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Monday, February 07, 2005

Fair play in the blogosphere

Some friends of mine have pointed out a seeming disparity between the zeal of the blogosphere to go after media improprieties on the left and the lack of zeal to go after media improprieties from the right. This question came up because of the story of the White House correspondent for Talon News, Jeff Gannon. The Boston Globe broke this story last week accusing Mr. Gannon of not being a credentialed journalist and of tossing softball questions in White House press conferences. In essence, Mr. Gannon is accused of being a Republican party operative used to soften up press conferences.

My first thought was "how is this any different than all the other journalists tossing softball questions to Democrats?" However, my friends pointed out correctly that this is still a potentially fishy situation and that it is not being brought up in the blogosphere. To be precise, it is not being brought up among conservatives.

So the question is, are conservatives simply protecting their own by ignoring accusations against Mr. Gannon while going after Dan Rather and Eason Jordan? If this is the case, the moral high ground on issues of media fairness is abdicated.

I did a little research and found that the vast majority of blogs that mention the Gannon case are liberal. At the same time, the conservative blogs are ablaze with the Eason Jordon story (here, here, here, and here). I also noticed that very few conservative blogs covered the stories of Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher, and Mike McManus, the journalist who were paid by the Bush administration to support administration policies.

I will give kudos to the incomparable Michelle Malkin, who has been just as critical of conservatives as she has of liberals. (Here, here, and here). But outside of Malkin, the conservative blogosphere has been quiet about these conservative "scandals".

So it is time to throw down the gauntlet to the conservative blogosphere: step up to the plate and address these apparent scandals on the right. Simply ignoring them leaves a stink in the air. If in fact these charges against Gannon are baseless, then defend him with the facts. If they are true, hold him accountable. As Michelle Malkin said, we need to hold our side to a higher standard.

Update: On second thought, this Gannon story is a joke. Kooks like Kos and Atrios have pumped this up to be some big scandal. I guess they feel ignored since no one is asking them about the real scandals. Check out Ace of Spades HQ for a little perspective on the Gannon "story".

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