Michael van der Galien

Dear David, The Mainstream Media Only Enforce Journalistic Standards When They Have To

Posted on February 24 2010 1:15 pm
Michael van der Galien was born in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden in 1984. For as long as he can remember, he has been obsessed with the United States. When he was 17 years old, he started blogging - of course about America. His articles have been published at Big Hollywood, Pajamas Media, Hot Air (the GreenRoom) and Right Across The Atlantic. He's also an editor for the Dutch conservative blog, De Dagelijkse Standaard.
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Thanks for responding to my criticism of your post on Max Blumenthal, David (if this debate continues for a while, we’ll end up thanking each other for “your reaction to my reaction to your reaction to my reaction to your… etc.”). You write:

My point was this: journalists do tend to get really mad when their own are caught making up stories. There are journalistic standards and they are usually enforced. Jayson Blair of The New York Times and Stephen Glass of The New Republic are both journalistic pariahs. The difference between them and The Liar Blumenthal is that the lies of Blair and Glass had no purpose other than to inflate their authors’ reputation. The Fabulist Blumenthal’s lies and journalistic malpractice serve a noble practice: the annihilation of those who stand in the way of the Left’s implementation of social justice.

It’s kind of like why leftists like Stephen Soderbergh can look the other way regarding Che Guevara’s atrocities. They may not like his methods but they agree with his mission. Thus they’ll excuse acts of violence — or in The Snake Blumenthal’s case, intellectual violence — that they would not in other cases.

Further, I tend to think that The Fraud Blumenthal’s antics are well beyond the scope of most journalists. Your average reporter is not possessed of the Radical Spirit as he is. Many reporters might be biased to the Left and might jump on board with pushing some story to slime Sarah Palin, but they do not go to the lengths of the Abomination Blumenthal. They do not invest so much time and energy into spinning elaborate webs of lies as he does. So in summary: the mainstream media is bad, but Professional Character Assassin Blumenthal is far, far worse.

Well, that’s not bad, I guess, but where we disagree is that you seem to believe that members of the mainstream media continue to adhere to some basic code of conduct. I disagree with that. I think that they only turned on Glass because they realized they could not stick up for him and get away with it.

No so with Blumenthal. Unlike in the cases you mention, they can – perhaps successfuly – portray this as an ideological war on a journalist. There’s no need for them to turn their backs on Blumenthal, so they don’t.

That’s all there is to it, in my opinion.

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