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August 28, 2004

The Mad Villain Rips Off His Mask

It's starting to seem as if having gone so far out on a credibility limb in support of John Kerry has given news folks a taste of honesty, and they like it. I mean, this post from Ramesh Ponnuru is simply jaw-dropping:

Doug Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, sent out a press release on the latest partial-birth ruling. Here's an email he got in response from Todd Eastham, the North American news editor for Reuters: "What's your plan for parenting & educating all the unwanted children you people want to bring into the world? Who will pay for policing our streets & maintaining the prisons needed to contain them when you, their parents & the system fail them? Oh, sorry. All that money has been earmarked to pay off the Bush deficit. Give me a frigging break, will you?"

Yes, yes, it's Reuters, and we all know what that means, but Mr. Eastham has just rendered nearly worthless any reportage that his company might offer on matters pertaining to abortion. And I'm surely not alone in believing that all he has done is to express what many of his peers wish professional ethics permitted them to say.

Personally, I'm thrilled to have the obvious laid out so candidly, and it's fascinating to watch. Still, waiting for the public to catch on can be frustrating; meanwhile, the scornfully presented misinformation continues.

As Hugh Hewitt puts it, with reference to a separate incident:

But poor, embarrassed Jim Boyd has performed a service, even in his humiliation. His exposure as a blustery, bullying and ultimately bittter hack is another warning sign in a month of such warnings to old media. The rules have changed. The monopoly is broken. You can't ignore the truth or the people who publicize it, and if you slander them, they have the tools of both rebuttal and exposure. As I wrote last week, it takes a considerable amount more talent, learning and drive to succeed at the highest level of the law than it does to be a time-serving fast food outlet for cliches of the left at a largely ignored editorial page of a second tier paper. Boyd mixed it up with the wrong guys, and even if his friends won't tell him the truth, he must already know that his paper saw what he did and gave the Powerline men another column as a result.

I've learned not to expect major blogosphere coverage of news mistakes and/or bias related to matters of abortion. One might call it a bias about bias.

Posted by Justin Katz at August 28, 2004 11:29 PM
News Media

I suspect that the blogosphere's balance tilts rightward for the same reasons as talk radio does. But it also contains a decidedly libertarian streak. Nature of the medium, perhaps? I don't know. More than that, competition for traffic is pretty tough, and staking out a strong, consistent position on abortion is a good way to get bogged down in a reputation-tarnishing slugfest.

Posted by: Sage at August 29, 2004 12:00 PM

Todd Eastham's solution is to kill them before they have a chance to be a burden.

Posted by: The Barrister at August 30, 2004 10:01 PM

Maybe the "decidely libertarian streak" is the castoffs of the Libertarian Modernists who regard them as too conservative to be considered liberals any more. Just a thought.

As for Eastham's reaction, that is just nihilism in all its... well, I was about to say glory, but that would give glory a bad name.

Posted by: smmtheory at September 2, 2004 1:13 PM