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The pajamahadeens are digging their own graves (FR Featured)
Toronto Star ^ | Nov. 25, 2004. 01:00 AM | ANTONIA ZERBISIAS

Posted on 11/25/2004 7:52:43 AM PST by HighWheeler

Hoo-boy. It's a hot time in the old blogtown.

The pajamahadeen are firing their virtual bullets into the cyber-air in celebration of CBS anchor Dan Rather's announcement on Tuesday that he was retiring as the top talking face of the network after 24 years.

"This has been a simply outstanding month," crowed a poster on "Bush won, Arafat died, we're kicking ass in Fallujah, and now this!"

Typically, the above-quoted "Freeper" didn't get that Rather may be down, but he certainly isn't out. When he steps down as front man for The CBS Evening News on March 9, he will stay on as correspondent for the still much-watched 60 Minutes, as well as perform other assignments.

So it was a bit premature to be celebrating the defeat of the veteran journalist who has inspired anti-liberal websites such as and, not to mention Doonesbury's ridiculous foreign correspondent Roland Hedley Jr., an R.E.M. hit and "Rather-gate."

As comic Jon Stewart recently pointed out, last September's 60 Minutes II fiasco, which had Rather questioning President George W. Bush's National Guard service with documents that could not be authenticated, was the only scandal of the election campaign to have merited a "-gate."

Which brings us to those pajamahadeen, the online brigades who claim credit for bringing those documents into question — and forcing Rather to apologize for his reporting.

The right-wing bloggers proudly dubbed themselves that — a play on muhajadeen, as in Muslim guerrilla fighters — when former CBS exec Jonathan Klein, in the wake of the scandal, complained to Fox News that "bloggers have no checks and balances.

"You couldn't have a starker contrast between the multiple layers of checks and balances (on network news) and a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing."

By checks and balances, Klein meant the rigours of professional journalism — and not the opinionating of the blogosphere.

Ironically, bloggers mostly feed off the work of professional journalists who do the legwork. But, like parasites too stupid to realize they are killing off their hosts, the pajamahadeen don't get it every time they dig more dirt for our mass grave.

"Network news is dying and good riddence (sic)!" jubilated one of them yesterday.

It's true that journalism's checks and balances have been known to fail. When they do, news organizations crash and burn in spectacular fashion. But, much like the thousands of airplanes that land safely every day and don't make the news, major disasters are few and far between.

Still, the credibility of the corporate media continues to plummet.

In March, the Washington-based Project for Excellence in Journalism published The State of the News Media 2004, which documents an increase in superficiality and sensationalism, the declining reach of newspapers and network newscasts, cutbacks in newsroom resources and, most significantly, rising public distrust and disdain for our reportage.

Then, in June, the Canadian Media Research Consortium, a national project led by three University-based organizations to promote research on the media, ( came out with its Report Card On Canadian News Media. While it showed that Canadians are significantly more positive about our news sources than Americans are, citizens here believe that "powerful people or organizations" have too much influence on the media agenda.

One thing is clear from both studies: The shift from mainstream media to alternate sources such as the ethnic press, cable networks and the Internet, are threatening the future of the solid, stolid mainstream journalism.

And we don't know how to deal with it. Recently, for example, the news came from the U.K. that staid old papers are going tabloid, while the Washington Post will lighten up — all to attract elusive younger readers.

As for the newscasts of the type that Rather hosts, well, one look at the commercials for arthritis pills will tell you plenty about their demographics.

Paradoxically, young people are crowding into journalism schools, many of them in search of network TV stardom.

Still, the pajamahadeen are waging war on the mainstream media.

That includes the paper you're reading, even if you're not reading it on paper, since it is the actually selling of this paper which pays for the content you may now be reading gratis.

By the end of today, who knows how many bloggers will have had at this column? Many of them often shoot me down — and some do a pretty good job. (See

But, just like trigger happy celebrants in the Middle East, who have yet to figure out that what goes up must come down, they can't see that, by firing up at us, they will also kill themselves.

TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Free Republic; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2004electionbias; astupidcommiebatch; buggywhipmedia; bullzogby; canuckistan; cbslies; danratherisgone; fr; freerepublic; frinthenews; goebbelswouldbeproud; horsecrap; joeklien; jonstewart; mediabia; msm; pajamahadeen; pajamapeople; pajamapeoplerule; paradigmshift; ratherbias; rathergate; seebs; sourgrapesofwrather; toogayforwords; zogbyism
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To: Mrs Zip


461 posted on 12/05/2004 12:44:22 AM PST by zip ((Remember: DimocRat lies told often enough became truth to 48% of Americans))
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To: HighWheeler
"Ironically, bloggers mostly feed off the work of professional journalists who do the legwork."

I know this has been much mocked, but there is a certain amount of truth here, if people would get over their anti-MSM attitude long enough to admit it.

Understand that most broadcast news (except live footage of hurricanes, etc.) is ripped-off from newspapers and magazines. Ask your local newspaper reporter how often her stories are picked up (without any credit or acknowledgement) by the radio and TV stations.

Look at all the posts on Free Republic that are links to articles from other sources -- AP, Fox, Washington Times, columnists. Where bloggers make a difference usually is in taking facts reported by some media source, doing a little Googling to dig up a fact left out, or maybe adding some "local knowledge," and then "connecting the dots" to make a point that was missing from the original news article.

There's nothing wrong with that. "Real journalists" do the same thing: get a press release, make a couple of phone calls, do a Nexis search, bing-bang-boom, you got a news story. It's not completely original, but that doesn't make it illegitimate.

So it in no way detracts from what bloggers do to say that much of their work is based on reports by MSM. The guys in MSM cannibalize each other's work all the time.

462 posted on 12/06/2004 7:01:08 PM PST by Madstrider (The right wing conspiracy isn't really so vast -- we just work overtime)
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