Musing on the MSM’s relationship to G.I., and to blogs

by David Safier

Some blogs write garbage. Others, and BfA is among them, have definite political slants, but at the same time work at being scrupulous about presenting valid facts and information

Some media outlets respect what we do and read us regularly, knowing we often cover stories, and angles on stories, the MSM misses. They borrow from us regularly, which I think is great.

Others, like our home paper The Star, think we indulge in too much speculation and innuendo. When we blog, we don't always ask all sides to state their positions. For instance, we might quote from a political news release (always citing the source so people know where the material originated), but not ask the other side to comment. In other words, we don't act like journalists. We don't call ourselves journalists, of course, but that's the standard these folks think we should follow.

Then there's the Goldwater Institute. If you read my post below, you'll see how Matthew Ladner once again cherry-picked data to fulfill his propagandistic mission, which in this case is to slam Arizona's Community Colleges. I see no indication Ladner called anyone at the Community Colleges, or any experts or scholars who study higher education. He just takes the data which makes his highly partisan point and puts it out there in a neat little package.

Remember when he admitted he thought Bus Drivers qualify as Bureaucrats? He still hasn't backed down from that one, which should be enough to have him laughed out of town.

But the MSM tends to take the bait G.I. dangles in front of it and swallow it hook, line and sinker. The highly partisan diatribes from a multimillion dollar conservative/libertarian institute, funded by deep pocket conservatives, which pays its people six figures to concoct carefully crafted half truths and outright lies are taken whole and reported on as news while some of these same media outlets turn up their noses at material from blogs and other online sources which have far more credibility and actually have a policy of keeping their facts and information accurate.

Go figure.

One response to “Musing on the MSM’s relationship to G.I., and to blogs

  1. Using Mr.Brodesky’s own “standards” of journalism,” his article in the Star doesn’t work. It attempts to smear the Blog for Arizona by casting it as unworthy, but his attempt fails quite badly.

    Brodesky doesn’t analyze facts and then draw a conclusion. He obviously already had a conclusion and then cherry-picked a few facts to support it. The problem is, the facts Brodesky cherry-picked were not represntative of the whole. So what he did cannot be called “analysis.” This isn’t even “reporting,” which shies away from conclusions and just reports the facts so a reader can make up his/her own mind. No, this is a hit piece on the Blog for Arizona, plain and simple, and on the two principle writers on this blog. I understand why, as I read both publications, and the Blog for Arizona is often very critical of the Star.

    But, just because the BofA is critical doesn’t mean it is wrong. Brodesky can’t argue the substance, so he attempts to smear the concept. It’s like an uncoordinated little kid who can’t move his hands and feet well enough to play hockey and stay upright on skates, so he criticizes the game instead, calling it stupid and unworthy. That’s what Brodesky is doing, calling the Blog for Arizona stupid and unworthy.

    The obvious problem is, though, that Mr. Safier has been reporting for a long time about local politicians “hiding in their bunker” (Antenori, Melvin et. al — those who won’t talk to the printed press), the factual and logical nightmares foisted upon us by the slick libertarians at the GoldWater Institiute (e.g., “one beaurocrat for every teacher”), the shenanigans behind many local charter schools (have you seen how much money they rake in!?), the Star changing headlines and editing stories submitted by the AP or other news services in order to slant the “news” in a certain direction. They also link to many local and national news stories in various publications, from the NYTimes, Washington Post, Arizona Republic and they always report on what gets written about in the Star and how stories are presented. In other words, readers get smart and better informed about a lot of issues, especially issues that are not covered in big papers like the Star or the Republic. And AZBlueMeanie deftly criticizes state politicians, like Russell Pearce, by pointing out the error of their ways. For example, he has written about the history of tax cuts in this state and the subsequent budget deficits, how the tax system has been transformed from an effective progressive system to an ineffective regressive system, and the legal problems with SB1070 (e.g., changing the threshold of 4th Amendment from “probable cause” to the much lower “reasonable suspicion”), how John McCain has changed his mind so many times it’s impossible to know who he really is anymore, etc, etc, etc. The Blog of Arizona does express strong opinions about political issues, but they always back them up with enough evidence to make a strong case.

    Mr. Brodsky also has a strong opinion (blogs just trade in innuendo and speculation, therefore they are not worthy of paying attention to), but he doesn’t have nearly enough support to back it up, and the evidence he does use is not nearly strong enough or representative enough of the facts to support his conclusion. If he was a student in Science class, the teacher would tell him to go back and redesign the experiment, run it all over again, then write a new lab report. If he was in English class, he would score “3” in ideas, which is the equivalent of about a C-, and doesn’t meet the state standards for a student in Arizona. And I’m talking middle school. (To be fair, he would score “4’s” and “5’s” in Sentence Fluency, Voice, Word Choice, Organization, and Conventions).

    No, this article doesn’t work, and the author didn’t bring enough to the table to serve a complete meal. What he did bring is not representative of the whole menu, like going to a steak house and pointing out the salad as representative of what’s on the menu. Fair game to criticize the salad, talk about its texture and freshness and taste and mix of ingredients, but Mr. Brodsky tries to pull the wool over our eyes by saying that the salad represents the whole menu, therefore this Steak House is not worth visiting. Not so. Bad form, poorly done.