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February 19, 2004

Commedia dell’Arte among the gatekeepers. One of the more diverting sideshows of the last few weeks has been the spectacle of Columbia Journalism Review’s blog-like Campaign Desk trying to have it both ways—claiming the mantle of bloggy authenticity while repeatedly lecturing bloggers about the sinfulness of, for instance, discussing the same election-day exit polls that are simultaneously being circulated among the 5,271,009 members of the Credentialed Press. Perish forbid that anyone but the sanctified herd of “official” reporters should be allowed to know this information—I mean, who do you think this “free press” stuff is for, you? Leaving aside the fact that, as we’ve seen in several recent primaries, these exit polls are sometimes about as reliable as palmistry.

Anyway, upon delivering these sober moral instructions, the savants of the Columbia Journalism Review then hit one another over the head with inflated pig bladders and ran out of the room, leaving behind a torn pair of patchwork breeches. NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen has a fine summary and smackdown of the whole business, replete with appropriately funny bits:

Question, reader: If you were serious about not wanting to sound too strident, too preachy; if you were worried that such a tone might harm your credibility, would you in your wisdom:

  • title one of your arguments, “The Moral Obligation of a Free Press”;
  • lecture Jack Shafer that what he wants he does not necessarily need;
  • announce to the creator of the Daily Kos that he is at splendid risk for not being taken seriously by Campaign Desk;
  • further inform the Kos that he is “behaving like a two-year-old who has just discovered he can break things”;
  • speak severely to webloggers about the “moral burden” that comes with enjoying our great American freedoms;
  • remind webloggers twice how often they like to celebrate themselves, while you play “one more round of whack-a-mole” on their heads?
  • and place on your Who We Are page this description: “Columbia Journalism Review is recognized throughout the world as America’s premier media monitor”?
(Via Big, Left, Outside.) [12:34 PM]
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Comments on Commedia dell'Arte among the gatekeepers.:

Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2004, 11:09 AM:

I can't decide if Lovelady had been cast as Pantalone or Dottore. Or possibly, allowing for some deft juggling of masks, both.