February 17, 2005

Turnabout at WSJ

This piece by Peggy Noonan is an appreciative assessment of the blogs:
When you hear name-calling like what we've been hearing from the elite media this week, you know someone must be doing something right. The hysterical edge makes you wonder if writers for newspapers and magazines and professors in J-schools don't have a serious case of freedom envy.

The bloggers have that freedom. They have the still pent-up energy of a liberated citizenry, too. The MSM doesn't. It has lost its old monopoly on information. It is angry.

But MSM criticism of the blogosphere misses the point, or rather points.

Blogging changes how business is done in American journalism. The MSM isn't over. It just can no longer pose as if it is The Guardian of Established Truth. The MSM is just another player now. A big one, but a player.

Compare and contrast to Monday's lame editorial Monday's editorial, which uncharacteristically and unfairly trashed the blogs' rôle, in a strange and weak defense of Eason Jordan:

But it does not speak well of CNN that it apparently allowed itself to be stampeded by this Internet and talk-show crew. Of course the network must be responsive to its audience and ratings. But it has other obligations, too, chief among them to show the good judgment and sense of proportion that distinguishes professional journalism from the enthusiasms and vendettas of amateurs.

No doubt this point of view will get us described as part of the "mainstream media." But we'll take that as a compliment since we've long believed that these columns do in fact represent the American mainstream.

In that same editorial the WSJ claims credit for " the first account by any news organization of what has come to be known as Easongate," in an email, not in print. Others have sliced and diced the Monday editorial. Enough to say here that Peggy's appreciation is thoughtful and lucid, and does the WSJ credit.

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