May 4, 2011

"Sarah Palin Can't Name Most Influential Journalist," crows HuffPo, trying to make Palin look dumb...

... and inadvertently making journalism look lame. Because who can name the most influential journalist? I can't. Seems like maybe you have to be a journalist to think in such terms. (Ask me who the most influential law professor is.)

Here's the video with Sarah Palin supposedly embarrassing herself:



Those White House Correspondents' Dinner "attendees" who "had no problem coming up with answers" were journalists giving laughably self-interested answers like "my boss, Arianna Huffington." And there were plenty of attendees who couldn't come up with an answer or who changed the question to "my favorite journalist."

(Ask me who the most influential law professor is, and my answer will say something about me as I decide to promote my own school, suck up to some particular individual, highlight somebody obscure, or drivel about how there are so many wonderful law professors.)

107 comments:

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)




That’s easy, she ought to have said, Rush Limbaugh or Ann Althouse…..that would have caused a few head explosions….

Rumpletweezer said...

She's going to disappoint me at some point. But she hasn't yet. She strikes the right attitude about the country every single time. The President struck the right tone on Sunday night. Who's the new speechwriter in the White House, because something changed?

traditionalguy said...

That was from trick question 101 and the ever adept Sarah refused to fall for it.

windbag said...

Lefties misconstrue thoughtful for thoughtless. Why is anyone's guess. That's why they jump on stuff like this or Palin's 1773 reference. They see what they want to see, including a qualified President and Vice President currently holding court...I mean office.

MarkG said...

They also think winning a Pulitzer is big news. It's just an industry award that's of no significance to the rest of us. It's like reading about Plumber of the Year.

Fen said...

Most influential?

Micheal Yon for his coverage in Iraq and AfPak.

Althouse & Meade for their coverage of the Wisconsin union protests.

Katie Couric for serving as the archetype of the vapid innane biased shill.

Dan Rather for revealing how the MSM has been lying to us 40 years.


Here's a piece on the 25 most influential journalists in American History.

http://journalismdegree.org/2009/25-most-influential-journalists-in-history/

I'll save you the trouble of a cut-n-paste with this disqualifier: Maureen Dowd is #12.

Ron said...

The Plumber of the Year must be able to deal with shit better than any journalist....who is probably just full of Pulitzer.

Triangle Man said...

Toss up between Glenn Beck and John Stewart.

Henry said...

It's odd and telling that the phrase is most "influential journalist" rather than most "honest journalist" or most "accurate journalist."

There's nothing inherently admirable about power and no reason to respect it.

MarkW said...

I don't know the right answer, but I wish the answer for most influential journalist was 'Radley Balko' who has been doing God's work exposing horrendous abuses in our justice system. He just moved from 'Reason' to the 'Huffington Post', which is a bit of an odd place for a libertarianish muck-raker, but maybe his readership and influence will be greater there.

Henry said...

Most influential journalist in American History?

Paul Revere.

CharlesVegas said...

Are journalists supposed to be influential?

bagoh20 said...

Define "journalist". If there is one, that's the one.

Triangle Man said...

It is a peculiar question. Why journalist and not writer?

E.M. Davis said...

Are journalists supposed to be influential?

Therein lies the problem.

Rose said...

"Brian Williams. And after him, Jon Stewart."

.....howling with laughter.

Fen said...

Henry: It's odd and telling that the phrase is most "influential journalist" rather than most "honest journalist" or most "accurate journalist."

Excellent point. I remember sitting in a PolySci class one morning when a student was asked why he wanted to be a Journalist: "I want to change the world!" he squeeked.

Shouting Thomas said...

I will never under why the left need so badly to keep insulting Palin.

I'm not really a fan of Obama, but I don't fee the need to insult him daily.

I think that the Green Revolution BS that Obama fell for is complete nonsense. Does that make him stupid, or naive... or does he just disagree with me?

Phil 3:14 said...

Well first off, its was an MSNBC-sponsored reception and most of the answers were predictable ass-kissing.

Second, most of the cited "most influential journalists" weren't journalists. Rachel Maddow is an opinionator, as is EJ Dionne etc.

Palin sounded far smarter by saying nothing than Spitzer did in his elaborate, BS answer.

This whole thing make HuffPo look really dumb.

Ideally, Palin would have said "I haven't really thought of it" because it really wasn't a "really good question".

Richard Dolan said...

"Most influential."

What's being measured, who's being influenced, and what standard is being used to do the measuring? The question is too vague to permit an intelligent answer. Objection sustained. Anyone trying to answer it would be subject to a Daubert challenge, and would be unlikely to survive it. Move on.

Lameness is exactly the right tag.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

I will never under why the left need so badly to keep insulting Palin.

They need an Emmanuel Goldstein to keep their libtards frothing.

PaulV said...

Meade or Britbart.
There are no influential journalists. Just journal listers

Sofa King said...

The correct answer was "Andrew Bretibart."

windbag said...

@fen

Katie Couric for serving as the archetype of the vapid innane biased shill.

...and perky...don't forget perky...

Shanna said...

A missed opportunity to mention Dan Rather making journalists look bad!

MadisonMan said...

I think journalists can be influential if they write stories using all available actual facts about things gone wrong such that the story can used to effect change.

But most journalists skip the 'using all available actual facts' part.

kimsch said...

They forget.

Sarah Palin received a bachelor's degree in

wait for it

wait for it


communications with an emphasis in Journolism

wv: pyratepo

ET1492 said...

A safe answer for Palin would have been Matt Drudge.

It's the correct answer, too. Drudge pushed news online and made it more tabloidy.

Bill O'Reilly is a contender, too. He was the biggest factor in Fox News' early success and is still the channel's number one draw.

Rush Limbaugh would be number one if you considered him a journalist. I don't think he considers himself one. If he did more interviews, maybe. Regardless, Rush and the other two I mentioned have been way more influential than any of the responses given in that clip.

bagoh20 said...

She should have said "Tina Fey".

William said...

Coals of fire. Sarah: "Katie Couric. I mean she's just so gosh darn multi-dimensional. Her new show, if she gets one, will be totally awesome."

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Mark W:

Radley Balko does good service in highlighting abuses of the justice system. His recent article however, about how "Osama won" because we have TSA and the PAtriot Act now and that's wahat OSAMA WANTED ALL ALONG, was horseshit.

Osama wanted America's military defeat, its soldiers abandoning Muslim lands in shame and fear, and a universal Caliphate restored.

He got none of those things. For some people it's all about us, and I wasn't impressed to see that Balko is one onf them.

MadisonMan said...

kimsch, that's a great typo, whether you meant it or not! But I don't think Palin was a Journolister.

MayBee said...

I'd like to see them ask some of the attendees who the Secretary of Transportation is.

bagoh20 said...

Sarah Palin received a bachelor's degree in ... communications with an emphasis in Journolism."

Then technically Palin herself would be the correct answer. Who gets more coverage (influence) than her? Who else affects politics as much? Who else can change national debate overnight with a Facebook post?

Gabriel Hanna said...

@MayBee:I'd like to see them ask some of the attendees who the Secretary of Transportation is.

I'm proud to live in a country where I can live my day-to-day life without having to know that.

May it ever be thus.

Who is the President of Swizerland? Who cares? Do they even HAVE a President? Who cares? Even in Switzerland no one needs to know that.

My dream is to live in a country where the Assistant to the Undersecretary of Assistants to the Secretary of Pothole Abatement is an obscure official, poorly paid, who gets no respect or recognition. We're not quite there yet!

kimsch said...

MadMan - Darn autocorrect...

holdfast said...

Andrew Breitbart?

Phil 3:14 said...

Now a great answer would have been

"I hear Kathy Griffin is highly respected among journalists"

Comrade X said...

right at this moment? it might be Julian Assange if Wikileaks is what influenced the Bin Laden raid.

edutcher said...

Joe, Fen, and PaulV nail it.

Maybe they should have specified lying Lefty journalist or somebody who tells the truth.

As to using this to go after Miss Sarah, as my old Irish muddy used to say, "Consider the source".

PS I'd agree with Henry, but wasn't Paul Revere a silversmith?

Or was that just his day job?

Jim said...

Almost by definition, a TRUE journalist should NOT be influential. Journalists are not SUPPOSED to be influential: they are supposed to relay facts and figures in an unbiased and truthful manner.

The problem with "journalists" is that they think they ARE supposed to be influential. They think they ARE The Story - the events upon which they report are merely backdrops like styrofoam Greek columns on the altar of their personal egos.

The PROPER answer to this question is ask the questioner if they understand the difference between a journalist and a columnist and to remind them of the distinction between those who are SUPPOSED to offer their biases and opinions and those who are supposed to be professionally trained to do their best to ensure that their biases AREN'T influential to the reader.

The Crack Emcee said...

What Jim said.

The sooner they stop seeing their job as telling me what to think, the better.

Jim said...

As far as the answer that the supposed "journalists" gave of Arianna Huffington: SHE'S NOT A JOURNALIST.

She's a shameless capitalist and a huckster. But where are the stories that she has broken? What political corruption has she personally exposed? Where are the facts and figures that she reports.

There are none because that's not her job. She writes opinion pieces - when she writes at all. That's not journalism. It's editorializing.

That so many there regard her as a journalist AT ALL - let alone as an influential one - is precisely the problem with the profession.

Dan said...

If a journalist is "influential" are they really doing their job correctly?

Fen said...

Dowdism: The use of ellipses to change the context of quoted material.

Example:

[quote]
Maureen: "I went down to the coffee shop and found a policeman sitting on a horse"

[dowdified]
Maureen: "I went down... on a horse"

chuck b. said...

Who is the most influential law professor?

Fred4Pres said...

The correct answer would have been: "A pretty narcissistic question if you ask me."

or

Rush Limbaugh.

That would have made their heads explode.

Juba Doobai! said...

Why don't these morons, er, journalists understand that they have diminished their profession and none of them are influential? They all repeat the same Democrat talking points. Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin aren't journalists, thank God! Otherwise, Palin should've said their names. For a journalist to be influential, he'd have to be respected. Nobody respects these biased dogs in the lamestream media. Don't they get that?

Juba Doobai! said...

In fact, that kid who does all these undercover stories on ACORN and Planned Parenthood should qualify.

ricpic said...

If by journalist the questioner meant reporter the question is ridiculous. The ideal reporter disappears into the story he is presenting. The story is all about who what when where why and how; it is not in any way about the reporter, it does not include either his slant or a noticeable style signature, if reported professionally.

Sabinal said...

the liberal elite MUST be petrified that she will take power away from them, even though they ran her out of Alaska after Obama won. Why else would they continue to harass her after their guy won Nov 4 2008?

She's a down to earth moderate conservative. I disagree with her prolife beliefs (because of pragmatics) but based on what I read, she seems to have been a fair and responsible leader.

The slamming her and her family receive is unfair and McCarthy-esque. the only reason I could think of is that they are afraid she will come back into the field and be a grand slam. If that's the case, their constant berating of her only leads to more sympathy, not agreement

Robert Cook said...

"She's going to disappoint me at some point. But she hasn't yet."

Then I doubt you will ever be able to be disappointed by the always embarrassing Ms. Palin.

Rumpletweezer said...

Robert Cook--

Clearly you have information that I don't have. Pray, tell me what it is. Something specific please.

Henry said...

@edutcher - As a silversmith, Revere also did engravings. The original drawing for that engraving was by one Henry Pelham, but I've always seen it associated with Revere. It certainly corresponds with his sentiments. And frankly, it's propaganda. But that seems to be what journalists chase after these days.

Chris said...

Totally you, or Glenn.

Chuck66 said...

I would say Scott Johnson and the Powerline guys.

Brian Richard Allen said...

MarkG said:

.... They also think winning a Pulitzer is big news. It's just an industry award that's of no significance to the rest of us. It's like reading about Plumber of the Year ....

Or like one of their Marxist mates in Hollywood winning one of those yellow metal dildos they give as door prizes and as appearance inducements to 10%-Hard-Lefties at the actors' union's annual Trade Show.

ricpic said...

Robotic communist Cookie has the deep gnostic scoop on everything.

Brennan said...

Damnit! Bill Hader didn't say Assange while impersonating Assange.

I question the timing.

Mike said...

Based on the way that supposedly influential newspapers like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times have been going in the tank, I'd be hard pressed to name a single "influential journalist".

It would be easier to name several op ed writers or columnists who have beclowned themselves recently. But influential? Not so much.

Brian Richard Allen said...

If the lemming-like lock-stepping rush by every modern propagandist polemicist pamphleteer pretender to the press-pass to be just like him is anything to go by, Joseph Goebbels must be an influential journalist?

Paul said...

Sarah simply should have said, "well it sure isn't you!"

That would have been a good putdown.

Cindy Martin said...

Mark Steyn is a great Canadain journalist who can say in one paragraph what it takes most people to say in three and he says it with such wit.

Robert Cook said...

"the liberal elite MUST be petrified that she will take power away from them, even though they ran her out of Alaska after Obama won."

Uh...if her quitting her office at mid-point voluntarily with an incoherent resignation speech means "they" ran her out of Alaska...no, even that can't be spun into her being "run out of Alaska" by any nefarious "they."

The fundamental law of politics is : "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen."
She couldn't take the heat.

More to the point, she's running after the green.

By the way...what "liberal elite?"

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I've often heard people discuss who the most influential musicians were. The idea there is to determine which musicians influenced the musical style of later musicians.

Based on that criteria, I'd have to go with Walter Duranty.

Sigivald said...

Is that self-parody (at HuffPo)?

Seriously?

Does anyone take that seriously?

(I am sadly forced to agree with windbag, though I wouldn't use quite those terms.

I see it more as a certain sort of leftist [and there's an equivalent on the right] who either cannot or will not imagine that his opponents are actually capable of being more than caricatures - and thus when it happens, he's forced to fit them to the caricature no matter what.

It's disappointing and disheartening, as a form of mental failure, no matter which side it appears on.)

Bruce Hayden said...

My votes would go to Drudge and Brietbart.

Many still hate Drudge for Clinton's impeachment. But, still, well over a decade later, his site is still the first place a lot of people go to see what is happening, and, in particular, that uncensored by the left and the MSM.

Breitbart, with his "Big" sites, is probably the #1 place you are going to see investigative journalism of the left these days. A lot of the stuff is hard hitting and well sourced. Add throw in the O'Keefe stuff for further effect.

And, yes, we should probably give James O'Keefe kudos as one of the big up-and-comers. The guy just doesn't stop - NAACP, NPR, Planned Parenthood, etc. Who, on the left, that young, is really having as much affect on the national debate through investigative journalism has he? I don't think that there is anyone even close.

PaulV said...

The more influential Palin becomes the more Cook complains. LOL! Now the liberals wish she had stayed in AK.

Shawn said...

After saying she'd have to think about it, she replies "Greta [van Susteran]." What's the problem?

Ambrose said...

She's part of the Foxnews team - the answer should have been "Me".

Bruce Hayden said...

More to the point, she's running after the green.

If we are talking about milking politics for money, shouldn't we talk about Bill Clinton and AlGore? Both managing to parlay their political careers into the centimillionaire range.

I have always chuckled at WJC managing to acquire that sort of money. Remember, he and his wife were the ones to take tax deductions for their used underwear. And, who, with his wife, engaged in influence selling while governor, etc.

Somewhat like LBJ, Clinton was born poor, and that drive for money never seems to have left him.

By the way...what "liberal elite?"

Biggest joke of the day.

Steven said...

Who is the President of Swizerland? Who cares? Do they even HAVE a President? Who cares? Even in Switzerland no one needs to know that.

The Swiss have a seven-member executive Federal Council, which is both the cabinet and the collective presidency. It is a collective Head of State and a collective Head of Government.

The Swiss Federal Assembly (legislature) elects a member of the Council to preside over the council for a one-year term at a time. This person is called the President of the Swiss Confederation. The tradition is that the member of the Federal Council who has gone the most years on the Council without being President is always elected President.

ic said...

Most "influential"? You mean Katy Couric who has just lost her job, and was never a "journalist"; Dan Rather, who manufactured news; or that anti-Semite old broad?

What is a journalist anyway? One who has a degree from journalism school? Peter Jennings dropped out from high school. A former Alaska governor was a journalism school graduate, works as a talking head for an influential TV news channel and is pretty influential with her Twits. I bet Palin was too classy to toot her own horn.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
The fundamental law of politics is : "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen."
She couldn't take the heat.

More to the point, she's running after the green.



Of course she’s running after the green, say like Obama, or the Clintons, or as was mentioned AlGore?

Couldn’t take the heat, more like couldn’t afford the lawyer’s Fees…

But tell yourself these “stories” if they comfort you Cooke.

Joe said...

Jim is correct. A journalist is not supposed to be influential. The best journalist, in fact, wouldn't even be noticed.

ic said...

Robert Cook: I bet a lot of people love to be as "embarrassing" and as "dumb" as Sarah Palin, a woman who created the whole industry for being herself. A woman who holds no political office, but whose every word and action was dissected and teased for hidden meanings. Say, may be Columbia Journalism School should offer a major in Palinology, models after Kremlinology, to raise their enrollments. In Kremlinology, the "journalist" deciphers the hidden meanings in official speech; in Palinology, the "journalist" imposes his own obsession on what's said or not said.

I wonder how much Uncle Sam is making on taxes from the millions that Palin makes. I betcha, more than from those who laugh at her.

Jack said...

my response would have been "all the staff at the National Enquirer for breaking the John Edwards paternity story".

Kevin said...

Easy for me: John Stossel.

I still don't know how they let him work all those years for ABC.

I don't know who #2 would be, probably someone they don't consider a journalist-journalist, like Nat Hentoff or something.

Freeman Hunt said...

Dorks.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Dorks.




Don’t you mean, “Nerdddddz”?

Freeman Hunt said...

No, I mean dorks.

Dorks always think that their own group is super important.

I've got nothing against nerds.

Robert Cook said...

"The more influential Palin becomes the more Cook complains."

You actually think she's becoming more influential? Oy!

Robert Cook said...

"A woman...whose every word and action was dissected and teased for hidden meanings."

I think you mean, "...was dissected and teased for any meaning."

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
You actually think she's becoming more influential? Oy!





Enough so that folks like find reason to carp, whine and ridicule…You don’t see me worry about Kucinich, do you? OR Alan Grayson.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
I think you mean, "...was dissected and teased for any meaning."





Whip the meaningless platitudes out, I’m sure you have pages and pages of them….Of course, she didn’t run on “Hope & change”…..

hombre said...

The ideal answer: "Only dupes are influenced by journalists."

Harrington said...

Fen, you have it right on! Althouse and Meade deserve all our thanks for the work they did on the Wisconsin union protests. Our local media gave it a pass.

Peter Ryan said...

The most influential journalist today would be the person who invented blogging. But I don't know who that is.

I think a case could be made for Matt Drudge as one of the earliest mega-independents, and he got his start in massive traffic because Newsweek spiked the Lewinsky story.

The real answer to "name the most influential journalist" is "Why bother? The medium is collapsing under the weight of its own hubris."

ET1492 said...

A good journalist should be influential, but that is not the sole measure of good journalism.

A good journalist should tell stories that matter and should get the facts straight. If you do that, you will probably influence people.

An influential journalist can be a bad journalist if they lie or otherwise don't get the facts right.

Bruce Hayden said...

You actually think she's becoming more influential? Oy!

Actually, surprisingly, yes. More and more it seems that she is the voice of conservatism, and she seems to be the one whom many, even in the MSM, need to hear from.

Partly, I think it is that she has been amazingly good at seeing what is important and what is not. For example, she called out the inflationary problems with QE2 last fall, that many are now becoming aware of. It is that she seems to be ahead of so many, right, left, government, or MSM, so often, on so many issues.

So, no, the woman is not stupid, and neither is her influence diminishing.

Robert Cook said...

"The ideal answer: 'Only dupes are influenced by journalists.'"

This is the motto of a born dupe.

One must be skeptical of journalism that is not properly fact-checked, of course, or that otherwise confounds one's own knowledge or experience, or that is otherwise dubious, but our founders enshrined freedom of the press in the first amendment because they knew that an uninformed citizenry was a citizenry disarmed and helpless before they who would aspire to tyranny.

The problem with our mainstream journalism today is that it primarily serves the interests of the power elite...the consortium of wealthy and powerful financial and corporate institutions and individuals in and out of government who comprise the ruling class. (But then...this has probably always been largely the case.)

This said, one is still ill-advised to simply ignore the media or to reject out of hand any and all information they may provide.

Robert Cook said...

"Whip the meaningless platitudes out, I’m sure you have pages and pages of them….Of course, she didn’t run on 'Hope & change'…."

No, but then I wasn't taken in by Mr. "Hope and Change" either.

Bruce Hayden said...

The real answer to "name the most influential journalist" is "Why bother? The medium is collapsing under the weight of its own hubris."

Which is why Mrs. Palin is again right, and those on the left who go after her like this just look silly.

Who the heck cares, outside of a small inbred group of self-important people like those condemning here here, who they think is most influential.

I sure don't.

Robin said...

This is yet another in a long series of incidents where someone intent on showing how stupid Sarah Palin is, succeeds only in confirming that they are the dumber themselves.

PWS said...

I dislike Palin, but that wasn't that bad; they were all kind of walking and rushing and she did manage to get Greta's name out.

She only looked a little dumb b/c of all the other dumb stuff she said but if you didn't know who she was, it really wasn't that bad.

RuyDiaz said...

I'm still not over the 'what magazines do you read' B.S.

The proper answer should be: what does it matter? Why should a person read magazines to be educated? Reading books is vastly more useful, when it comes to gaining knowledge and applying critical skills.

RuyDiaz said...

PWS:

She only looked a little dumb b/c of all the other dumb stuff she said...

Like what? Quote and sources, please.

PWS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PWS said...

OK, try that again: Look here

Sorry, I'm not that handy with HTML.

RuyDiaz said...

PWS;

Your web skills, I see, are well-honed and up-to-date. I suspect your thinking achieves the same high-quality standard.

RuyDiaz said...

PolitiFact? I'm sorry, but I was, under my real name, misrepresented by a St. Petersborough Times reporter. Their idea of what is true or not simply will not do.

I'll give you two examples (numbering mine):

4) "Pls refer to Jan.1 tax changes appropriately: they're OBAMA TAX HIKES & they'll slam every American's savings, investments & job opportunity"

This is not an statement that can be graded on true or false; if you take the baseline of 2000 they are not tax increases, if you take as your baseline any year from 2001 to 2009, then they are tax increases.

5) Grocery prices "have risen significantly over the past year or so."

This was at the time a disputed numbers; some economists thought one thing, something other. It is now stupid to believe one economist over another?

(And, what do you know, grocery prices have increased significantly since the statement; Palin is a prophet1)

So, do you actually have any factual basis for your belief on Palin's proness to dumb statements? (Other than the obvious--you know, social contagion.)

Francisco D said...

I'm with Fen on this one.

RuyDiaz said...

Shouting Thomas wrote:

I think that the Green Revolution BS that Obama fell for is complete nonsense. Does that make him stupid, or naive... or does he just disagree with me?

Most likely... none of those. The Green Economy thing is so self-evidently true, and is advocated by so many of the great, wonderful people, that I doubt Obama has even bothered to think about it.

Synova said...

The supposedly untrue statement that some of the stimulus had "ropes" attached that would force the state to shoulder the burden of imposing building codes where there are none is a similar stretch. And the explanation that no local government could be forced to enact codes came with a specific explanation that the state government would be forced to undertake the encouragement of codes.

Who decides what is adequate encouragement, and how do they evaluate it? Is it the size of the now permanent State Office of Building Code Encouragement? The budget of the now permanent State Office of Building Code Encouragement? Perhaps it's the number of local municipalities that are successfully encouraged!

Ropes.

Instead of asking themselves what Palin is complaining about, people twist into knots to show how she got the details wrong, even when the details themselves change.

Oh! The budget cuts are way bigger than Palin said they were, but way smaller in the immediate future and counted in strange ways including counting as cuts money that wasn't going to be spent anyhow. But the *important* part of that is that Palin is only telling the truth if we talk about *this* budget instead of spreading out this minuscule 24 or so billion dollars over several years. Not a single government employee will have to cut so much as a latte.

But the important thing is that Palin says stupid stuff?

TheThinMan said...

I like that one of the airheads said John Stewart in all seriousness, no irony intended. A comedian does fake news, and our media "elite" can't even tell it's fake!

Jack Wayne said...

Drudge by a knockout.