Monday, April 18, 2005

The Real Jeff Greenfield?



Has CNN's Jeff Greenfield learned his lesson? Glenn Reynolds links to a Howard Kurtz article that quotes Greenfield as one of the few defenders of blogs among members of the MSM.
CNN analyst Jeff Greenfield likes many blogs and doesn't much worry about "the baked-potato brains who say you're a media whore. . . . On the whole, I'm real happy to know there are a lot of people watching with the capacity to check me. I don't think that's chilling. It's just another incentive to get your facts right."

As for "smear artists" on the Internet, Greenfield says, "The freedom that it gives anonymous twerps to spew out invective -- that they don't like the way you look or think you're an idiot or a child abuser -- that's just part of the process."

But Greenfield hasn't always been a cheerleader of blogs. We quote from our February 18th post about a speech Greenfield made at UCLA in the wake of Eason Jordan's resignation from CNN, to which Vodkapundit linked with the comment:"CNN's Jeff Greenfield: It's the fault of blogs. Huh?" An excerpt from the post:
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From an article in the UCLA student newspaper, the Daily Bruin:
Speaking about American media in a 45-minute speech, Greenfield refrained from analyzing specific incidents of bias in the media, and instead asked people to look inward to determine the root of the alleged problem.

"Are you part of the problem?" Greenfield rhetorically asked.
Finally, someone (from CNN, no less) willing to stick out his neck on the subject of MSM bias and point the finger at...college students?
Greenfield also spoke about the public['s] aversion to reading material that goes against their own core beliefs. To many people, Greenfield explained, "unwelcome info is proof of bias."
Especially CNN executives, who have an aversion to reading the latest ratings showing them getting spanked by, say, FOX News...because that unwelcome information is clearly biased!
Greenfield cited the profusion of various media sources, from satellite news to Internet Web logs, as partially responsible for creating an atmosphere of unaccountability where people struggle to find trustworthy sources.
That's interesting. Blogs creating an atmosphere of unnaccountability? Tell that to Dan Rather. Or Eason Jordan. Or Trent Lott. If anything, the blogosphere and satellite networks like FOX News are the ones holding the rest of the media responsible -- and it's that irresponsibility exhibited by the MSM that has sent people looking for trustworthy sources in the first place. But Greenfield doesn't seem to get that. Big surprise.
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We're not quite sure what changed Greenfield's mind, but it's worth noting he wasn't such a staunch defender of the blogger eight weeks ago. We'd posit that Greenfield changing his mind on blogs -- specifically why -- is a bigger story than someone like Adam Nagourney getting his feelings hurt when Mickey Kaus writes mean things about him. It seems, however, that Howard Kurtz does not read our blog and thus, missed out on the big story. (Ed. note: like Greenfield, Kurtz is also employed by CNN...not that there's anything wrong with that!)

UPDATE: Alert reader Mickey Kaus emails to tell us that "at the Dem convention Greenfield was very high on blogs." He thinks the comments we noted were an abberation in the wake of the Eason Jordan scandal. If that's the case, this might just be an even more interesting story than we first thought. Greenfield changes his mind on blogs faster than a blogger in his pajamas can post on it!

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