitive opponents to 'bring it on' is NOT a sound business idea.
5. Don't--and I can't stress this enough--don't post naked pictures of yourself all over the world wide web.
Sure, you're excited. Sure, you want the business. Sure, you really love the way that shot of you splayed artistically across the hood of a sand-covered Humvee captures the subtle shading of your firm, pert buttocks. Sure, you want your friends, lovers, clients, bosses, former teachers, mother, aunts and uncles, and minister to be able to appreciate the sculptural beauty of your taut, muscular form. But do you really want 90-year-old toothless crones in Albania discussing the size of your genitalia over their morning coffee? Next time, maybe you should just spring for a photo album.
Good luck, shills of America,
The Plaid Adder
By the way, the American Prospect is preparing a large Gannongate story. Coming soon...

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