Sunday, February 05, 2006

The author responds (trying to keep this alive)

NOTE: This post appears to have disappeared from my archive, thanks to Blogger. Hence, the post redux...

The author whose work inspired this post has responded.
Hey, yoo hoo, conspiracy theorists! It was me. Yes, I visited this web site on Friday morning. I've taken this perverse pleasure in checking out blogs to see how the stuff I write is being received in the current hothouse atmosphere. It's fascinating (and easy to do through the wonders of Google. I'm not a regular eitherorr visitor.)
Just so you know, the lede was not a brain fart. It was supposed to be ironic. You know, `natural governing party' clearly in disarray after losing election, full of recriminations -- as I thought the story made clear. Apparently this was lost on your readership. My fault. Too clever by half.
What I'm having trouble understanding is why the very rich sense of humour so evident in many of these blogs abandons so many of you whenever you consider the MSM. Do you think we're all drones?
By the way, I've never worked for the London Free Press.
Cheers, Bruce
Bruce, I give you credit for standing up.
But your attempt at irony didn't really belong in a news story. Commentary? Hell, yeah. Bring it on. But in a straight news story? I dissent.
It is ironic that you used quotes around the phrase "natural governing party" in your comment. That, to me -- and I'm looking at this as someone who has worked with words and the people who write them for a long, long time -- is the key to the displeasure. The absence of those quotes gives the casual reader the impression that it's fact, not just opinion or a slogan. Most readers don't stay much past the first few graphs of a story, as I'm sure you know. If the story had appeared with the quotes around "natural governing party", I really think your effort might have worked a lot better.
I don't fault your effort in trying to be ironic as much as I fault the editors who didn't challenge where you were trying to go and steer you into a better path toward your goal.
As for the distrust of the MSM, it's long-standing, as you also probably know. It stems from the apparent antipathy toward those who don't share the mindset of the "liberal elite." If you think such elites don't exist, I refer you to the book "The New Elite" by David Lebedoff. It's about 25 years old now, but its themes still ring true. I would also note that Mr. Lebedoff described himself in the book as a small-l liberal Democrat from Minnesota.
I commend you for joining the fray. I just think on this one, you blew it.


Well done Bob. Bruce, I would add that bloggers are not being paid by a newswire service to provide clear stories for publication throughout Canada. I take great pleasure in reading a great deal and I most definitely missed the irony. Without the quotes the context is entirely different. I suppose we can let the "conspiracy theorists" comment slide as more irony. I join Bob in commending you for answering your critics. -- BBS 4 Feb 03.34 am

Just read my own second paragraph - that's what you get for posting at 3:30 in the morning. Oh well! -- BBS 4 Feb 03.35 am

In the ever shrinking world, MSM is having a tough time dealing with the issue of being "factual". Most excellent Bob ... -- ABF 4 Feb 11.28 am

Cheers, folks. My reference to conspiracy theorists was a response to the race to get screenshots of the offending original material, as if CP or newspapers were attempting to shred documents or hide some deep dark secret. Stuff gets rewritten all the time, sometimes due to reader complaints, more often due to tight deadlines, tired and overworked reporters or sloppy editing. That being said, people who write about politics all day long often get too close to the subject and need to be reminded that readers in Pennsylvania might not follow what we think is an obvious inside joke. As for placing natural governing party inside quotation marks, in my view that moves the reference from irony to outright sarcasm -- which is why I didn't do it. Again, too clever by half. That's why I check blogs to see how this stuff is being received. It is enlightening.Still, I'm willing to take my lumps in the blogosphere rather than reduce my reporting to See Spot Run. Just don't accuse me of being a Liberal apologist. It simply ain't true.
-- Bruce 4 Feb 12.12 pm

Bruce, thanks for taking the time to respond on all this, and for being willing to engage with folks who might pile on for all you know. Most folks on the right strongly perceive a media bias -- one of the reasons the blogosphere, at this point, is so tilted to the right. Of course, I know that there are those on the left who would argue that the MSM is *part* of the "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy", and press people often get caught in the middle. But I think if you do listen around the 'sphere, you might find out some reasons why people don't buy newspapers so much anymore, and only rely on wire services as comparative sources, to find out "what's really going on". -- Meg Q 5 Feb 03.12 am

Gotta admire a reporter who will venture into the blogosphere,well done Bruce, but you must admit,when people see Mr."I'm entitled to my entitlements" get his severance package, we get a little pissed at anything that might come close to praising soon to be ex PMPM and the rest of the lyin' assclowns.. Paul Martin lies in the House: -- Platty 5 Feb 03.30 am

"Again, too clever by half."Kudos for coming in and speaking up on the forums that are soon to take over your job. But why the dispariging remark as noted above? Or did you forget to put that one in parentheses also??? It is far to easy to fall back on the "I was misunderstood" excuse. Every word a reporter writes should reflect nothing BUT the facts, or carry a disclaimer stating otherwise. And no, I am not singling out any particular paper/news media. They are all guilty of this. -- Justthinkin 5 Feb 03.49 am

Bruce - I too want to commend you on checking to see how your words are being received - I suppose you could say that blogs have become one giant editor (good or bad). From the response you obviously received regarding this particular story (yes, I was one that e-mailed directly to the paper) - you get a sense of the frustration that those of us on the right have been feeling that since the election it has been Why did the Liberals lose, When will they choose a leader, Who will be the leader, Who won;t be the leader and why. So when I read that another MSM reporter has written a story about Canada's Natural Governing Party - to me it is just more of the Liberal Group Hug that I seem to see and hear since the election. I sure missed any irony.So kudos to you for replying and hopefully our comments give you food for thought about how what you write is actually being perceived. -- Alberta Girl 5 Feb 07.11 am

Bruce's replies seem to indicate the curiosity of an inquiring mind, and the mindset of one whose mind is already made up about conservatives. Interesting contrast, what?Still, kudos for jumping in. Cheers -- 49erDweet 5 Feb 11.58 am

As I'm reading his comments, I'm wondering about any professional accountability in the media. There are too many Jane "That's news to me " Tabers and lines like Bruce used, without the 'pros' being called to account. One commenter said the news is supposed to be the facts. When it commes out of the CP wires,that should give it dependability. Some readers can weed out the editorial slants, on both sides.Most cannot pick thru a 'news' story, and understand the facts, let alone weed out the so-called sarcasm. So what is happenning. Media bias, or unprofessional conduct? Either way, I'll get my facts from more dependable sources, not MSM. VF -- Vicki 5 Feb 04.30 pm

Add to my list of examples of why I cannot trust MSM...The heil "cut and paste error"...please give your CBC heads a shake...unbelievable! VF -- Vicki 5 Feb 05.39 am

When news stories are written, they should be written to the readership, not to the pundits and other reporters. I think that recognizing this fact and correcting the problems such reporting causes would do wonders for the circulation of our nation's (America's) newspapers. Sometimes it pays to venture outside of your little clique once in a while. -- Nightcrawler 5 Feb 06.05 am

Good on you for venturing in to clear all this up, Bruce. Might I suggest, though, that perhaps in light of the fact that the printed word conveys no facial expressions or vocal tones to convey the intent of the writer, it might have been best to steer clear of the phrase. Cheers to you and yours. -- Dante 5 Feb 07.48 pm