JOSHUA MICAH MARSHALL BROKE THE STORY ON CARL CAMERON’S contrived John Kerry comments which were posted on Fox News‘ website.
However, Eric Lictblau of the New York Times in his report on the fabricated Kerry posting says nothing of Joshua Marshall’s investigation or his reporting. Marshall is a media pro — and has scooped or influenced the traditional media many times before. But the New York Times and other leading publications often think that they can just grab a story that someone else has developed and run it without credit or attribution.
The Post and the Times each have Ombudsman operations, and there should be some investigation of this tendency to rip off the major blogs. I will be writing to the ombudsman offices at these places and encourage others to do so.
Here is the link for the Washington Post Ombudsman. Daniel Okrent, public editor/ombudsman at the New York Times can be reached at His office profile is here.
I had a small taste of this after writing about and posting the RNC mailer saying that Democrats would ban the bible. The Associated Press ran the first article about these mailers focusing on West Virginia but did not provide the flier.
Josh Marshall highlighted this on his blog — and then I acquired and posted an Arkansas version of the actual flier. This in turn led to Andrew Sullivan, Matthew Yglesias and many others to crosslink the piece — and finally, CBS News and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette took it into the major media, followed by a flurry of other reporting.
Nearly all of the blog reporting on the RNC mailer referred to the images posted on my site and my report that this mailer had expanded from the single case of West Virginia to Arkansas and potentially other states. I also reported that this mailer might be attached to parish roster lists that the Republican National Committee had been soliciting. (Does anyone know if the Democratic National Committee was also soliciting parish rosters?)
Others have probably written about this cold shoulder that traditional media gives the good reporting on some blogs, but I haven’t paid much attention to this behavior until recently.
However, the New York Times Magazine did do a major cover story on the influence of bloggers, highlighting Ana Marie Cox (aka Wonkette), Josh Marshall, Atrios, and others. Did they do this to boost readership of the paper. In other words, the Times wants to exploit the hipness of the blogger world on one hand — but then deny its contributions in articles such as the one today on Carl Cameron’s shameful act.
The Washington Post’s marketing division, attached to Washington Post Newsweek Interactive, was also organizing a competition for the best political blogs in the country. When the first nominations were being solicited in banner ads via the Post’s emailed news of the day, the links to make nominations did not work. I know because I had several dozen complaints from would-be nominators trying to get into the line-up. After a week of hearing about this, I called WPNI and got them to fix the links.
The Washington Post said that it would announce the finalists in the competition on September 27th — and as best I can tell — there has been no release of a finalist list. When I called on Thursday and Friday this week, no human beings I spoke to knew about whether the competition was even proceeding. And I had no return phone calls.
I don’t care that much about the Post‘s Blog Competition — though as a new blogger, I admit that it would have been gratifying to have at least been nominated.
The issue here is that the major media are trying to exploit via marketing games and glitzy magazine cover ads the very high interest many have in political commentary on blogs. But then when it comes to the serious issues of reporting — the major media sift through the blogs taking what they can use and not giving attribution.
In most liberal arts colleges, that kind of behavior would lead to an “F” or suspension.
— Steve Clemons