:: Friday, 13 May 2005 ::
Media Watch, McEvoy, Jackson, Chrenkoff, Taranto
I did not see the Media Watch hatefest on Monday last, but got told about it pronto after it had gone to air.
It has been quite the issue of the week. I know this has been captured elsewhere perfectly, but just to recap:
1. Media Watch Witch Hunters, McEvoy and Jackson, went after Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian columnist and ABC Board member, for making an error in her column about Arthur Chrenkoff's 'Good News From Iraq' posts. The column referenced publication on the Wall Street Journal, and the Media Watchers broadcast that Albrechtsen was wrong and Chrenk's work was not published at the prestigious WSJ but at a non-prestigious and free sister site, OpinionJournal.
2. The Media Watchers went on to out Chrenk as a member of the Liberal party and a aggregator of already published news. The point? It seems the Media Watchers considered Albrechtesen opinion of Chrenk's work was unreasonable and she was according his blog posts a level of prestige they do not deserve, and they felt sliming Chrenk as a Liberal (ie pro-war stooge of the US) who was not published at the WSJ showed Albrechtsen's high opinion of Chrenk was objectively wrong.
3. James Taranto runs OpinionJournal, and confirms he is part of the WSJ editorial team and OpinionJournal is part of that editorial collection and it publishes Chrenk and Media Watch is simply wrong if they think there is a difference just cos of a URL.
4. So the whole Media Watch point about Albrechtsen getting it wrong about where Chrenk's posts are published is out the door. All that is left is a stupid judgement about Albrechtsen allocating too much prestige to Chrenk's works.
5. This very week, and prolly because of Taranto's post bitchslapping the Media Watch idiots, Chrenk gets published in the New York Times this week.
Bottom line, Liz Jackson and Peter McEvoy should never have gone after that Albrechtsen column. There was nothing Media Watch-worthy in it. It was pure opinion by Janet and the Media Watchers are not paid out of my tax dollars to use their stinking 15 minutes as a bully pulpit for their lefty opinions.
Tim Blair has all the goods linked here.
Tim's been Media Watched too. The Daily Telegraph published that the US flag put on the Saddam Hussein statue when Baghdad fell - amemba? - was connected to the terrorism attack on the Penatgon September 11. Media Watch went to air with a 'well, we are not about to believe that' opinion and no actual support for their view. They said they called Centcom to ask about the provenance of the flag. And some ensign at Centcom said they did not know about it and doubted the pentagon connection.
Hardly hard evidence to show the Tele was wrong.
Blair did some digging and found support for the idea in other media reports. He published on it in the Bulletin and called out Media Watch as being wrong by going to air all skeptical when there were sundry media reports supporting the connection to the Penatgon.
Media Watch then did some real homework. And they caught a lucky break - they found someone who said the flag came from the Senate, not the Pentagon as the Daily Tele and later Blair had claimed.
Media Watch did their homework after Tim's report. Got it?
They went to air with no evidence just David Marr's lemonlipped leftie skepticism and a phone call to some nobody at Qatar.
They were lucky their skepticism was supported.
They had no facts when they originally went to air. Does not excuse the Tele and Blair and sundry other media outlets being wrong (if they were wrong - Blair never checked the Media Watch homework preferring to take his wrongness it on the chin, and the Tele does not give a shit what Media Watch thinks about anything so they never checked up on McEvoy's team either).
Why am I mentioning this?
Cos Media Watch went after Albrechtsen without doing their homework properly - read the links, they never spoke with Taranto, never even tried to contact him.
And this time there is no lucky break.
I mean, fancy doing your homework after you go air.
This is a tax payer funded show. My taxes. I expect the Media Watch people to work for their money. Before they go to air, not after. I expect them to break stories of media wrongness and be able to support its assertions, not waste more time justifying their prejudices and dislikes.
They should apologise in this case.
Neither Chrenk nor Albrechtsen need to take this one on the chin.
:: WB 7:35 pm [link+] ::