By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

“Greater Boston” update

Blue Mass Group’s Charley Blandy has posted a rather mild reaction to tonight’s “Greater Boston” discussion of the blog war. He also writes:

The usually sensible Dan Kennedy dug in his heels a bit, wondering how we could get anything done if we actually read the NY Times skeptically.

Good thing Charley didn’t use quotation marks, because that’s not what I said. I’ve challenged him to post a transcript.

Update: The transcript has been posted and I respond. I think that’s a wrap, even if Charley doesn’t.

Still more: The Outraged Liberal (or the Massachusetts Liberal or the Bay State Liberal, whichever you want to call him) hits the nail on the head again:

But there’s still a call for Dan Kennedy to offer a supine admission of error when he continues to insist (as do I) that the real culprit in this is a New York Times op-ed that was not (and should not) have been fact checked for the purposes of a five-minute segment….

It’s up to the New York Times to fact check their own stories and op-eds — not readers. It’s been part of the bargain that we can trust what’s in the media — or question them if they mess up too much.

We have not even come close to that level of trust with blogs and bloggers — and won’t for a long time as long as the attitude is I can whine but you can’t.

Sorry for the self-referential nature of this update. But I’ve been trying to say this for two days. Mr. Liberal says it better.

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  1. o-fish-l

    It was thoroughly enjoyable to watch John Carroll eat his ample portion of humble pie. Maybe his arrogance will be taken down a notch, although I’m not betting on it. In addition to all of the things Carroll indicated he has learned from this, hopefully he now realizes how many wack-jobs are positioned with him on the left.In regard to another issue discussed on tonight’s BtP, was Callie Crossley serious that the loss of WLVI-56’s Karen Marinella means “one less voice” in local media? Surely you were kidding Callie. Karen, just like Maria, Sara, Lisa, Liz and Frances et al, (along with all of the blown-dry male news readers) merely reads what is put in front of her on the tel-e-prompter. That’s why Karen and most of the others are expendable. To suggest that any of our newsreaders represent “a voice” is just hilarious.Lastly, it was great for BtP to highlight the mediocrity of the Boston TV sports media regarding the DAISUKE MATSUZAKA saga. It’s a shame BtP didn’t go further. The same nit-wits who said a deal was unlikely (hours before the signing) became know-it-alls once it was clear a deal was in the works. Perhaps most comical was when the genteel Sox owner John Henry referred to the new acquisition as MATSUZAKA-SAN, many in the media, who had been using “Dice-K” or “D-Mat” began parrotting Henry, as if they had known to say “MATSUZAKA-SAN” all along. Just hilarious.

  2. o-fish-l

    One last thing. Did anyone else pine for David Brudnoy to translate for MATSUZAKA at that 48 minute press conference? I felt as though the translator could have used a translator, if you know what I mean. If I recall correctly, the late-great Bruds was fluent in Japanese.

  3. Steve

    Dan -One thing you mentioned was that the Times hasn’t issued a correction for their story. Does the Times issue corrections for their op-eds (as opposed to their reporting)? I can’t remember ever seeing one.I know you’ve been grading papers this week, so I guess you didn’t have time to Google for the many fact-checks that have been written on that op-ed (and judge the reliability of the analyses). But there’s a lot out there if you have the time to look.

  4. sco

    Transcript posted.By the way, I’ve done a lot of transcribing from Greater Boston and NECN in the past two years I’ve been blogging. You’re easier than most — Thanks for speaking in complete sentences!

  5. Charley on the MTA

    As sco has transcribed, here are your remarks on the NYT thing:”Finally, um, what prompted this was the New York Times piece, originally, and that in itself has come under fire. And one of the things that keeps coming up over and over in the comments on some of these blogs is that — and, by the way, I don’t know whether the New York Times piece messed things up or not, but let’s say for the purpose of argument that it did. There’s this notion that you were supposed to fact check every single aspect of that New York Times piece before saying anything about it, which I think is absurd. You’d never get a show together if you did that. We comment on things in the media here. That was in the media; we commented on it. Um, if the New York Times messed that up, well then they ought to issue a correction, and I might note that they haven’t yet.”Dan, if what I said isn’t accurate, for the sake of being constructive, can we both focus on 1. what you did mean, and 2. what standard you would suggest for using a New York Times (e.g.) op-ed as the factual basis for further commentary. How much scrutiny should be applied? How much skepticism? Plenty/Some/None? These are honest questions.

  6. Peter Porcupine

    I pine for Brudnoy on general principles, regardless of his fluency.And Dan – when Ms. Rooney was asking WHERE was this public outrage about the Deval Ball, and wasn’t this just a made up story by the media – why didn’t you mention the SCADS of angst on BMG? As far as the lack of diversity with the loss of another TV station’s independent broadcast, we of the blogosphere ARE those disparate voices that are being mourned.

  7. mike_b1

    Nothing like a coupe of bloggers going at it over what they did or didn’t say.

  8. Dan Kennedy

    Well, fine, Mike, but I said what I said. Who likes to have words put into his mouth? Not me.

  9. Charley on the MTA

    Dan, I think what I wrote can be characterized as a “characterization” — and no, it wasn’t flattering, but you haven’t convinced me that it was inaccurate. In any event, if you feel it was a “mischaracterization”, feel free to write what you meant on BMG, and I’ll front page it. Wouldn’t want to put words in someone else’s mouth, much less try to interpret them.And I still think you haven’t addressed the issue of the actual Times chart, and whether it provided enough information or not. Your opinion would be valuable.

  10. DanM

    It strikes me that the reason you think “it’s a wrap” is because of the soft bigotry of not just low expectations, but expectations of failure. The inability to glean that four different political writers–with very different writing styles and perspectives on political strategies–were not, in fact, all one person is incredibly pathetic. Further, the inability to think, “Hmmm, if this post is real, there is an ENORMOUS campaign finance scandal on our hands–campaigns are paying multiple secret identities of the same person large sums of money,” by a reporter indicates that he isn’t just too dumb to be a reporter, he’s probably too dumb to have made it out of sixth-grade. To be frank, your qualm with Blue Mass Group and MyDD is that you don’t reporters to have to do actual reporting. Instead, you want them to be able to go to little parties with the Gods of Conventional Wisdom and just repeat what they hear there on the air or in print. Their qualm with you is that this approach is both a pathetic way to live your life and incredibly damaging to our political and civic processes.

  11. Dan Kennedy

    Charley –1. I responded on BMG hours ago. Not sure how you missed it.2. The best description of what you did with my words is the “excited paraphrase,” Bob Somerby’s wonderful description of what the late Michael Kelly used to do to his victims. The facts didn’t always dance quite the way Kelly wanted them to, so he’d enhance them. Kelly was a great guy, but he wasn’t perfect. It’s a cheap, sleazy trick. There was nothing — nothing — in what I said to suggest that I believe we shouldn’t read the Times skeptically. And you know it.3. The accuracy or lack thereof concerning the Times chart is your issue, not mine. My issue is whether it’s acceptable for media critics to comment on stuff in the media without re-reporting every fact contained therein. And I’ve already expressed my views on that. Why don’t you ask Glover? He’s at dglover {at} nationaljournal {dot} com.You guys pulled off a very difficult trick last week. You were handed lemonade, and by the end of the week you’d managed to make lemons out of it.

  12. Anonymous

    “3. The accuracy or lack thereof concerning the Times chart is your issue, not mine.”How is the accuracy concerning the New York Times not an issue for a media critic????“My issue is whether it’s acceptable for media critics to comment on stuff in the media without re-reporting every fact contained therein. And I’ve already expressed my views on that.”Straw man. Name one person who said that “every fact” contained therein had to be included. I heard people say that relevant information should have been included, but not “every fact.” Your dishonesty is diappointing.“Why don’t you ask Glover? He’s at dglover {at} nationaljournal {dot} com.”Yeah! Why would a media critic have a comment about media accuracy? (Note to Carroll: that was sarcasm)

  13. Dan Kennedy

    Anon 6:43: This particular Times article is not an issue for this particular media critic. Do you not get it? Let me help you:I was not on “Beat the Press” when the Times article was used as the basis of John Carroll’s piece. I did not rely on it, nor have I made any errors as a result of relying on it. Thus, I can say without any feeling of guilt that I’m not going to make it my issue because I don’t feel like it. That doesn’t mean I’m not interested. It does mean that I’m not going to be the one to do it. Clear enough?Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go to bed. I need to get a good night’s sleep before I set to work re-reporting every article in the Sunday Globe and Times tomorrow, lest I commit the mortal sin of commenting approvingly on something that later turns out to be wrong.

  14. Anonymous

    I know you’ve declared this issue “wrapped,” but you are evading the central point:GB ran a story that was wrong. The Jerome Armstrong gaffe was only the clearest point of it. Where GB got the story is immaterial to that fact. If they run a story, they have a responsibility for the truthfulness of their story. Period. Anything else just evades their central responsibility as a part of our information landscape. If they don’t care about the accuracy of their media source material, they serve no purpose whatsoever.You’re lack of engagement on that central point is just odd. Perhaps you are too close to the subject matter. You’re a “media critic,” but in this case, all you are being is defensive.

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