Young journalists covering the Democrat convention listened to a point of view they are unlikely to hear this week in Philadelphia—a conservative one.

As a journalism professor at Temple University, I was invited to speak to a group of 25 students at the School District of Philadelphia, spending about two hours answering questions and talking about the upcoming presidential race.

We calmly discussed many issues, including race relations, immigration and Donald Trump.

You realize that almost no one agreed with you, one student told me later, adding that a teacher did describe the meeting as a turning point in the students’ journalistic training. Of course, I replied, that’s because you’ve almost never heard a conservative point of view.

Harper meets with Philadelphia students reporting on the convention.
Philadelphia students meet a conservative.

These students are among the best and the brightest from Philadelphia’s troubled schools. But their beliefs seem mired in years of leftist education and peer pressure.

One student stated matter-of-factly that Trayvon Martin was murdered. He was killed, I responded, and a jury found George Zimmerman innocent of murder. Accuracy is critical in journalism, I added.

One asked this question: Why can’t everyone come to the United States like we can go to other countries? We can visit, but we can’t live in China, Europe or much of the world, I replied, because Americans, like U.S. immigrants, need residence visas.

Another posed this question: Isn’t it possible Donald Trump would declare martial law? If he did, many conservatives would exercise their rights under the Second Amendment, I said.

I’m not sure I convinced many of them to come around to a conservative viewpoint, but one of the newly minted reporters asked me for an interview after the session. One step at a time, I thought.

Longtime journalist Christopher Harper teaches media law.
Longtime journalist Christopher Harper teaches media law and writes at

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One of the advantages of years and my grey beard is the assumption of wisdom by others. In reality an old person can be just as foolish as a young one however age brings a degree of wisdom that comes from the basic experience of life.

Take interviews I have my own style and it’s perhaps not suited to others but it has served me in good stead. Every CPAC I conduct at least 100 interviews usually 4-5 minutes long or less as you can see from the uploads on my YouTube account, so while I don’t have the years of experience of some I have a volume of experience

Therefore for those who might be curious let me give you some interview do’s and don’t.

Do Know your subject: An interview is different when dealing with an elected official, vs a candidate, vs an organization, vs a member of the general public understand how they deal with people and interview accordingly.

DO Have a clear idea of what you want to talk about: If you have a clear idea of where you want to go your questions will be crisper are more likely to produce an answer.

Do consider time and place: Remember that the subject of an interview is going to be in a different condition at the start of a day, after a full meal or after some exciting event than at the end of the day after a lot of work, plan accordingly and ask accordingly.

Do be considerate: You catch more flies with honey than vinegar, if you are considerate with a subject even if it one you disagree with you will not only get a follow-up interview but that subject colleagues will be told that you are “tough but fair”.

Do Remember even your worst political enemy is a person. The Golden rule always applies.

Do understand the goal of an interview: If you go into an interview with a known goal you are more likely to achieve it.

Do Thank the person or their staff for their time: This is particularly important with a sitting pol or a person who stands to gain nothing from your interview. Plus it’s basic courtesy.

and with the Do’s in life there are also some don’t that come to mind, here are a few.

Don’t get full of yourself. A person overconfident at an interview tends to do a sloppy interview.

Don’t get distracted. On occasion an answer will surprise you and try to take you in another direction, if the answer isn’t newsworthy don’t let it take you off your course..

Don’t forget your customers: Your customers are the viewers of the interview (and or the person who paid you to do it) If you forget who you work for you might not work for long.

Don’t be unaware of the costs: An ambush interview can be fun and might generate laughs and pats on the back from friends but unless you are an A-List interviewer it will likely it will likely be the last interview you will get from that subject or the people they work with and their friends.

Don’t fake knowledge you don’t have: People will see right though that.

Don’t be overwhelmed by a mistake: You are human, on occasion you are going to make mistakes, learn from them but don’t let a mistake overwhelm you. Otherwise you will have made two mistakes

Somebody in the GOP was giving opposition research to Fox news on Ted Cruz and Mike Lee is looking for answers:

“I would be very curious. I would love to know who those names are,” Lee said Monday on Fox News Channel’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.” “I found that very disturbing. I found that very surprising.”

A lot of people would agree and the first step to find the answer is to question the relevant people.

The problem is the media has no interest in finding that answer (after all they approve of GOP backstabbing) but what if nobody is asking the questions.

Well now there is an incentive to do so. There is a new site up called BountryQ that incentives reporters and bloggers to ask tough questions such as the following to Hillary Clinton on Benghazi:

Hillary Clinton: Expires in 82d 10h 40m 23s
At precisely what point did you know that you were going to run with the lie about the #CrappyYouTubeGuy causing the massacre at Benghazi?

Here is how it works according to their FAQ.

How does the Bounty Q system work?

Questions to people are submitted with a minimum bounty ($5) by registered users.

Once approved, the race is on! Recruit others to add to the bounty until a journalist somewhere finally asks the question, and gets an answer.

Once answered on video according to our guidelines, the journalist who asked the BountyQ receives half the bounty and the user who first posted the question receives the other (less appx. 10% BountyQ fees).

The question is considered answered when the target of the question is asked ON VIDEO with clear picture and audio. Even if the question is ducked as long as the person hears the question the bounty is paid.

In the long run this has the potential to make elections interesting incentivizing people to ask the tough questions the MSM ducks but there is something more intriguing here right now.

There are over 250 republicans in congress and there is an incentive for both opponents of Ted Cruz to leak that info and even some supporters, after all potential rivals in 2016 might agree with his approach but not want him to do all that well.

I can’t think of a better use of this site than to reward reporters in both the new and old media to ask GOP members the key question: Did you or your staff give that opposition research to Fox News Sunday?

In fact the ball is apparently already rolling:


I think that is an excellent question for the speaker not to mention several others in the GOP. I think an answer would be most profitable both figuratively and perhaps literally if people decided it is worth investing in such an answer.

Perhaps this site is exactly what Senator Lee is looking for

One of the pet peeves of my friend Robert Stacy McCain is sloppy journalism.

Having been a reporter for decades long before anyone knew what a blog was he knows how journalism is done, and has done it on the local and national level.

Now this month he has taken on two different journalists that are normally not on his radar. Ginger Gorman of the Australian Broadcasting Company and Monica Hesse of the Washington Post.  I find these two critiques interesting.  Let’s compare the two.  Let’s start with Ms. Gorman

Stacy McCain told us about Ms. Gorman’s piece concerning two men named Mark & Peter 3 years ago Sunday for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation called

Why two dads are better than one Becoming parents was hard work for gay couple … but they’d do it all over again if they had to

You might note the link above doesn’t go to that site, why? Well they took it down when the reason this couple would do it all again was published in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Police believe the pair had adopted the boy ‘‘for the sole purpose of exploitation’’. The abuse began just days after his birth and over six years the couple travelled the world, offering him up for sex with at least eight men, recording the abuse and uploading the footage to an international syndicate known as the Boy Lovers Network. …

When Stacy McCain became aware of the stories he had some tough questions: emphasis mine

By the time they were featured in that 2010 article by Ginger Gorman of the Australian Broadcasting Company, Truong and Newton had been molesting that boy on video — and pimping out the boy to their friends in the “Boy Lovers Network” — for five years. The fact that these two men were key figures in an international sex-trafficking ring . . . when did the Australian Broadcasting Company learn this information? And how long did they hide from their viewers the fact that these child pornographers were the men Ginger Gorman celebrated in her 2010 feature?

and objected to the promotion of a meme:

Journalists today cannot report about homosexuality, they must only advocate, endorse, praise and celebrate homosexuality. This paradigm reduces reporters to the role of propagandists, whose job is to parrot the publicity of radical gay-rights activists.

So far has this disastrous trend gone, that it never even occurred to Ginger Gorham that there was anything . . . odd about Truong and Newton’s extraordinary efforts to secure custody of an infant boy whom, we now know, they trained to perform as a gay sex toy:

But while Stacy McCain quite rightly takes the Australian Broadcasting Company for not noting they were the couple in their previous piece (I object to them pulling it, they should have updated it instead) and notes Ginger Gorman in the pushing of a meme, didn’t question the motives of these men, there is one thing he does not and indeed CAN not critique her for.

He can’t blame her for knowing they were trouble at the time of the piece,

Indeed he quotes Ms. Gorman directly saying the following:

I felt no sense anything was wrong. For all intents and purposes this appeared to be a loving family and a loving household, and I’ve gone over and over about it in my brain and I did not feel anything was wrong. … I’m profoundly shocked and disgusted by what’s happened. Since then, I just am revolted and I find myself quite despairing about the turn of events.”

Ms. Gorman was likely sent there to do a puff piece on a adopted gay couple.  She had no reason to have any inkling that she was in the midst of a major international crime ring.

It would not surprise me if Ms Gorman goes over her visit over and over again in her mind asking herself if there is anything she could have seen, anything that she might have missed that could have given her a clue, that could have started her on a story that might have broken instead of abetting these men and their ring in their crimes.  It must be a hard thing for her and I do sympathize.

Why, because when it comes down to it her mistakes were of perception and ignorance,  the fact that she was visiting a house of horror presided over by two evil men was not in evidence and she had absolutely no way to know otherwise when she did the piece highlighting the young child and his parents.

Monica Hesse that’s a different story:

Let’s start with the current news, Tetyana Kimberlin and her current boyfriend went to court to seek protective orders from her estranged husband Brett Kimberlin

The estranged wife of progressive activist Brett Kimberlin says he has been “mentally abusive” to her, claiming in a Maryland court that Kimberlin has been “threatening” her and trying to get her fired from her job at a Montgomery County daycare center.

Tetyana Kimberlin, 32, sought a domestic protective order this week, saying her husband had “been going by my work and telling my employer I am going to be arrested,” and that Kimberlin, 59, “had me arrested before on false charges.”

Now certainly a dispute between exes doesn’t come anywhere near the relevance of an international pedophilia ring but there is a bit of a reason why this came might be a tad more newsworthy:

Brett Kimberlin was convicted in 1981 for a weeklong series of Indiana bombings and sentenced to 50 years in federal prison, but served only 17 years.

Hmmm weeklong series of bombing?  That being the case when a woman says something like this

“He told me if I will try to take my kids with me he will hurt me and I will see what will happen to me,” Kimberlin’s Russian-born wife wrote in her petition for a protection order, a case that was heard Tuesday in Silver Spring, Maryland. “He tells my 14-year-old about his plans about me and what he is going to do with me.”

A person just might take notice.  Interestingly enough these seem to be the same tactics used against bloggers by the Kimberlin crowd

But the subject of this piece is about Monica Hesse not Brett Kinberlin and his alleged threats on his ex-wife (although Stacy has a different post on this subject) this is about Monica Hesse’s 2007 piece on Brett Kimberlin and his daughter in the post.  and Stacy McCain’s critique of her.

Let’s compare Ms. Hesse’s situation to Ginger Gorman:

Like Ginger Gorman, Monica Hesse was assigned a feel good story about a child, in this case Kelsie Kimberlin,

Bethesda’s Kelsie Kimberlin, 8, got the nod. The judges of Lego’s first annual Creativity Awards got more than they bargained for.

Like Ginger Gorman some of the newsworthiness of  Monica Hesse’s story comes from pushing a major liberal media meme of the time, namely “Bush Bad War Bad”:

So, a synopsis: “Happy Springtime (Bush Is Over)” is more than five minutes of John ‘n’ Yoko footage, of birds fluttering past a billboard reading “Imagine Peace” and of beautiful children singing, cherubically, “Buuush is ooover!” which, incidentally, is also what their T-shirts say. “Bush Is Over. If You Want It.”

and the promotion of a meme that liberalism loves is always king

there is even a tiny Russian connection in both stories, the child Ginger Gorman reported on was adopted from Russia and Monica’s mother Tetyana is from Russia although that fact about Kelsie’s mother is not a part of the piece.

Finally like Ginger Gorman. Monica Hesse has many positive things to say about this child’s dad, like this:

 The credit for “Springtime” goes to Kelsie’s dad, musician-activist Brett Kimberlin.

and this:

“Springtime” is not the Kimberlins’ only father-daughter collaboration. Brett also enlisted the Harmonic Angels to sing in an antiwar reworking of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.” (Kelsie and the Angels do not appear in “Exile,” a music video in which Brett underwent waterboarding as an “it’s definitely torture” argument.)

“All of the kids in the choir are very liberal,” says Brett Kimberlin. “They wouldn’t do this if they weren’t in the cause.”

and even when she mentioned that Brett Kimberlin was convicted of a bombing that crippled a Vietnam vet, she spins it

His Quayle revelation came from the clink, where he was serving time for a series of Indiana bombings, one of which wounded a Vietnam veteran. Kimberlin always contended he wasn’t guilty of the bombings and would have been paroled earlier, except for the government machine trying to keep him quiet about Quayle, who said he never had met the man. Championed by “Doonesbury’s” Garry Trudeau and the New Yorker’s Mark Singer, who wrote a 22,000-word article on him, Kimberlin was released in 1993

Well YEAH he was convicted of some bombing but he says he’s innocent and look Doonsbury’s creator likes him so that’s OK

Seriously Monica, SERIOUSLY?

Unlike Ginger Gorman who could have googled Mark Newton & Peter Truong till the cows came home without result,  who, if she did a Lexis/Nexis search on Newton & Truong would have come up empty, if however Monica Hesse did the same search on Brett Kimberlin she have seen this from the Indianapolis Star?

“When Mrs. Scyphers went outside to the garage to show him the items, he slipped a .25-caliber pistol from his black briefcase and shot her once in the back of her head. . . .
“Speedway police were puzzled by the murder. ‘She had no enemies,’ they said.
“But she did. Investigators learned her daughter, Sandra Barton, was a close — very close — friend of Brett C. Kimberlin. The relationship between the pair was complicated by his strange affection for Mrs. Barton’s pre-teen daughter, Debbie.”

or this:

“Kimberlin seemed to be the only one with a possible motive — to distract police attention from the Scyphers murder and delay or halt their quiet investigation of him.”

And maybe she might have dug a little deeper inMark Singer book on Kimberlin

‘We’d see a girl, who was pubescent or prepubescent, and Brett would get this smile and say, “Hey, what do you think? Isn’t she great?” It made me very uncomfortable.’ Another recalled Kimberlin introducing Jessica as ‘my girlfriend,’ and if irony was intended, it was too subtle to register.

or perhaps the reviews of it:

 Reviewers of Singer’s book describe Kimberlin as “a top-flight con man” (Publisher’s Weekly), “a fairly typical hustler” (Library Journal) and “a man whose idea of the truth is utterly malleable . . . a dangerous smooth talker” (Kirkus Reviews).

Maybe she might have found this article that Stacy McCain did at the city paper

Not all the songs on his album … have political overtones … others, like “Waiting to Meet” and “Teen Dream” (both about having sex with teenage girls) are lacking in subtlety and tend to make one squirm. But this is exactly what Kimberlin wants.
“I say things a lot of people are afraid to say. Yeah, ‘Teen Dream’ is about f–king a teenage girl. Every guy who’s seen a good-looking teenage girl has thought about it. I’m talking about that lecherous quality that every man, though he won’t act on it, has.”

Stacy McCain Bottom lines it:

Brett Kimberlin was a 41-year-old convict on parole when he recorded those songs “about having sex with teenage girls.” But  Washington Post staff writer Monica Hesse evidently could not be bothered to read that, just like she apparently never read the Indianapolis Star account of Kimberlin’s crimes  or Mark Singer’s book about “a man whose idea of the truth is utterly malleable” or that 1999 Slate article that called Kimberlin an “all-around sociopath.”

And remember all of this doesn’t even include the stuff from the last few years that Stacy calls the Kimberlin files

Maybe it’s just me but considering that feature from the past wouldn’t the current stuff involving Kimberlin, his ex-wife, and what he did or did not say to his daughter be I don’t know, Newsworthy?

 Progressive Activist Brett Kimberlin‘Abusive … Threatening,’ Wife Claims

That headline today is not from the Washington Post, although these shocking claims against a famous activist were made in a Maryland court in the Montgomery County suburbs of our nation’s capital. Any reporter can click here to read the relevant document.   Two or three phone calls, an hour or two of background research — a 500-word story for the Metro section would be an easy day’s work. And yet Brett Kimberlin is now apparently so insignificant and obscure that this case doesn’t even merit a 150-word item in the briefs column.

But that shouldn’t be a surprise, if Brett Kimberlin’s past was not relevant to Ms. Hesse and the Washington Post in 2007 I can’t see why his present would be relevant to them in 2013.

Stacy McCain is a veteran reporter.  He likes to see journalism done right.  He has critiqued both Ginger Gorman and Monica Hesse’s reporting on those standards, but this piece, my piece, is titled:  Ginger Gorman, Mark Newton & Peter Truong vs Monica Hesse & Brett Kimberlin is about comparing the two.

I think there is no comparison.

Why, because I’d bet real money that if Ginger Gorman had done a cursory search of Newton & Truong and saw that kind of stuff, that Monica Hesse could have found on Kimberlin,  alarm bells would have been going off in her head and I get the feeling she might have said to her boss at the ABC:  Maybe we don’t want to use these guys for this piece on Gay Adoption. 

Hesse not only didn’t use the available info on Kimberlin’s past, she had alternatives available.

Could Hess have done a piece of the same length without talking Brett Kimberlin perhaps focusing more on the YouTube angle or on the contests to fill up that piece?  Yes, but she did not.

Could Hesse have done a small piece on young Kelsie Kimberlin’s contest win without the hagiography of her father?  Yes, but she did not.

Could Ms Hesse have done a smaller story to celebrate Kelsie’s accomplishment without spoiling her rightfully proud moment with events that she had absolutely no responsibility for?  Yes, but she did not.

Could Ms. Hesse’s had done a follow-up piece noting not only Mr. Kimberlin’s past but that his foundation just the year before,   had been given grants from such liberal giants as the Tides Foundation , the Heinz Family Foundation and the Barbara Streisand Foundation and others to the tune of over $150,000 dollarsYes, but she did not.

Ms Hesse did not, Ms Gorman could not and that makes all the difference.





KIRK: You have to learn why things work on a starship.

Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan 1982

Batman: My mistake was to try to Match is Savagery. To fight like a Young man.

Batman the Dark Night #2 1986

Hot wife in a bikini? #Winning!

Robert Stacy McCain Sept 14th 2012

The AP reports that the Journal News has decided to take down its interactive map of gun owners or rather disable it:

The maps remained online late Friday but could no longer be manipulated to find names and addresses.

The story suggests the reason for the change is the new gun law in. I say BALDERDASH!

When the Journal News published its online map of gun owners and where they live, it produced a firestorm of critique.

Pixels poured out like water. Television and Radio pushed the outrage and the defense of the paper, James O’Keefe skewered them via Project Veritas, threats poured in to the point where the anti-gun paper in a twist of Irony hired armed guards to protect folks on their staff and it became the target of the Blaze and the subject of multiple Drudge stories.

This is not a bug, it’s a feature.

Obviously the interactive map was a web feature alone. It likely took a fair amount of time and effort to put together and such effort is done on an online site for a reason. The reason is to generate hits, and as the AP article notes:

She said the maps had been viewed nearly 1.2 million times since they were published Dec. 23.

Mission Accomplished!

And not those 1.2 million hits were in under 30 days and that number doesn’t include side hits to other stories on the site generated through those views. Bloggers like myself dream of traffic at that level.

The value of an online site and the price of its advertising is directly related to the number of hits the site gets.  The Journal news may claim this map was all about journalistic discretion and advancing the story and discussion, but when it comes down to it, that map was no different than the first two paragraphs of this post from The Other McCain last year:

Traffic to the blog has gotten a slight and unexpected boost the past couple of days because the entire world, it seems, is Googling for nude photos of Kate Middleton or rather topless photos of Kate Middleton. Don’t bother clicking those links, as they are merely a round-trip ticket back to this post, part of Ye Merry Olde Google Bomb Trick.

Donald Douglas has a post cleverly titled “Kate Middleton Topless” and our friendly Evil Blogger Lady offers ”Kate Middleton topless photos? French magazine Closer publishes them. Rule 5 Britannia! Update: Reports of outraged Brits storming French embassy in protest!

As Robert Stacy constantly reminds us,  he writes for money.  The Journal News does the same. That map was a google bomb directed at 2nd Amendment advocates nationwide, a red cloth in front of a bull to make it charge. The Map fuels outrage among gun advocates,  outrage fuels interest, interest creates searches, searches mean clicks, clicks mean traffic, and traffic dictates what the Journal News can charge for the ads that generate the revenue.

That being the case, the map as a successful revenue generator, why take it down? Why are we seeing posts like this:

Glenn Reynolds 9:50 PM January 18th EVEN A FLATWORM IS SMART ENOUGH TO TURN AWAY FROM PAIN: NY newspaper removes handgun permit holder data. Punching the bully in the nose works.

It’s not punching in the nose? You already had armed guards at homes and outraged people who own deadly weapons and that didn’t get the interactive map down. (BTW Guards not withstanding, the willingness to outrage those armed people tell you all you need to know about how much they actually think those people were going to come to seek revenge)

Nearly a month of outrage and debate didn’t pull down the map, if the interactive map going away is the effect, what was the cause?

The answer is a simple cost benefit analysis thus:

Glenn Reynolds 11:31 PM January 17th  I SMELL A LAWSUIT: Burglars steal two guns from home featured on weapons permit map published by newspaper, just days after break-in at another address on the list.

Lawsuits cost money. All the outrage, anger or potential danger for law-abiding citizens in the world was going to move the Journal News. The potential of a lawsuit turning a source of profit into a loss, now That’s punching back twice as hard.

So the interactive map is gone having served it’s purpose, but the raw map will remain, still able to generate hits for years to come and the Journal News will slowly sink back into the level of obscurity it had before…

…until they find another red cloth to wave in front of an internet bull.

One of the most memorable but intelligent debates/disagreements I’ve ever heard was between Dan Riehl and Stacy McCain on the value of being at an event vs using local bloggers and aggravating them.

Dan made a very good argument for letting local bloggers cover and event and aggregating was better pointing out it saved the vast expense in time cash to physically travel to an event that could be used elsewhere, he also argued local bloggers would be more familiar with a situation and would ask the right questions.

There is also the magnifier effect of promoting a single story rather than different narratives and those local bloggers are the farm team that makes the next batch of big national ones. (I don’t remember if those last two were his arguments or mine.)

I am more of the Stacy McCain school of being there, a person outside of a particular bubble might have a different take and you’d be surprised at how one good idea by one person can make a huge difference.

I ran into two examples of this at Blogcon Charlotte

Item: Kony Kony who’s got the Kony

While walking back to the Hotel after BBQ at a local eatery attended by a flock of bloggers I thought it would be interesting to video the walk back to the hotel to give people who haven’t been there a feel of Charlotte at the end of the video however I found a bit of a story:

The Kony 2012 people had been concentrated in an area, as I continued to walk by there was a group of them in discussion with the police with “mall” security looking on.

I spoke to a police sgt. on the scene. It appears the issue was simply the placement on the posters and the difference between the public streets and the private areas.

I found out later from Roxeanne that this had been active in other areas, she tells me they were less cooperative with police than they were in Charlotte

ITEM: Let out of the cab

Sunday morning was travel home day, I shared a cab with Bob Weeks

Steve Eggleston
, Maggie Thornton

And Tony Katz

Batman villains in their car hideout

The drive in itself was not newsworthy but my talk with the cab driver Mohammad was.

Mohammad is originally from Kashmir the disputed province between Pakistan & India. We talked about the dispute a bit (he favors independence) about him coming to America two decades ago, how he moved to Charlotte from NY and likes it much better, then our conversation turned toward the Democratic Convention.

I suggested that it would be a good time for business with the multitude of people coming, however it turns out that with the closing off of the downtown will actually hurt guys like him from earning a buck during what should be a time of plenty. In the rush to condemn ordinances restricting protest this aspect of the rules seems to be overlooked.

Again some might consider this a small story but considering our democratic friends are supposedly all about helping the little guy.

These are the type of things that can happen when you are actually on site. Dan’s point is well made and with a limited amount of resources you have to pick your spots but I spoke with Stacy McCain concerning this kind of thing and I think his quote says it all:

“There is no substitute for direct observation PERIOD!”

I think that’s spot on.

It’s a rare day when I take CBS’s side over Powerline and Glenn but I have to say that CBS in general and Katy Conrad in particular did the right thing concerning the Koch/Zimmerman non-story.

You have a story that is starting to go around the net to the point where snoops is talking about it, it is a meme that a rival network with the same audience as you has already been suggesting and it is concerning a topic that has been front page national news, of course they are going to inquire.

I assume CBS looked for evidence outside of just asking Koch industries and if they had found some actual meat to this story they would have run with it contrasting it with the Koch denial after all people deny things they have been doing every day. (I actually e-mailed Katy Conrad with some questions along that line but I didn’t get a response).

This tells me that the editorial people at CBS (who I’m sure would have loved to run with this one) did what editors and producers are supposed to do, check the facts and decide if there is a story or not. Indeed Katy Conrad not only did not publish but explicitly stated so to the interested party.

Now if they HAD run it after the email exchange with Koch industries and had no further evidence that would have been worthy of outrage, but that’s not what happened here, perhaps CBS learned something from Rathergate after all.

Two final thoughts:

If Katy Conrad had been an editor at the Washington Post instead of a producer at CBS this morning Elizabeth Flock might still have a job today.

It’s a sad commentary on the MSM when a reporter/producer doing their job properly at a major news network is a story worth writing about.

Update: As a reporter long before he was a blogger Stacy McCain gets it:

Katy Conrad did her job. If Ed Schultz is going to permit Karen Finney and Van Jones to lie about the Koch brothers on MSNBC, other news organizations are obligated to check out the facts, which Conrad did, to her credit.

And being a good reporter he also suggests a story CBS could have run:

While Koch Industries lawyer Mark Holden asked that CBS “not mention Koch in any way in your broadcast,” perhaps it would have been even better if CBS had re-focused its story on how MSNBC abets left-wing liars engaging in politically motivated slander against Koch.

He’s right but since both CBS and MSNBC work from the same customer base it might be too much to expect them to throw a punch in that direction.

One of the few dark spots of Blogcon Charlotte, other than my simply horrible ten-pin bowling (note to self don’t bowl in suit pants if you are afraid of ripping them) was the absence of Robert Stacy McCain who taught me more about reporting in a few road trips than many a person who have built up college debt could get in a classroom.

My vision is a panel consisting of Stacy McCain, Michelle Malkin and Don Surber called From Reporter to Blogger dealing with tricks of the journalist trade from people who did newspaper reporting before they became known as national blogging.

The idea would be learning shoe leather techniques, things a good journalist needs to know and the do’s and don’ts that a regular newspaper reporter who regularly deals with (and perhaps clashes with) an editor should know.

It’s painfully apparent that young Elizabeth Flock late of the Washington Post might have benefited greatly from such a class, thus:

She did a roundup on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney allegedly using an old Ku Klux Klan slogan in his stump speech — a story that went viral online yet was untrue — and she didn’t call the Romney campaign for comment… nor did any editor make sure she did (emphasis mine).

Stacy’s reaction is one that one might expect from a person with decades in the reporting business:

This is what veteran journalists call “HOLY FREAKING CRAP!”

Then details the error:

Twenty-seven hours elapsed between the time Avarosis posted that and the time Flock “aggregated” it at the WaPo. Flock did not bother to contact the Romney campaign herself, but instead cited the HuffPo, which said a Romney spokeswoman “declined to comment on the matter.”

Now if Ms. Flock had studied under Stacy McCain she would have realized that a simple phone call to the Romney campaign would have paid off in two ways.

#1. She would have been able to break a story that they report was false or at least that the Ronmey people denied it. In a world when reporters have no objection reporting new info first and their stories going viral that is what was called a “Scoop”

2. If they didn’t get back to her, or if she got an answering machines, she could have written: “Repeated attempts to contact the Romney campaign were unsuccessful as of this writing.”

That would have covered her to some degree allowing her to say something like: “In the absence of a reply from the Romney camp we went with the Huff-po info”.

and sometimes you get lucky with these calls as I did with Weinergate

So since Stacy is giving reporting lessons I took the liberty of calling congressman Weiner’s office, the recorded messaged referred me to a press number to call after hours. I called the number and the gentleman named Joe who answered claimed I had the wrong number so I called back the congressman’s office to confirm the number in question (it was correct) and called the press number again. It now goes directly to voice mail. I left my name and home and cell numbers at both locations, and I’ll let you know if anything pans out, but I found that reaction…interesting.

This was rewarded by not only a link from Stacy, and a complementfrom Stacy but subsequently to a piece in the NY Post and an appearance on Fox 25.

Alas for Miss Flock she had an editor who as an advocate rather than an editor

she didn’t call the Romney campaign for comment, nor did any editor make sure she did (emphasis mine).

and said Panel with Stacy McCain did not exist at Blogcon Charlotte nor was she here to take advantage of it if if was.

So although it’s too late for Miss Flock, let’s hope next year the McCain, Malkin, Surber panel is at blogcon and with some luck perhaps a major paper might consider it a good investment to send a blogger down to learn trick of the trade for those who have known how for years.

A lot of US journalists talk about speaking truth to power, in Azerbaijan one journalist not only does so, but is not willing to submit to blackmail:

Khadija Ismayilova, who works for Radio Free Europe, has exposed corruption in Azerbaijan, including among the President’s family and inner circle. She received a chilling package in the mail last week, with photographs from a video of her having sex, and a message that she should stop publishing her exposés or the video would be released. Instead, she made the threat public, and this week the video was published online.

and this isn’t just a question of risking a Charlie Sheen embarrassment

“This is a very traditional society where there are still a lot of honour killings, and they clearly calculated that I would prefer to keep quiet and not have this made public,”

Now that’s courage, but then again, considering this report from England, one doesn’t have to live in Azerbaijan to risk honor killing.

Yesterday the AP reported on the existence of a group that has kept NY City safe since 9/11

Working with the CIA, the New York Police Department maintained a list of “ancestries of interest” and dispatched undercover officers to monitor Muslim businesses and social groups, according to new documents that offer a rare glimpse inside an intelligence program the NYPD insists doesn’t exist.

This is the type of thing of course that one would hope a sane government would do. The writer’s opinion on the subject however comes out in the next sentence:

The documents add new details to an Associated Press investigation that explained how undercover NYPD officers singled out Muslim communities for surveillance and infiltration.

Singled out! That’s like writing that Donnie Brasco singled out Italians for surveillance and infiltration of organized crime.

Jay Nordlinger starts out his impromptus column today commenting on this saying:

Here is a headline from yesterday: “Inside the spy unit that NYPD says doesn’t exist.” Well, I wish it were still under wraps.

He then says something that I think perfectly encapsulates what is wrong with liberalism in general and the western press in particular:

At some point in the mid-2000s, I was at Davos, making some comments on the War on Terror. I said that I was not a “neutralist” in this matter — that I was on a “side”: the side of the United States and civilization against barbarism. I also said that I was a citizen before I was a journalist.

The gasps in the room were audible, as were the groans. As was the scorn. I think one or two people may have had heart attacks. I had simply scandalized the room — which seemed so weird.

Long ago, I read something somewhere — don’t know whether it’s true. I read that Edward R. Murrow had a sign in his London office, saying, “It is more important to win the war than to report on it.”

Until the elites figure that out, they will be nothing more than useful idiots.

It is important to realize that this is not a new attitude, it was the thought process of the MSM long before there was an internet and Fox to push back at it. Remember the Ethics in America series on PBS and the famous exchange between Peter Jennings, Mike Wallace

This was recorded in 1989. How many times in the decades before and after this before there was the counterweight of the new media and Fox did this attitude shape the coverage of the United States, its military and their approach toward the cold war. How much history did it mold? I’ll tell you this, it is likely responsible for what Noah Pollak described in this piece concerning Liberal Jews on Israel:

No, what is interesting about the collective opinion of the Juicebox Mafia is the proposed rule of just war: Whoever kills more is the guilty party. This amounts to a total rejection of the distinction between aggression and self-defense and indeed the entire concept of deterrence. Taken to its logical conclusion, moral victory becomes impossible, because the moment one side has dispatched with a greater number of enemy than casualties have been suffered, justice has been forfeited. The only means of ethical conduct is pure immolation — which is indeed the prescription for Israel, which is expected to behave as the only true Christian nation on earth, responding to attacks by endlessly turning the other cheek.

There is something else about the Juicebox Mafia that is grating beyond its simple inanity: The only time its members write about Israel is when they can condemn it. The truth of the matter is that they have nothing invested in Israel other than their American liberalism and their Jewish surnames. Being a Jewish critic of Israel is ever so much more compelling and melodramatic than being just another leftist critic of Israel: Instead of trafficking in banalities, one can claim disillusionment, embarrassment, and betrayal. Pardon me if I call this out for what it is — moral preening and pure cynicism.

(Ht Josh Trevino on Twitter)

There is no right or wrong, there is only Journalism! If you want to see a perfect example of the Two cultures of America, this is it.

Update: Missed a link, fixed.

Update 2: Instalance, thanks Glenn, but isn’t it a sad commentary on the west that such a post even has to be written?

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What the article itself is not bad as it tries to disect why Drudge has succeeded the best evaluation comes from a commentator named Parker1227 from Seattle :

One of the great leftist laments in comments sections is, “Here comes the Drudge zombies!”

Of course, Drudge is now linking this article.

It goes without saying that The Drudge Report (like Fox News), was created by the obvious leftist bias built into journalism in the US.

If leftist editors, who control about 95% of our news headlines, had made any real attempt to serve all of their readers, left and right, instead of pushing their leftist ideology down everyone’s throats – Drudge and Fox News would probably not even exist.

No one but yourselves to blame.

It would be no contest to see how many folks hit this Times Article via Drudge vs how many hit Drudge from the time article.

(via Glenn).