Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A MAN AND HIS MEDIA SITE. Jack Shafer has a smart commentary in Slate on how Romenesko's media site, part of, has changed the rules for both journalistic misbehavior and media criticism. One thing he leaves out, perhaps because it hits too close to home for him (and me!), is that those of us who write about the media for a living have grown accustomed to asking ourselves: How is this going to play on Romenesko? I'm not sure that's entirely healthy.

Personally, I have two rules: (1) shamelessly hype my stuff in e-mails to Jim Romenesko, and (2) never complain if he chooses to take a pass. I have noticed he's not crazy about linking to blog items, which probably makes sense: there would be no end of it if he headed down that road.

Shafer writes that Romenesko "never tips his hand to reveal his views or prejudices." I agree, but not everyone does. Andrew Sullivan, a frequent critic, has called Romenesko "a hard-line liberal who routinely refuses to link to any conservative media criticism." I don't get it, and I don't think it's because I'm a hard-line liberal. Shafer certainly isn't.

COSMO LIKES AMORELLO. The Herald's Cosmo Macero Jr. has a counterintuitive take (sub. req.) on embattled Big Dig chief Matt Amorello. According to Macero, if Governor Mitt Romney gets his way and forces Amorello out, the result could be a dubious - and possibly even dangerous - method of repairing the leaks.

As for Howie Carr today ... good grief. Did you know that state college presidents make a lot of money? Howie, you and I might remember who Gerry Indelicato is - or was - but I'm not sure anyone else does. The problem with recycling is that you occasionally have to throw something new on top of the compost heap.


Anonymous said...

Right you are Dan. Howie has been mailing it in for years.

Anonymous said...

Sullivan's critique is an accurate one, Dan. I'll give you some examples you can check yourself:
1. He was ridiculously late on the Dan Rather thing. When ABC News broke the documents story in the mainstream press, Romenesko did not link to them. In fact, he waited several days until it was unavoidable.
2. He did not cover the Eason Jordan controversy until it was over.
3. He DID cover the editorial decisions revolving around the Trent Lott affair as they popped up a few years ago.

He is selective in his links. You might say he is biased in favor of mainstream journalism. That's fine. But mainsteam journalists share (in the words of Herbert Gans, in "Deciding What's News") a "para-ideology" that is generally "progressive." (You're becoming an academic, Dan. Notice I didn't quote a loony like S. Robert Lichter here. Gans is a well-respected Columbia University Sociologist - not a right-wing nutjob).

Anonymous said...

1. God Bless you for having the stones to admit you're a proud liberal. We see most things differently but I admire your candor. It's why you have more credibility than many of your "progressive" peers.
2. Point well-taken about Howie but keep in mind that many of the hacks (from both sides of the aisle) never in fact leave. Guys like Indelicato aren't on the state payroll any more, directly or as low-profile contractors, due to felony convictions, but many of their pals are. I think Howie's point is "how can we miss them if they won't go away?"

Dan Kennedy said...

To Bake McBride -

I think I did say Romenesko favors mainstream journalism - I noted that he's reluctant to link to blog items. If Sullivan had said that, I wouldn't have disagreed with him.

But I have never discerned any liberal bias on Romenesko's part. Calling his preference for mainstream journalism a form of liberal bias, I think, is too much of a stretch.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone embody the ethical and moral corruptness of today's media elites more than Andrew Sullivan? Professionally, the man is a liar and personally he's a pig. We'll know journalists have finally grown up when they stop paying attention to the likes of Andy and start paying attention to the grunts out there doing serious reporting and commentary.

Nelson, Roslindale

Anonymous said...

Oops, wrong link. Andy's life as a pig can be found here and here.

Nelson, Roslindale

Anonymous said...

Jeez Nelson, talk about more than I needed to know....(and it took 20 min. to find what was taken out of context)..

Anonymous said...


You are simply wrong about Romenesko's political leaning. Here is evidence:

1. He does link to blogs, selectively. On this item from yesterday he links to David Brock's Media Matters website. Funded by Soros, this is a partisan liberal media watchdog - not mainstream media. He has never linked to anything from Reed Irvine's similar organization - Media Matters is an explicit imitator of Irvine's watchdog group.
2. He has never linked to media criticism from the Weekly Standard or The Washington Times, but he does link to media criticism from the Nation.

Sullivan overstates the charge, but it is undeniable. You tell me Dan, what is a bigger story in the world of media criticism: Dan Rather, Eason Jordan, or that Ann Coulter has a foul mouth? Which one of these did he link to immediately - and which one(s) did he avoid?

Anonymous said...

Hey, Bake: stop pretending that Andrew Sullivan isn't a biased, utterly dishonest conservative partsan. You might as well be quoting David Duke on how "pushy" Jews are.

Of course Sullivan's going to claim Romenesko is too liberal; he's been saying that for years about anyone who doesn't play cheerleader for the Republican Party agenda. This is just standard right-wing schtick --what Eric Alterman correctly labels "working the refs"-- and is something Sullivan performed well enough to earn himself a place at Grover Norquist's weekly "message meetings" for the Bush White House.

Sully's also bitter at a lot of former media colleagues who congregate at Romenesko after they disowned him for soliciting unprotected anal sex on the internet --while he was HIV-positive and fulminating that Bill Clinton was a sexual sociopath.

Regarding Media Matters, it is a non-partisan, rigorous organization that, unlike Reed Irvine, is factually accurate.

Nelson, Roslindale