May 9, 2014

Who is not a journalist?

Tina Brown has a piece titled "How Monica Lewinsky Changed the Media," which is linked at Drudge with the teaser "BITTER BROWN: DRUDGE KILLED MEDIA..." From Brown's piece:
Monica’s new musings just remind us of how the death of privacy started. The press was at the height of its power when the Monica story began and Drudge was its underbelly.
Brown describes 90s Drudge as "operating in pallid obsession out of his sock-like apartment in Miami" and "hitting 'send' on each new revelation that no one else would publish."
The ascendant media that looked down on him has been pretty much destroyed. No one would have believed that that only 13 years later the Graham family would no longer own The Washington Post, that the two mighty news magazines would become a shadow and a corpse, and that the juggernaut CNN would be chasing the spoils won by cable TV’s counterpart to the Drudge Report, the Fox News Network. That too, is a story of humiliation. And not just hers.
I remember back then, how people would express outrage that people were reading Drudge. "He's not a journalist." The journalists had decided the story would not be told, and here is this man... who does he think he is? It's hard today to understand the notion that there was something wrong with writing on the internet without the certification of professional gatekeepers.

If Matt Drudge got out ahead of all that major media, it's because they did not do their job. Ironically, it was really they who were not journalists.


Michael K said...

Amused the woman who has failed several times with dead tree and online media. Poor baby. Maybe if they had been a touch less biased, they might have survived. Who said, "Murdoch found a niche market with 50% of the population." Can't remember if it was Krauthammer or Zuckerman.

Drago said...

Ann: "If Matt Drudge got out ahead of all that major media, it's because they did not do their job. Ironically, it was really they who were not journalists."

I disagree.

The reality your fail to recognize (or simply accept?) is that a very large majority of the "main stream" journalists are just liberals/leftists with bylines. Nothing more and nothing less.

Their "job" is to advance their causes. At that time, Bill Clinton was their cause. Publishing the Monica story did not serve their cause, which is "help dems".

So, they were doing their "job".


In this case (Newsweek), it was "spike this story".

Which they did.


It's the disruptive tech that got in the way by providing an avenue for information to flow to consumers which bypassed the major media filters.

And the left has been working to correct that "flaw" ever since.

gspencer said...

You know the old joke of how to make a small fortune in [real estate; Bolivian tin futures; Petopia dot come; left-handed sky hooks, et alia].

The answer: Start with a large one.

You can add to that list: Hiring Tina Brown.

This woman, this incompetent woman, is the definition of a POS.

Biff said...

"If Matt Drudge got out ahead of all that major media, it's because they did not do their job. Ironically, it was really they who were not journalists."

That is so true. I used to run to the mailbox in anticipation of reading Time and Newsweek, but I gradually realized that the bulk of their articles were utterly predictable in tone, perspective, and content. I wanted something challenging, yet even-handed, and I wasn't getting that from people who called themselves "journalists."

rcocean said...

yes, that's right. The only reason we found out the President of the USA was engaging in sexual harassment and getting underlings to lie under oath was Matt Drudge.

Make no mistake, the MSM still control the narrative, but they can't sweep things under the rug like they used to. Nor can they completely monopolize the Public Square (like they used to) with Crap like "The Iran-Contra Scandal" or the plight of the Homeless.

Matt Sablan said...

But, who gets to go to Nerd Prom?

John henry said...

I would agree with the statement that Matt Drudge is not a journalist.

At least not in the normal sense of the word.

He will, from time to time, write a paragraph or two behind a hot headline but 99% of his site is headlines and links to "real" journalists.

I do not intend this as any kind of criticism.

I hear frequently that "Drudge is not a journalist" and that he slanders people or publishes false stories. Is it slander if he simply links to a story in the WaPo?

He does get cutesy with the headlines and I say that as a compliment. He drives people to click on the link. Ditto his picture captions and combos as Ann is so often fond of pointing out.

I wonder, when Tina Brown had a magazine that was still in business, did she ever complain about getting a Drudge story linked? Drudge drives the hits even more than Insty or other top bloggers.

I suspect that out loud she complained while behind the scenes she was sending him emails saying "Hey Matt, check out this story. Feel free to link if you like."

John Henry

John henry said...

And while on the topic, why do all these douchebags call themselves "journalists"?

Is it because what they do is more like writing a journal, influenced by all manner of personal thoughts and feelings than just reporting what happened?

Remember Joe Friday? "Just the facts, maam."? Why can't we have reporters again?

As with most Americans I put joournalists right down with politicians and used car salespeople as far as trustworthyness goes. I don't think they have any.

John Henry

Big Mike said...

I could only read about halfway through. Talk about a bitter, bitter female!

Ann Althouse said...


I agree. It depends on what the meaning of "job" is.

J Lee said...

Drudge is a news aggregator for the most part, but even that irks Brown because Drudge also plays editor in his selection of stories to play up. That makes him an alternative gateway for deciding what news is deserving of major play, what should get only a minor html link and what never makes it to his site at all.

His judgment on where to play a story is at odds with what Brown's ideas are, and that annoys her to begin with; Drudge's success and the fact it's coming on the backs in many cases of the big media outlets Tina had been a part of and loves just serves to heighten that annoyance.

rhhardin said...

Journalist has the same root as diurnal.

One who writes on the day, or every day.

traditionalguy said...

Drudge is fearless. No wonder political power collectors just hate his existence. How do you silence a man who is not afraid of Rulers?

YoungHegelian said...

....and that the juggernaut CNN would be chasing the spoils won by cable TV’s counterpart to the Drudge Report, the Fox News Network.

Encapsulated in that one sentence fragment is the fatal hubris that laid low the pre-internet media empires.

mccullough said...

Most of the real journalists went to work for the Obama administration. But they're still telling lies.

n.n said...

Not unlike government, journalists pose as an authority when they enjoy the consent of their consumers. However, unlike government, they do not possess a power to hold their audience captive. The journalists may want to reconsider their once noble ethic, which won them a market and earned them a professional status.

Anonymous said...

"Sock-like apartment"?

tim in vermont said...

Wasn't Tina Browm more the "soft underbelly" of MSM journalism at the time and Drudge was the guy swimming underwater with the knife in his teeth.

Fred Drinkwater said...

The post neatly answers its own question in literally as few words as possible. Congratulations, now all the commenters can go do something useful :-)

MD Greene said...

Ms Brown wants to conflate people she scorns with the rise of electronic media. If Drudge hadn't started his website, somebody else would have done it. The Grahams of the last couple generations were incompetents who eventually would have run the Washington Post into the ground. TIME and Newsweek did not adapt and made themselves irrelevant.

This had nothing to do with Monica Lewinsky unless you prefer an old-style, in-the-tank press corps that covers only the stories favored by the regime.

The media are messier now -- better in some ways, worse in others.

Change is hard on people, including Tina Brown.

CWJ said...

Here's the key. "He's not a journalist" may be equal to saying "He's not a buggy whip maker."

The complaint is quite revealing of why she has failed repeatedly. People who can't at least question the premise of their model are the least likely to effect a turnaround. It seems those who hire Tina believe that this time things will be different because this time they hired a woman.

But as long as there are those with money who still believe in buggy whips, she will have an audience, respect, and renumeration.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Some asshole that posts Dorothy Parker poems in May because they contain words like "April" is a journalist in the best sense, of restoring honor to a flawed field, like RSM.

Robert Stacy McCain.

I hate the guy, 'cause he banned me.

It shouldn't have been a shock.

Steyn changed after I made my opinions known. When I pointed out his fucking pissant comment system didn't alert commenters that their comment had been responded to.

John Hawkins of Righting Wing News and Linkiest changed his comment label from the number of comments for that specific article to an ever-present infinity sign after I said some prick who has now sorta repented, a law grad from Duke or something that maximized his tucking shit.

After I bought via the Althouse Amazon portal an automobile rear stop light comments shut down within hours (36 at most but my guess is 28 hours) after I bought the Most Stop Light of lights, for my then 99 Sahara.

So when people I am around shut the fuck up, I feel offended because it's the only time I realize how offensive I am with sheep's wording.


This is a link to the thing the Leboski and the Panther embrace, slightly, with literally hundreds of reasons each per person to deny what happened was happening.


I noticed many errors and did sigficant updates to original, that got erased, and I aint't got hte heart to do it again.

BUt I had a point. I did. I wan's vaild alays but know if made sense.

chillblaine said...

Tina's article is battlespace preparation. Lee Goodman, the chair of the FEC, has warned that the government is "angling to curtail the media's exemption from federal election laws governing political organizations." Her term is due to expire in December.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Part of the appeal of Buckley is his understanding, and mockery, of the fact that people vote irrationally in many cases, and there is not a damn thing he, as great as he was, or us, could (can)do about it.

The back of WFB's book The Unmaking of a Mayor about his NY Mayoral campaign is entirely a testament to this fact, and he points out time and time again in his columns the same lame Democrat slurs about the rich and taxes and Republicans hating children et. al. will never cease, and are sadly effective.

Especially in academia, for obvious reasons of (as Buckely called it in On The Firing Line) hubris, "all but unadulterated."

Moxie D. Hoxie said...

Loved how Tina Brown described Newsweek as though it passively died rather than actually mentioning anything about how she shoved it over the cliff to it's messy and gory death...

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Paul Zrimsek said...

"Sock-like apartment"?

Yeah, that caught my eye also, a terrifically inapt simile.

I can only guess it was supposed to have a pejorative edge, conjuring sock puppets and Matt Drudge in his pajamas.

Scott said...

There are people who dance professionally, but anyone can do it, and licensing it is silly. Same with journalism. Was it Glenn Reynolds who wrote that journalism is an activity and not an occupation? That's 100% accurate.

Matt Drudge is the John Peter Zenger of our generation. He is a lousy writer and the world's best independent editor. 99% of his content is sourced in the same media that publish his critics. Drudge linked to the Tina Brown screed. It must piss her off to no end that she needs Drudge to promote her content. Drudge is much bigger and more important than she is. Poor Tina.

Reddington said...

Drudge = fox news? there was a study done several yers ago measuring where different organizations across print, internet, tv , etc. fell based on content of atory, i believe. drudge fell closest to center by far. perhaps thats the key to his continued success. tellingly he seems to rarely link fox news or other right wing sources in favor of uk sources. may be that there distance provides a degree of independent observation that such an unbiased reporter as drudg finds appealing.

Guildofcannonballs said...

You little punks think you can make me admit art is journalism?

Is that what you think?


casey said...

>>Blogger tim in vermont said...
Wasn't Tina Browm more the "soft underbelly" of MSM journalism at the time and Drudge was the guy swimming underwater with the knife in his teeth.<<

This made me laugh out loud!!

gk1 said...

It never ceases to amaze me all these years later how butt hurt the old guard of the MSM is that Drudge scooped them and they were too busy protecting team blue to do their jobs. You'ed think they have the sense to shut up about it, but they can't help themselves.

StoughtonSconnie said...

Tina Brown's complaint (and Matt Drudge's advantage) isn't that he's not a journalist, it's that he's not a JournoList.

Anonymous said...

If I had 1% of the other people's money that Ms. Brown has pissed away I'd be a happy guy living in my chateau in France. Who would ever listen to this horrid woman?

Anonymous said...

"Monica’s new musings just remind us of how the death of privacy started."

How about Gary Hartpence's privacy? Andrew and Rachel Jackson's privacy?

Tina should be more precise: "Monica’s new musings just remind us of how the death of privacy of Tina's favorite politician started."

glenn said...

Who is not a journalist?

Candy Crowley

Bob Schiefer

Brian Williams

Over to you.

Quaestor said...

The post neatly answers its own question in literally as few words as possible. Congratulations, now all the commenters can go do something useful.

Party pooper. You're such a wet blanket, Drinkwater.

Fen said...

Not only did the media not do their job, they sat on the story. They had the same info Drugde had and decided for us that we didn't need to know.

I wish they would all starve to death. I wish I could help make it happen. The MSM is scum.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Journalists like drugs: drugs don't like journalists.

wholelottasplainin' said...

I remember almost 20 years ago when Frank Rich was sneering at Drudge and calling him road kill.

Funny, I'd swear I haven't heard much of Rich lately...

Here's Tina's problem: Drudge gets upwards of 20 million hits PER DAY, while she burned through $100 million --unsuccessfully--trying to get Newsweek's mojo back.

So all she's doing is raising tiny little Impotent Fists of Fury heavenwards, a last cry of despair as she realizes she is ...Yesterday's News.

And that Drudge is not just the Future. He's Right Now. And she ain't.

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

"It never ceases to amaze me all these years later how butt hurt the old guard of the MSM is that Drudge scooped them and they were too busy protecting team blue to do their jobs. You'ed think they have the sense to shut up about it, but they can't help themselves."

And they still couldn't stop themselves from providing an encore performance with the John Edwards/Rielle Hunter story a few years later. Again, they were caught with their pants down (pun intended?) protecting Team Blue instead of reporting a story they would have been all over if it had been an (R) story. It's clear how the majority of them see their job.

Guildofcannonballs said...

I hated myself 6 minutes ago, then I remembered I didn't have the abortion, and I feel better.

Okay girls, you win.

Women achieve and live, girls like you suffer forever.

Okay girls.

Erase my memory if you must, because my feelings ain't changing anytime soon nor never far as I'm concerned.


tim in vermont said...

Drudge was a reporter at first, of sorts. He started out working in a Hollywood studio cafeteria and published stuff he overheard on his web site. From that he climbed to fame.

test said...

Monica’s new musings just remind us of how the death of privacy started.

I seem to recall the Bork nomination ocurred before Lewinsky, although even that was not the start. Now why would a mainstream media figure ignore decades of declining privacy to claim the Lewinsky affair as some unique step in the process?

So is Brown creating mythology or a victim of it?

stlcdr said...

Let's repeat; Drudge is a news aggregator.

PB said...

I started to read Tina's bloviating article, but I had to stop when I got to the part "if only Monica had an iPhone to call her Mom" it could all have been avoided. To my recollection, there fairly affordable mobile phone in the mid-90's and most Washington DC adults by their mid-20's had one.

Maybe if Monica and her mom had a few more conversations before adulthood, this could all have been avoided.

Bruce Hayden said...

Drudge is hated by the Tina Browns of this country because he destroyed their power as gatekeepers deciding what news was important and what wasn't. And that had become more and more used by "journalists" to push a progressive narrative and push and protect liberal politicians. If not for Drudge, I think it likely that we had a President Gore, maybe followed by a President Edwards, given how close the 2000 election was, even with Drudge and Monica.

Not only is Drudges site one of the most viewed news sites in the country, it is one of the, if not the, most viewed news sites in DC, with staffers and politicians on both sides of the isle periodically refreshing his page on a routine basis, knowing that if a scandal breaks, it will be on Drudge fairly quickly. Much of the established media can't compete, because they continue to filter the news through their own political (most typically liberal) lenses - for example the Rhodes email was barely mentioned by the NYT (it was well buried), despite being prima facie evidence that the White House had intentionally suppressed evidence and lied to Congress in responding to subpoenas, and that it was the proximate cause of the House forming a Special Committee on Benghazi.

In partial defense of traditional medias seemingly head-in-the-sand journalism - they probably don't have much of a choice. A lot of their power still comes from their gate-keeper function to the less electronically connected, which appears to be esp. prevalent on the left. This is esp true, I think with the NYT, which is not read by all that many outside that one city, but is read by "journalist" around the country to determine what they should report. Their problem is that the reason that politicians and others in power cater to the traditional media is primarily their gatekeeper functionality, which is also part of why they are in a slow slide to oblivian, as more and more peoplel bypass them for this exact reason - led, of course by Drudge.

Tank said...

Might be fair to give Rush some credit.

JRoberts said...

I read Ms Brown's comments and have flashbacks to socialites of another generation making comments like: "This country club was much nicer before they allowed the "darkies" to become members."

Fen said...

Let's repeat: Tina Brown is a gatekeeper.

Fen said...

I think I'm going to hire former "journalists" just to fuck with them.

Drago said...

stlcdr: "Let's repeat; Drudge is a news aggregator."

It is still quite astonishing that many of the drudge critics I come across still believe, fervently, this it is Drudge concocting the stories that his site provides links to.

Now, of course, the primary "value added" service that Drudge provides is his many inside sources, his willingness to go to stories being embargoed/spiked by the US "journalists" and then how the site aggregates and presents the stories linked to form a larger "story".

kcom said...

"Let's repeat: Tina Brown is a gatekeeper."

Her trouble is, she still has a gate, but she no longer has a fence.

n.n said...

Drudge is more than a mere aggregator. He performs the same function as a journalist, who presents a story to attract attention. The qualifying attribute of a journalist is not their writing, but their privileged status in a market to direct focus on a particular event, action, person, etc.

That said, the new journalist is Google and similar search engines, which rank (i.e. prioritize) stories, sites, etc. for their consumers.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Quaestor: Hey! You deleted the emoticon - now people might think I don't like hanging out here. :-(
Thinking about the destruction of Newsweek and Time reminded me of the decline of some other, once fine, magazines. For instance, Scientific American. Until the '70's, it was by far the best non-professional science journal around. Now look at it - 90% fluff and politics. Hell, even the New Yorker used to be worth reading.

Moxie D. Hoxie said...

Yes, Fred Drinkwater, the New Yorker used to be worth reading. Sigh. I miss it sometimes--never enough to mistakenly pick up a copy in a mistaken bit of nostalgia. First, I hated the pretentious diaeresis and other affected British-isms (for God's sake, it's the NEW YORK-er, not a new magazine about York, England...
Then, I just hated the crap they wrote.

I miss the old Scientific American, too. And the old Smithsonian magazine... And the old National Geographic...

J said...

Tina Brown is trash.

There are few actual journalists out there. I learned this long before Drudge existed.

Opinh Bombay said...

Change to the real definition of a Journalist and you can understand this better.

A Journalist is someone who wants to make the world a better place.

Mostly this involves advancing the agenda of the left.

You can apply this definition to Law Schools now too.....

Jeff Weimer said...

Lewisnky changed the media in one crucial way: It collectively decided to never let any scandal against Democrats gain any traction ever again. For Republicans they would make it up if they had to.

Will said...

Ann, your blog has many times the readership and intellectual reach that Tina Brown has.

And better teeth.

Bruce Hayden said...

Neo-Neocon says some interesting things about Browm:

I guess Brown doesn’t believe that Clinton was one of those who should have been “smeared with all available dirt”—after all, he was a Democrat, not a Republican. But there’s no doubt that if anyone was going to sling dirt on anyone, it should have been the lovely Brown rather than such unbeautiful “tabloid gargoyles” as the “thatched-roof-haired drag-queen” Tripp, the “cackling…hack” Goldbvgerg, and “pallid” Drudge in his teeny-weeny apartment. The nerve of them, scooping a press that refused for political reasons to report on a big big story!

Brown alternates between sympathy for Monica Lewinsky and approbation, although she leans more to the sympathy side. That’s not surprising, since there are some interesting parallels between Brown’s and Lewinsky’s career, although the British Brown was tremendously much more successful with her own sexual escapades as a young woman. It helped that, at least for quite a while, she was also quite good at the publishing business, specializing in making cold properties hot. But it’s also the case that she got her start by being taken up in her early 20s by literary lights with whom she’d slept.

Has anyone else noticed how many powerful women on the left get where they get through whom they have slept with. With some, like Hillary!, Pelosi, Feinstein, etc, they married them first, somewhat, whereas with Lewinski, Brown, etc, the sex was overtly first. Of course, with Brown, she ultimately managed to marry the guy, almost twice her age back then.

I have long had a theory that the harder one works for success, the more conservative they seem to be. And the more it seems to fall into their laps, the more liberal. So, no surprise maybe that so many women who slept their way to fame, fortune, and power seem to be so liberal.

Willys said...

Tina Brown's comments explain the failure of the old media. The only reality I got from her lament was that she is a relic of the 20th century and continues to live there.
C'mon, we had the party in 1999 and are now 1/7th of the way into the future. Not that I'd try but I don't want Time mag on my smartphone. I can get Drudge headlines and plan my day almost all at once. And read InstaPundit on the train while heading in to work.
I can manage my own Time, Tina's has run out.

Corky Boyd said...

Tina Brown is a bitter old white woman.

It was Newsweek that had the story. It was Newsweek that had in print ready to go. It was Newsweek that spiked the story at the last moment. The sources of the story then contacted Drudge. Why? Because they knew he knew a story of a sitting President committing perjury before a Federal judge was a valid news story and would cover it.

This is why Newsweek failed. This is why Drudge has nearly as many hits as the struggling NY Times. Anyone who is interested in current events reads Drudge, including the legacy media.

Skookum John said...

Remember this? Hillary Rodham Clinton said in 1998, during a meeting with reporters, that "We are all going to have to rethink how we deal with" the Internet because of the handling of White House sex scandal stories on Web sites.

Clinton was asked whether she favored curbs on the Internet, after the DRUDGE REPORT made headlines with coverage of her husband's affair with a White House intern:

"We are all going to have to rethink how we deal with this, because there are all these competing values ... Without any kind of editing function or gatekeeping function, what does it mean to have the right to defend your reputation?" she said.

She continued:

"I don't have any clue about what we're going to do legally, regulatorily, technologically -- I don't have a clue. But I do think we always have to keep competing interests in balance. I'm a big pro-balance person. That's why I love the founders -- checks and balances; accountable power. Anytime an individual or an institution or an invention leaps so far out ahead of that balance and throws a system, whatever it might be -- political, economic, technological --out of balance, you've got a problem, because then it can lead to the oppression people's rights, it can lead to the manipulation of information, it can lead to all kinds of bad outcomes which we have seen historically. So we're going to have to deal with that. And I hope a lot of smart people are going to --"

REPORTER: Sounds like you favor regulation.

MRS. CLINTON: Bill, I don't know what -- that's why I said I don't know what I'm in favor of. And I don't know enough to know what to be in favor of, because I think it's one of those new issues we've got to address. We've got to see whether our existing laws protect people's right of privacy, protect them against defamation. And if they can, how do you do that when you can press a button and you can't take it back. So I think we have to tread carefully.

Earnest Prole said...

@ Althouse adore your sly wit @ Drago

Ann Althouse said...

@Earnest Prole

Thanks for noticing.

I was going to be more heavy-handed, and I'm glad the restraint is effective for some people!

Corky Boyd said...

This Lewinsky story in particular has legal implications today.

The US Senate is proposing Federal rules to protect journalists' sources. Under the proposed rules, if this story had been published by Newsweek, Michael Isikoff would have been able to protect his sources, but Drudge running the same story would not. Sen. Schumer does not want blogs or self employed journalists protected, even if they publish a breaking story.

The Funeral Guy said...

To see how far the legacy media has sunk one merely needs to ponder the fact that the MSM has been riveted for days by the story of the whiny, over the hill New York Times editor while the rest of American either yawns or says, "Who?"