Tag Archives: journalism

With a Plunger and a Pen

Armed with a plunger and pen, Joe the Plumber is now an official ‘journalist,’ according to today’s definition, which includes anybody and everybody. Samuel Wurzelbacher, a conservative, uninformed American turned pop culture icon during the charades of the ’08 election, will now be penning articles covering conflict on the Gaza Strip, as an Israel-based war ‘correspondent’ for right-leaning website PajamasTV — a news outlet spouting the tired argument of liberal media bias. A propaganda pawn for McCain, Joe was not in fact a plumber but a tax-owning business owner. Now he’s asking the public to take him seriously as a professional journalist. Here’s the shorthand: ignorant everyman who publically suggests Obama is anti-Israel socialist tries to command the attention of the masses through his ‘reporting’ of one of the most complex current events, an event that even the most seasoned and ethical correspondents have failed to convey with complete accuracy. Joe, can I call ya’ Joe? We’re sorry to hear you’re unwilling to relinquish your 15 minutes of fame but go back to pitching your book deals and spare yourself from the embarassment. And spare the integrity of journalism from going down the drain.

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My Problem With MySpace

True or false, everything makes Fox news these days. And now the conservative network has taken sensationalism to a whole new level since Rupert Murdoch’s MySpace acquisition. Every time a child goes missing, or a school endures another ‘bloody melee,’ Fox reports the most minute details on the victims and villains — their favorite song, background information, and personality inferences. Where do they get this information? Not family. Not friends. Not even opportunistic neighbors looking for a few seconds on the camera. Fox’s most tapped into source is MySpace, a site where: 1) someone can make a page about anyone they want to. 2) Pages can be inactive for several years, with out-of-date information. 3) People can manipulate other pages by posting misleading pictures or inaccurate information. And 4) Viewers can misinterpret sarcastic pop culture references or inside jokes among friends. Fox’s coverage of former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer’s fall from grace was emblematic of the absurdity. The network’s stories of the hooker Spitzer sought services from, Ashley Dupre, relied solely on the woman’s MySpace page — the latest fact-gathering shortcut of Fox ‘journalists.’ The famous “a source told Fox” has been replaced with “according to MySpace.”