It always irritates me when old media people suggest that bloggers do no reporting. Most of them don’t, but most of them don’t have to. But look at any indie news-driven commercial blog—Gawker, TPM, Engadget, the mediabistro blogs and so on—and you will find original reporting. Maybe not in every post, but enough that it’s ludicrous to suggest that it’s somehow impossible for bloggers. Reporting isn’t rocket science. Experience makes people better at it, but anyone can learn it.
A few years ago, a WSJ employee approached me at a meeting and condescendingly told me that he was under the impression that no one read Dealbreaker because obviously it was just a bunch of rant-y bloggers taking WSJ links and summarizing them. We did very little straight aggregation at the time, so I asked him how often he read Dealbreaker. He admitted that he’d never read it. “That’s funny,” I said. “Because we scooped you on one of the largest hedge fund blowups in history last week. By two days.” (John Carney: capable of making phone calls despite having the temerity to be an ex-M&A lawyer instead of an ex-WSJ employee.) Reporting! Not the sole domain of middle aged white dudes at newspapers!
So it’s nice to see John Cook rip Keith Olbermann a new one after Olbermann alleges that Gawker just capriciously republishes rumors after Olbermann shoddily reports a story himself:
Olbermann acknowledged that his staff had received the e-mails, and did “due diligence and then some” in verifying Muller’s story, which in this case consisted of talking to Muller, talking to Shafran, and leaving telephone messages for Klay South, the marine who did the waterboarding. Had Olbermann or his staff actually talked to South, as we did, they would have learned that he “didn’t know what [he] was doing” and that he “just did what [he] was told—poured water on [Mancow’s] face.” Still, Olbermann says that his attempts to verify the story by talking to the guy who is telling it and believing the woman who said it was a hoax when she changed her story and said it wasn’t a hoax were better than what Gawker did. “If our perspective here had been political or sloppy,” he said, “we wouldn’t have checked anything—you know, the way the web site did it.”
That’s a lie. Our night editor verified Shafran’s e-mail with her directly and included her response in the story. We called Muller to get his side of the story and published it. We called South to get his story, and published it. We e-mailed Olbermann for his comment, and we called his MSNBC publicist for hers. Olbermann is living in a fantasy world where malicious bloggers spread lies about him without doing any legwork. We did more reporting on Muller’s alleged waterboarding than he or his staff did.
I wrote yesterday about the marathon that I am running to raise funds on behalf of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’sTeam In Training Program to fund research to find a cure for leukemia, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and myeloma and patient assistance programs. Leukemia, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, myeloma and myelodysplastic syndromes are cancers that originate in the bone marrow or lymphatic tissues. Leukemia causes more deaths than any other cancer among children and young adults under the age of 20.
Please consider supporting the society and me as we fight this disease by visiting my fundraising page to make a donation. Please note: while my fundraising page might say my goal is $2,000, I want to raise $5,000! Help me achieve that goal by donating today!
As an added incentive donors will receive the following gift as a token of my appreciation!
Donations $30 and under will receive a set of postcards from the more illustrious beaches along the Jersey Shore. On the back of each I will wax poetic on the fictional exploits of our Jersey summers past.
Donations between $31 - $49 will receive a series of letters in which I describe the preparation, meals and taste of Taylor Ham. If I could afford it I would mail you a Taylor Ham, but I can’t. The letters will carry the aroma of Taylor Ham.
Donations between $50 - $99 will receive a red bandana, cut off undershirt personalized and signed by me along with surprise Boss related tchochkes and minutiae.
Donations over $100 will receive my undying love (I’m cheap!) along with a copy of “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold” personalized and signed by me, a cocktail napkin with some dame’s number along with surprise ol’ Blue Eyes related tchochkes and minutiae.
Some important things to know about your donation:
75 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to Leukemia Society funds.
Patient Services funds go directly to patient care and counseling, often helping to pay costs not covered by insurance.
Research funding has helped to develop treatments that have increased the survival rate of children suffering from Leukemia from 4% in 1960 to over 85% today.
The journey from childhood to adulthood is filled with challenges. But for Black males, who must cope with the victimization and unequal treatment that results from racial and gender discrimination or prejudice, the obstacles can seem insurmountable. They battle statistics that label them more likely to wind up in jail and unemployed than educated and successful. They live in communities achingly devoid of role models who can help them see beyond their own street corners. And they often face poverty that can make the lure of the streets an almost irresistible temptation.
The African American Male Initiative: Creating Success is developing ways to combat these obstacles and chart paths to success for young Black males.
I know, Obama was supposed to change all that. But guess what? Change can sometimes use a bit of help. That’s where you come in. And also, Steps to Success.
Steps To Success is a major component of the African American Male Initiative: a program for grade-school boys, providing them with mentorship, Saturday cultural/learning enrichment “academys,” after-school academic support, and positive role models.
No excuses! Here’s a place where you can actually make a difference.
And - because if you know me, you know I’m not happy without a little gender-parity - here’s an alternative for the ladies: The Lower East Side Girls Club. (And yes, they do sell t-shirts, and they’re awesome.) They also sell delicious baked goods at the Sweet Shop on 1st Street, which is unsettlingly close to my apartment. But don’t take my word for it, go ahead and ask Rosario Dawson! SHE’S a Lower East Side Girl TOO. Donate here.
Happy GPICT, everyone! You know the drill: PASS IT ON. In the meantime, I guess I owe you some more cuteness, so here you go. You’re welcome.