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CBS BLASTS THE BLOGS
CHRONWATCH.COM ^ | NOVEMBER 12, 2004 | NOEL SHEPPARD

Posted on 11/13/2004 6:26:15 PM PST by CHARLITE

As amazing as it might seem, a retired correspondent for CBS News recently wrote an op-ed for his previous employer wherein he suggested that the worst news coverage of an election in history was likely performed by America’s bloggers this past November 2.

''As a retired mainstream media ('MSM') journalist--and thus a double-dinosaur--I don’t begrudge these knights of the blog-table their grandiose dreams. But I worked on a school paper when I was a kid and I owned a CB radio when I lived in Texas. And what I saw in the blogosphere on Nov. 2 was more reminiscent of that school paper or a ''Breaker, breaker 19'' gabfest on CB than anything approaching journalism.''

Now, before delving any further into this ranting, you might be interested in knowing who the source of this drivel is. For those who have forgotten, Eric Engberg is the former CBS News correspondent at the heart of Bernard Goldberg’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal back in 1996 that eventually led to Mr. Goldberg leaving CBS and, subsequently, writing the book, ''Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News.''

To refresh everybody’s memory, in February of 1996, Mr. Engberg was interviewing Steve Forbes on a CBS Evening News segment called, ''Reality Check.'' Mr. Forbes at the time was running for president, and advocating a flat tax. In an apparent effort to discredit Mr. Forbes, Mr. Engberg used extraordinarily inflammatory words like ''wacky,'' ''scheme,'' and ''elixir'' to describe the candidate’s fiscal plan. Additionally, Mr. Engberg had cut-ins of three different liberal economists’ opinions of this tax proposal without the balance of a conservative viewpoint while-- apparently counter to the edicts of his bosses--never identifying their political leanings.

Mr. Goldberg was so angered by what he perceived to be intentional distortions in this ''hatchet job'' that he wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal a few days later wherein he specifically used this incident as evidence of a liberal bias at CBS News:

Which brings us to a recent ''Reality Check'' on the CBS Evening News, reported by Eric Engberg, a longtime friend. His subject was Steve Forbes's flat tax. It's not just Democrats and some Republican presidential candidates who don't like the flat tax--it's also a lot of big-time reporters. The flat tax rubs them the wrong way. Which is fair enough--until their bias makes its way into their reporting. And Mr. Engberg's report set new standards for bias.

This was certainly not the first time that Engberg was accused of bias in his reporting. In fact, the Media Research Center lists Engberg as being part of The Starting Line-up of the Pro-Clinton Press Corps. They actually have a whole page at their website dedicated to some of his most scandalous reports during that era. There is also a similar appraisal of his apparent biases dating back some years previous outlined in a MediaWatch column from 1989 that refers to Mr. Engberg as ''The Spin Doctor of CBS.'' In this piece, all of Engberg’s reports from July 1, 1988 through June 30, 1989 were scrutinized producing some rather shocking findings.

Given this history of ignominy, we shouldn’t be at all surprised that a few years off to play golf and save money at early-bird specials has in no ascertainable fashion altered Mr. Engberg’s modus operandi. Hence, after presenting a rather scathing account, and--imagine this--biased view of what transpired at the blogs on election night, Engberg offers the following conclusion: ''One of the verdicts rendered by election night 2004 is that, given their lack of expertise, standards and, yes, humility, the chances of the bloggers replacing mainstream journalism are about as good as the parasite replacing the dog it fastens on.''

I’m sure that all of the bloggers in America will be thrilled to know that they are being likened to fleas, mites, and ticks. However, the first issue at hand is the fact that it wasn’t the blogs that got this story wrong. Quite the contrary, they merely disseminated information that was being reported by Drudge, Slate, and, potentially most important, John Zogby. After all, this is an extraordinarily well-regarded pollster who accurately predicted Al Gore receiving more popular votes in 2000 than George W. Bush. As Zogby had been reporting from 2 pm EST on Election Day that there were some huge surprises brewing in states like Virginia, Colorado, and Pennsylvania, all the blogs were doing was addressing the opinion of one of the most respected pollsters in the nation. Ditto their announcing his 5 pm prognostication of Kerry winning the election.

However, potentially one of the differences between how the blogs reported this information versus the way the MSM did in 2000 is that the bloggers at least made their readers aware that the numbers seemed rather suspicious. I don’t recall this emanating from the MSM during the 2000 election when they called Florida for Al Gore almost exclusively as a result of exit polling information that had been supplied to them by the VNS.

In fact, suspicions regarding the accuracy of these early exit polls were conspicuous at both the liberal and conservative blogs that I was feverishly switching back and forth between. For instance, at National Review Online’s blog, folks like Kate O’Beirne and Jonah Goldberg were checking in and sharing their incites from data collected prior to the election as well as from 2000 to illustrate how questionable these numbers appeared to be. Furthermore, Drudge reported that the first wave of exit polls might be unreliable, as they had been weighted as 59% women, and 41% men. As such, in my view, the bloggers didn’t get anything wrong.

What Mr. Engberg is also conveniently missing is that the bloggers have no similar responsibility or moral requirement for accuracy as the MSM. A web log is inherently somebody’s opinion. I would fervently suggest that the overwhelming majority--a number likely approaching 99%--of the Internet surfers understand this fact significantly more than the gullible masses that on a daily basis turn on any of the news hours presented by the MSM. In fact, it is indeed the MSM that has such a responsibility to be accurate for exactly this reason--the public blindly accepts everything they report as the gospel truth. By contrast, the folks who visit blogs are quite aware of the editorial nature that is inherent in this medium, and, as a result, take much of what they read with a grain of salt.

Moreover, it is organizations that are part of the MSM who have been continually betraying the public’s trust in this regard, not the bloggers. In fact, even John Zogby had the decency to come out and apologize for his poor call on November 2. By contrast, many Americans stopped holding their breath just in time to avoid asphyxia waiting for CBS to be so graceful.

Of course, it is quite fitting that Mr. Engberg refers to himself in the midst of this prattle as a ''dinosaur.'' Now, to a certain extent, this almost rises to the level of braggadocio inasmuch as when the dinosaurs died off, at least they continued to be useful by becoming fossil fuel. By contrast, it appears that not only didn’t Engberg ever have any value to the population when he was a news correspondent, but his retirement has in no way improved his standing in this regard. As such, his perceptions concerning the future of the news industry are likely as worthless as most of his reporting throughout his undistinguished career.

Consequently, regardless of the protestations of this Stegosaurus--a dinosaur noted for its lack of intellect due to its walnut-sized brain--the MSM in its current form is indeed moving towards extinction. More and more, America wants its news raw, unfiltered, and unadulterated the moment it’s happening, not up to 24 hours after the fact neatly packaged and presented by correspondents who are hired more for their attractiveness than their grasp of the information they are disseminating. Beyond which, people who actually wait until 6:00 each evening to find out what transpired in the world since 6:00 the previous evening is probably just as close to extinction as the news divisions they hold in such high esteem.

In the end, irrespective of its lack of merit, one still has to love the delicious irony inherent in somebody associated with CBS News having the gall to chastise anybody about a lack of integrity in presenting information to the public--especially someone like this who has been the catalyst for multiple op-eds and a rather defamatory book written partially about him by a former colleague. It makes one wonder how many of Mr. Engberg’s fellow Stegosauruses are going to be required to facilitate the removal of his dorsal phalanges from his toothless beak.

About the Writer: Noel Sheppard is a business owner, economist, and writer residing in Northern California. Noel receives e-mail at slep@danvillebc.com


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2004electionbias; bernardgolberg; bias; bloggers; boycottcbs; buggywhipmedia; bush; bushhaters; callingresults; cbs; cbsnews; election04; ericenberg; hawhaw; justmakeitup; kerry; lyingliar; lyingliars; mediabias; msm; pagingnelsonmuntz; pajamapeople; pajamapeoplerule; zogbyism
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1 posted on 11/13/2004 6:26:17 PM PST by CHARLITE
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To: CHARLITE

cull the writter out and freep his personal life and post it for every one.... keep doing this ....


2 posted on 11/13/2004 6:27:34 PM PST by Gibtx (Pajamahadien call to arms.....)
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To: CHARLITE

Sour grapes, $crew you CBS.


3 posted on 11/13/2004 6:28:41 PM PST by JustAnotherOkie
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To: CHARLITE
The Real Logo of the Democrat Party

4 posted on 11/13/2004 6:31:06 PM PST by Fiddlstix (This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: CHARLITE
"What Mr. Engberg is also conveniently missing is that the bloggers have no similar responsibility or moral requirement for accuracy as the MSM."

Got that guys? You people have no moral obligation to tell the truth! Only institutions do, like MSM and government.

5 posted on 11/13/2004 6:31:48 PM PST by SteveMcKing
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To: Gibtx

One t will be just fine.


6 posted on 11/13/2004 6:33:04 PM PST by billhilly (If you're lurking here from DU (Democrats unglued), I trust this post will make you sick)
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To: CHARLITE
... the worst news coverage of an election in history was likely performed by America’s bloggers....

To THEM is this absolute truth. It is them coming to the realization that they no longer have a monopoly on information and now they must go through the five steps of grief. Most of them are stuck in denial and anger.

7 posted on 11/13/2004 6:33:44 PM PST by elizabetty
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To: billhilly
One t will be just fine.

But those writter critters must be exposed

8 posted on 11/13/2004 6:34:40 PM PST by elizabetty
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To: billhilly

We dispel one more error in our detractors mantra. That is, we have no editors.


9 posted on 11/13/2004 6:35:02 PM PST by billhilly (If you're lurking here from DU (Democrats unglued), I trust this post will make you sick)
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To: CHARLITE
I’m sure that all of the bloggers in America will be thrilled to know that they are being likened to fleas, mites, and ticks.

But we're fleas, mites, and ticks in pajamas!

What Mr. Engberg is also conveniently missing is that the bloggers have no similar responsibility or moral requirement for accuracy as the MSM. A web log is inherently somebody’s opinion. I would fervently suggest that the overwhelming majority--a number likely approaching 99%--of the Internet surfers understand this fact significantly more than the gullible masses that on a daily basis turn on any of the news hours presented by the MSM. In fact, it is indeed the MSM that has such a responsibility to be accurate for exactly this reason--the public blindly accepts everything they report as the gospel truth. By contrast, the folks who visit blogs are quite aware of the editorial nature that is inherent in this medium, and, as a result, take much of what they read with a grain of salt. <

Wow, this guy gets it.

10 posted on 11/13/2004 6:35:19 PM PST by xJones
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To: CHARLITE
Now, before delving any further into this ranting, you might be interested in knowing who the source of this drivel is.

That's where I stopped reading.

The old MSM is dying. It was a self inflicted wound. Good riddance.

11 posted on 11/13/2004 6:36:36 PM PST by airborne (God bless and keep our fallen heroes.)
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To: CHARLITE
Well said. I love it when they gasp for air before extinction.
12 posted on 11/13/2004 6:36:59 PM PST by Earthdweller (US descendant of French Protestants)
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To: All
Now, to a certain extent, this almost rises to the level of braggadocio inasmuch as when the dinosaurs died off, at least they continued to be useful by becoming fossil fuel.

HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA!!

Another good line would have been: "Engberg should be controlled by the EPA for the gaseous emissions coming from his mouth!

13 posted on 11/13/2004 6:37:01 PM PST by misharu
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To: CHARLITE; All

Everybody needs to realize the ongoing plan is to prove the internet/bloggers are not a credible source for information.

This is being done for Hillary's benefit. She must be able to control the media flow when she runs for president. Without that, she will be exposed for who she really is and that will doom her candidacy.

The first attempt to do this was the recent blogs with all the election conspiracy theories. These blogs caused ABC and others to start questioning the election itself (or that was their excuse). Then .. when the theories started being debunked - IT WAS THOSE IDIOT BLOGGERS WHO DID THIS.

My theory is that these bloggers were only in business as a vehicle to launch the conspiracy theories (meaning they were liberal bloggers) .. which then allowed the rest of the liberal, complicit media to follow through with exultations of disgust for the non-credible information from the internet.

Interesting huh ..??


14 posted on 11/13/2004 6:40:51 PM PST by CyberAnt (Dems: want to know where your supporters are - see the trash cans in back of the abortion clinics.)
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To: CHARLITE
Undambelievable! I wonder what planet this turkey finally made his home on?

On the night of Rather's program document release, I sat raptly on the computer, well into the wee hours watching the CBS slimeball get his hand caught in the cookie jar by the bloggers who had the expertise to catch the MS New Roman font transposition.

It was the most fascinating night I could have imagined. The professionalism of the bloggers on top of that story are deserving of the Medal Of Freedom, IMHO.

"Well Done", mates! You put the spikes in the wretched CBS coffin -- and none too soon. You have my respect, admiration and heartfelt thanks for your service to our Republic.
15 posted on 11/13/2004 6:42:07 PM PST by dk/coro
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To: CHARLITE

Mr Shepard writes a good read. He slammed the fingers of the MSM in the door pretty hard.


16 posted on 11/13/2004 6:42:55 PM PST by mississippi red-neck
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To: xJones
"But we're fleas, mites, and ticks in pajamas!

Pajama Fleahadeen!

17 posted on 11/13/2004 6:46:46 PM PST by Enterprise (The left hates the Constitution. Islamic Fascism hates America. Natural allies.)
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To: CyberAnt

They are not going to stop the bloggers. Intelligent people will always look for alternate sources of news..now that there is some. I am SICK of being spoon feed by these Neanderthals and I won't take it anymore! Now that's progressive for ya.


18 posted on 11/13/2004 6:47:36 PM PST by Earthdweller (US descendant of French Protestants)
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To: elizabetty
"Most of them are stuck in denial and anger."

I'm betting that they will stay at "denial and anger" -- right up to the day they have to give up their license because they no longer have enough viewers to attract any revenue.

19 posted on 11/13/2004 6:48:12 PM PST by Bonaparte (twisting slowly, slowly in the wind...)
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To: Enterprise
Pajama Fleahadeen!

Make that "Mitey ticked off Fleehadeen!":)

20 posted on 11/13/2004 6:50:20 PM PST by xJones
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To: Bonaparte

They are so upset that they no longer control the press. Hahahahahaha. It's over fellas!! Get used to it.


21 posted on 11/13/2004 6:50:37 PM PST by blakep
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To: CHARLITE

Nothing has changed in 1775 the Torry Press "Blasts Thomas Paine and the other Pamphleteers".


22 posted on 11/13/2004 6:52:21 PM PST by Mike Darancette (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.)
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To: CHARLITE
The fallout from CBS is just beginning, it takes a while for people to come to grips with a a scandal like CBS had. That's two presidential elections in a row they messed up bigtime. I used to watch Tom Brokaw when I could till election 2000, than I found FOX and haven't watched his whole show since.
23 posted on 11/13/2004 6:52:29 PM PST by John Lenin
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To: dk/coro
What you said!
24 posted on 11/13/2004 6:53:17 PM PST by Bonaparte (twisting slowly, slowly in the wind...)
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To: CHARLITE
I'm glad this writer gets it!!

Moreover, it is organizations that are part of the MSM who have been continually betraying the public’s trust in this regard, not the bloggers. In fact, even John Zogby had the decency to come out and apologize for his poor call on November 2. By contrast, many Americans stopped holding their breath just in time to avoid asphyxia waiting for CBS to be so graceful.

hehehe...exactly!

25 posted on 11/13/2004 6:53:37 PM PST by Gondring (They can have my Bill of Rights when they pry it from my cold, dead hands!)
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To: Baghdad Bob

Baghdad Bob,
Remember that new gig I mentioned a couple months back?
I think they are ready for you.
I know you were concerned about credibility, but this
doesn't matter. It's with C..forever..BS.....

I'll even toss in some Oped's with NYT.

Believe me, you're gonna be great.....


26 posted on 11/13/2004 6:54:50 PM PST by Wizski
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To: CHARLITE

Imagine the grief we could have been spared had Westinghouse, when merging with CBS, simply named the new network WeBS.


27 posted on 11/13/2004 6:56:56 PM PST by Quilla
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To: CHARLITE

The internet now has the monopoly on information. Period! Now all the information is available to all the people. It is up to them to sort it out. No more nanny filters like CBS to tell it how they wish it were. Goodbye ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, FOX. You may speak but you may not be heard. The truth is out there for anyone who wants it.


28 posted on 11/13/2004 6:57:37 PM PST by groanup (Gay-bashing? No, it was Kerry-bashing, 59 million strong.)
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To: Gibtx

Well, the original article is at
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/11/08/opinion/main654285.shtml

If you want to get Eric Engberg's personal info, that's your right, but leave me out if you're going to encourage harassment. I prefer other means.


29 posted on 11/13/2004 6:59:36 PM PST by Gondring (They can have my Bill of Rights when they pry it from my cold, dead hands!)
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To: blakep
Calloo Callay! It's a brand new day! LOL!

60% of America is now online. When the next presidential election rolls around, it will be somewhere around 70 or 75%. Most talk radio is also on the internet and the streaming tech is just going to get smoother and easier. The networks can his their arses goodbye.

30 posted on 11/13/2004 7:00:51 PM PST by Bonaparte (twisting slowly, slowly in the wind...)
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To: blakep

his = kiss


31 posted on 11/13/2004 7:01:26 PM PST by Bonaparte (twisting slowly, slowly in the wind...)
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To: airborne

That was right where it was getting good! You just read the Engberg stuff, not the good nostalgia of him getting shredded before.


32 posted on 11/13/2004 7:02:11 PM PST by Gondring (They can have my Bill of Rights when they pry it from my cold, dead hands!)
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To: CHARLITE

CBS just can't take it that Freepers, in the matter of minutes, can outwit their own professionals. Looks like they should have hired us.


33 posted on 11/13/2004 7:02:11 PM PST by July 4th (A vacant lot cancelled out my vote for Bush.)
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To: John Lenin
Imagine the shape of things to come. It will resemble the Pre-Sorenson, Pre-Hearst "press," when the average community in America had two, three and four papers, coming and going every bit as much as today's Bloggers.

The danger is the MSM Broadcasters, to borrow a term from the Green Left, the "Corporate Media" will join forces with the buggy whip makers in the print media to reserve all free-speech to itself.

McCain-Feingold must be repealed. It MUST be overturned, or Bloggers will become "electronic electioneering," as the Supreme Court ruled, exempting the 1st Amendment - which is a restriction on Congress from abridging the freedom of the "Press"

If the Fairness Doctrine returns, say goodbye to Fair Radio.

The Primary doctrine of the Blue States is the Myth of Neutrality.

Bloggers must dedouble their vigilence over CBS's abuses, and never let up.

34 posted on 11/13/2004 7:02:33 PM PST by Prospero (Ad Astra!)
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To: CHARLITE
[ It makes one wonder how many of Mr. Engberg’s fellow Stegosauruses are going to be required to facilitate the removal of his dorsal phalanges from his toothless beak. ]

About as long as it takes to get someone with balls to head the FCC... With the MSM(TV) licenses at risk heads would roll.. like bowling balls.. Say G. Gordon Liddy.. Ann Coulter.. Micheal Savage..

35 posted on 11/13/2004 7:02:36 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to included some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: Gondring

Best thing to do with Engberg is to ignore him -- after having a good laugh. I hope he and all the other old media types keep spouting off. They're making my case for me far more eloquently than I could myself. I might even drop Engberg a e-line, high-fiving him.


36 posted on 11/13/2004 7:03:39 PM PST by Bonaparte (twisting slowly, slowly in the wind...)
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To: Gondring

chicken.....


37 posted on 11/13/2004 7:04:18 PM PST by Gibtx (Pajamahadien call to arms.....)
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To: billhilly
We dispel one more error in our detractors mantra. That is, we have no editors.

*snicker* Another error in the mantra: We can write anything we want without being held to scrutiny.

The truth is that anything written on FR (and most blogs for that matter) is subject to instant fact-checking, verification, and cross-referencing by thousands.

38 posted on 11/13/2004 7:04:20 PM PST by TontoKowalski
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To: groanup

Freepers gotten by the balls and they really go to squealing


39 posted on 11/13/2004 7:05:49 PM PST by Texas Songwriter (Texas Songwriter)
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To: groanup

Freepers gottem by the balls and they really go to squealing


40 posted on 11/13/2004 7:06:51 PM PST by Texas Songwriter (Texas Songwriter)
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To: Texas Songwriter

Misspelled in post 39. I hate it when that happens. Sory


41 posted on 11/13/2004 7:08:03 PM PST by Texas Songwriter (Texas Songwriter)
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To: CHARLITE
Engberg is so far out of what is now going on that his opinion is really not worth much.
I wonder if this guy even knows how to send e-mail much less what really goes on in the Blogsphere.
Just another Liberal Media Leftist that can't believe that the MSM no longer controls what people hear and see.
These people live in isolated bubbles as Goldberg says and really know nothing of what really goes in the rest of the country and really don't care to.
Engberg just proves he is really out of touch and I say stay retired and crawl back under your rock.
42 posted on 11/13/2004 7:10:48 PM PST by Captain Peter Blood
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To: CHARLITE

I believe King George had similar feelings for a group of rabble rousers in the Colonies.


43 posted on 11/13/2004 7:12:07 PM PST by Peter W. Kessler
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To: Gondring
OK, you caught me. I read the whole thing. It was nonsense.

This was particularly silly - "...the chances of the bloggers replacing mainstream journalism are about as good as the parasite replacing the dog it fastens on."

The liberal leftists are all in a severe state of denial. I love it!

44 posted on 11/13/2004 7:13:24 PM PST by airborne (God bless and keep our fallen heroes.)
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To: CHARLITE

I hate to tell this idiot this, but I also worked on my high school newspaper and took Journalism, and what he and CBS and most of the press today are doing is NOT Journalism! My high school paper may have had a much smaller circulation, but we knew the difference between hard news and editorials, the truth and propaganda.


45 posted on 11/13/2004 7:14:28 PM PST by ladyinred (Congratulations President Bush! Four more years!)
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To: CHARLITE
''As a retired mainstream media ('MSM') journalist--and thus a double-dinosaur ...

Read

Old Media


46 posted on 11/13/2004 7:14:59 PM PST by narby
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To: CHARLITE
As amazing as it might seem, a retired correspondent for CBS News recently wrote an op-ed for his previous employer wherein he suggested that the worst news coverage of an election in history was likely performed by America’s bloggers this past November 2.

Let me remind them who had the worst election coverage:


47 posted on 11/13/2004 7:15:32 PM PST by No Blue States
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To: CHARLITE

I think Mr. Enigbrag is right. We are not urinalists and all and he clearly is.


48 posted on 11/13/2004 7:16:05 PM PST by AmericanVictory (Should we be more like them, or they like us?)
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To: CHARLITE

Enbergb is probably an AlQaida supporter as well.


49 posted on 11/13/2004 7:27:05 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Bonaparte; blakep
I'll try to word this a different way, although I know I am repeating what others have said. Being the only game in town, the Old Media pretty much had it their way for decades. They were the ones who were watched and trusted by the masses. And they were the ones who were in constant contact with the power elite in Washington D.C. This helped make the media elite a VERY IMPORTANT part of political life and political survival, because they could make or break any given politician. They could make people look good, or make them look bad, and when they made someone look bad, there was little he could do about it. After all, the media always had the last word and they didn't have to correct errors or omissions if they didn't want to.

But - something has changed and Old Media doesn't like it, and can't quite accept it. The politicians in Washington D.C. generally don't need them anymore. It's an old story of the businessman, the middleman, and the customer. For a long time, the businessman (the politicians) had to have the cooperation of the middleman (the OM) to get their message out to the customers (the people). But it was a rigged system, with the liberal middlemen cooperating with the Democrat politicians to slant the message to the people in favor of the Democrats. But now, the politicians are able to bypass the middleman and go directly to the people with their words and messages not slanted or skewed. We can see for ourselves what they wanted us to know and make our own judgements. Or, if something doesn't sound quite right, we can ask the questions of liberal politicians that liberal media punks don't dare ask. In spite of the sweeping changes in communications, Old Media thinks it is still needed, and thinks it is still somehow important. It isn't - and THAT is what they are having trouble coming to terms with.

Old Media is a buggy whip manufacturer surrounded by the blogosphere.

50 posted on 11/13/2004 7:27:26 PM PST by Enterprise (The left hates the Constitution. Islamic Fascism hates America. Natural allies.)
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