Friday, January 13, 2012

The last piastre

Emboldened by the prospect that SOPA will pass and bring with it copyright vigilantism, the Grey Lady is ready to make us all pay:

(Aside: Is anyone considering anti-trust proceedings? The dead tree media suddenly and coincidentally all got serious at once about squeezing some piastres out of their freeloading Internet readers.)

The Times hints condescendingly that it might restore actual fealty to facts in favor of its current wingnut-fearing neutral view of bullshit and the faux balance that results. (Although, isn't a blogger pretty much the definition of truth vigilante?) But then Jill Abramson defensively quashes that hint much more swiftly than any reporting error.

We foolish readers misunderstood!
First, though, I must lament that “truth vigilante” generated way more heat than light. A large majority of respondents weighed in with, yes, you moron, The Times should check facts and print the truth.

That was not the question I was trying to ask. My inquiry related to whether The Times, in the text of news columns, should more aggressively rebut “facts” that are offered by newsmakers when those “facts” are in question. I consider this a difficult question, not an obvious one.
At least the condescension is consistent.

If the Times doesn't demand a factual basis for the dialog in its pages, it fails utterly to do journalism. Maybe its editors don't care about that, but they should care that reality-based, skeptical reporting is the only function they have that can't be performed more cheaply and almost always better on the Internet.

Maybe they're just going to shut down every blog that links to them, once SOPA passes. That would be a whole different kind of truth vigilante. Still...

Romney lies, you can see it in his eyes.

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