Monday, December 29, 2008

The New Muckrakers?

In Details Magazine's relatively unenlightening profile of New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin - for New Orleanians, anyway - says:

The mayor’s unwillingness to tolerate criticism hardened into a state of willful denial this summer, thanks to a scandal involving a program run by the New Orleans Homeownership Corp. News reports revealing that contractors had charged the city for work they did not do prompted the convening of a grand jury. Nagin doesn’t seem worried about the federal investigation, even though one of the program’s highest-paid contractors—S&A Construction—is run by his brother-in-law, Cedric Smith. He vows that Smith will face justice if he is culpable. “Everybody’s looking at it,” Nagin says with a smile, “which is great. Because now I’ve got professional investigators versus bloggers.”

Earlier this month, Salon's Glenn Greenwald documented the degree to which much of the mainstream media interpreted the opposition to John Brennan as a potential director of the C.I.A. as unfair criticism from bloggers.

Concerns over torture and rendition -- despite being widespread among countless military officials and intelligence professionals -- are uniformly depicted as nothing more than ideological idiosyncrasies from the dreaded Left ("left-wing hit job on Brennan"; "largely on the left"; "left-leaning bloggers and columnists"; "Obama's liberal base"; Obama's "most ardent supporters on the left"; "liberal critics"; "liberal bloggers"; "confined to liberal blogs"; "the Democratic base").

Evidently we are the new bad guys of journalism.

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