Wednesday, September 10, 2008

So-called journalists

I have to weigh in on Glenn Greenwald's post today in reaction to the latest drivel to spewed forth from the bloviators at The Atlantic. Despite my reference to a recent post by Marc Ambinder (the only one that I have ever made), I canceled my subscription to that publication over a year ago because of their self-gratifying, borderline-Republican propaganda editorials, all so cleverly masked by peculiarly long-winded, drawn out articles that - as suggested by the title of their flagship publication, The Atlantic Monthly - has taken them a month to write, but actually come off as little more than late night blog posts. There may have been a time when The Atlantic was worth reading, but that time has long passed.

Per my perception of Glenn's post, Ambinder, and cohort Yglesias, split hairs over whether or not they should take their jobs seriously, or if they should enjoy all the benefits and rewards of tabloid journalists, which is to sit around glad-handing each other and congratulating themselves for being so much more pious and clever than everyone else, while convincing themselves that they are not in fact swimming in the same feces-filled puddles as the rest of the so-called journalists working for the Corporate-Run Media.

Them boys at The Atlantic pretend to give a shit about the American polity while espousing how great and noble their profession is and, at the same time, harbor the notion that they are in their profession purely out of self-interest.

Just like tabloid journalists.

See? The truth is out there, hitting you in the face every fucking day, waiting to be acknowledged.

Glenn's observation is far more astute than mine could be, and that is why he is a journalist, and I am just an angry American who is sick of assholes who pretend to be journalists, like those shitheads at The Atlantic. I'll give a slight pass to Andrew Sullivan, whose views I don't entirely share, but he at least has a modicum of self-respect and dignity, and a willingness to expose the truth, at least when those truths aren't clouded by strongly hidden desires (I have a non-professional observation about Sullivan and his "Daddy figure" obsession with McCain, but that is for another time).

As Glenn points out:
...journalists have the duty and obligation to serve the public interest, not merely their self-interest. If self-interest is their only concern, then what possible rationale exists for granting them any of those privileges [legal protection]? If they have no duties and obligations other than to themselves, then they should be questioned, subpoenaed, arrested, and forced to wait in line in exactly the same way everyone else is.

This perspective is more sound, and is a more reasonable argument than what I would have proffered. The point I want to make from the perspective of a ranting blogger is that for journalists who do not think they have a duty and obligation to serve the public, those journalists deserve no respect beyond that which bloggers get. In fact, they probably deserve less respect, since they are getting paid to say things that could be considered the same level of trash as this:

Marc Ambinder is a fat, corpulent, pus-filled gas-bag separated physically and genetically from Mark Penn by nothing more than a goatee, with the exception that he has less to say that is worth listening to.

I'm not a journalist, so I can say that about someone else who doesn't deserve to call himself a journalist.

I'll close by throwing out mad props to a real journalist, Glenn Greenwald, someone who actually has unimpeachable character and dignity, and is worth a million Ambinders/Sullivans/Fallows/Reihans/and insert-paid-so-called-journalist-name-here.

One last thought, this to the editor-in-chief at The Atlantic. How much more irrelevant and partisan can you get before the distinction between your publication and The National Review or The Washington Times or The New York Post becomes indistinguishable? Do you have plans to hire Bill Kristol any time soon?

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