Skip to comments.Confessions of a "Salivating Moron"
Posted on 02/16/2005 2:23:55 PM PST by Congressman Billybob
I did not realize I was a salivating moron until Steve Lovelady, Managing Editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, informed me of that fact. His full quote was even harsher. Regarding the abrupt resignation of Eason Jordan, chief news executive for CNN, Lovelady wrote about us bloggers, The salivating morons who make up the lynch mob prevail.
I think he meant to write prevailed. His statement has become the signature quote in many publications from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal on laffaire Jordan. However inaccurate, that quote does embody the attitudes of the MSM (mainstream media) toward the new media, known as the blogosphere.
I sent a remarkably polite note to the Editor of the Review pointing out that I have 1.5 doctorates, and a long and successful career in such areas as writing, and practicing in the US Supreme Court. I suggested that Steve was an incompetent journalist for attacking an entire group without doing any homework on the people in that group -- like me, for instance.
Back came a reply from Steve that acknowledged and defended his slavering morons quote. (He prefers the slavering version, as do I. Evokes the classical mastiff-on-a-chain image. But I digress.) He said he didnt mean me. He wrote, ...believe me, for every one of you, there are 100 of them out there yammering away with mob-like glee. I do not so easily abandon my colleagues to gain the praise of a MSM journalist.
As with all movements, the blogosphere has its distinctions between those who think through and lead the efforts, and those who either join in later or cheer from the sidelines. The difference is much the same as between English footballers, who can be sent off for minor infractions, and their fans, who can be head-cracking hooligans. Separating one from the other is a matter of research on bloggers.
Although tens of thousands, if not more, participate actively, the leaders of the blogosphere number no more than a couple hundred. My experience with these people is that they are much like me. Most have graduate degrees, and are professionals. There are lawyers, engineers, teachers, doctors, and reporters among other professions. I have listed those in roughly the numbers they appear, and yes, there are reporters and editors who are members of the blogosphere.
It may be galling to Steve that some of his own have gone over to the dark side. But the reason is that some reporters still remember the purpose of their profession. The long version, which Steve has apparently forgotten, is: who, what, when, where, why and how. The short version is: get the facts right, first.
Are there crazies on the Internet? Absolutely. They come in hard right and hard left varieties, and we veterans refer to them collectively as the tin foil hats. But those people are like the football fans. WE are the players. And we are not slavering morons.
Lets touch on Steves lynch mob comment. We did not necessarily want Eason Jordan fired. It would have been far better for him, for his profession, and for CNN if he had recognized his error in accusing US soldiers of targeting journalists, apologized, and reformed his ways. But as long as Jordan thinks that is a proper remark (and remember, hes the same guy who slanted the news from Iraq so Hussein would let CNN kept its Baghdad bureau), Jordan does not belong in journalism.
The very use of the phrase lynch mob implies that we killed Jordan, and that he might have been innocent. The available facts indicate that Jordan was guilty. He apparently agreed, because he resigned to avoid embarrassment to CNN. And by the way, we STILL want to see the tape from Davos so everyone will know exactly what Jordan said. Unlike the MSM, we are in the truth business; Jordangate isnt finished yet.
How sad that the Review, the voice of Columbia and purported voice of the journalism profession, does not think the pursuit of the truth is basic to reporting.
Steves last e-mail to me explained where I could post an objection to his quote, and ended with See you around the quad. Well, Steve, I see no reason to visit your quadrangle, among journalists who view themselves as the high priests, guarding the mysteries from the hoi polloi. Instead, welcome to my quad, where all are welcome, and truth is the highest goal. I think youll find it strange at first, but try to adjust.
About the Author: John Armor is a First Amendment attorney and author who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. John_Armor@aya.yale.edu
Read and enjoy. And spread this around as you see fit.
John / Billybob
I didn't see a lot of calls for Jordan to be fired. But I do think he should have retracted his statement if he had nothing to back it up.
For me, that 'salivating moron' and 'lynch mob' bit is the culture war in a nutshell. It's outrageous that someone who manages a publication that should represent the search of truth, and unbiased objectivity -- that's what it should be, an unbiased referee, is just a left wing shill. It's no wonder I've become a cynical reactionary.
Bingo. I feel like we are playing some sort of sick game here. They lie, we catch them and then force them out. Why are they doing this? We will catch them. There are too many of us and the research is just to easy and our audience is just too vast for it to be any other way.
We would all be better off if they would just be honest in the first place.
Good stuff, John.
RELEASE THE TAPE!
>>>Read and enjoy. And spread this around as you see fit
Read. Enjoyed. And sent to email@example.com with a suggestion they read it, and discuss it on their program.
Nice work, as usual, thanks Congressman Billybob
"We did not want Jordan fired ?"
This from the man who shivered in delight at describing Jordan as "the next target of opportunity" ?
I'm grateful that you supplied me with that telling phrase, John.
It reassures me that I was correct in using the words "salivating" and "headhunters" to describe you and your like.
And feel free to quote me on that.
The more distribution this gets, the better.
So, this guru of the MSM still thinks that Eason Jordan belongs in the news business, and that we are mindless attackers trying to drive him out, just to flex our muscles.
In the vernacular, Steve just "doesn't get it." And as the MSM as it used to be, slips beneath the waves like the fatally-wounded Titanic, Lovelady will be on deck shouting to the decreasing number who take him seriously that "all is well."
As Forrest Gump said, "Stupid is as stupid does." He urges maximum "distribution" of my column. Use your Rolodexes and oblige the gentleman.
If you are considered a "salavating moron", what does that make Eason?
Though much overused, in the case of the erupting war between the Blogosphere and Old Media it is appropriate: PARADIGM SHIFT (PS).
The reason this is important, John, is that one of the distinctions between a PS and other types of change is that there is always a sharp cleavage between the Old guard and the new, and ARGUMENT DOESN'T WORK because the Old never can "get it". They filter all arguments through their Old filter.
The new paradigm just grows, and the old guys just die off, and the cleavage between the two is never bridged. After their generation is gone, their resistance seems just a curiosity.
If I had bothered to respond to Steve Lovelady's e-mail about this column, I would have used the analogy of the Oracle at Delphi. Long after the beliefs of the Greek people had moved on, I'm sure the High Priests at the Temple were continuing to perform their rituals, while wondering why the people weren't coming anymore?
That is a nearly perfect description of Columbia Journalism's future in this matter. And the reason why is as you describe, that they will never get a clue. They will just be confused as the world around them changes and they become irrelevant.
Exactly so. Yet the truth is twisted once again to suit the purpose of the lamestreamers. Mr. Lovelady needs to learn the difference between quitting and getting sacked. Perhaps this was a preemptive move from Jordan in anticipation that he would eventually be fired, who knows? But it was apparently his decision. Unless he was pressured from within CNN. And that WOULD be interesting news.
Ping to Congressman BB's latest
LOL!! .. Great Cartoon
Release the tape.
Then we'll see who's lying.
If I was accused of lying and there was a videotape (which we have been assured there is), I'd insist the tape be played.
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