December 15, 2016

I'm part of an Assange-loving "cesspool" on #Wikileaks, #PodestaEmails

Per Twitter on Monday evening, Dec. 12, I've seen the best argument yet for journalists NOT to get a J-school or communications degree from a name brand academic program, and certainly not a graduate degree from one of those outlets.

When Danna Young, a comms professor at University of Delaware, chided Doug Henwood for his appreciation of Wikileaks, specifically, over the revelations in the Podesta email leaks, I jumped in.

Then, Brian Rosenwald, a fellow Penn alum of Young's, jumped in.
But, he didn't stop there.
As someone who knows at least a bit about journalism, I reject the term "Fourth Estate" because people like Rosenthal obviously take that all too seriously.

But, that wasn't enough for him. Next was this:
I of course responded that I voted Green.

His response, to paraphrase his next Tweet, was that a vote for Stein was a vote for Trump.

Two takeaways from that.
1. The chattering class has shown where its bread is buttered.
2. They're still in the "blame anybody but Clinton and the DNC" mode.

And, per Rosenwald's appeal to expertise?

These are the people who are teaching our future journalists to be journalists, with such uncritical, gatekeeper ideas. While New Media has its problems indeed, including a guru problem bigger than conventional media (I'm going to tackle that in some future blog post), this is part of why it's gained traction — beyond all the other arrogance of traditional media that led to business-side mistakes.

Update, Dec. 22: Mondoweiss totally agrees, saying, specifically in relation to US-Israel and US-Middle East foreign policy, that Wikileaks did "a tremendous public service, revealing how government works."  Nutgraf arguably is the last one on page:

But regardless of the emails’ political effect, the media make a mistake in demonizing the emails. They are ignoring their value: they told us important things the people have a right to know about how the powerful conduct themselves. Wikileaks made leaders more accountable. 
Boom.
 
That said, part of what set Young off?

She Tweeted this to Henwood in response to his appreciation for Wikileaks:
First, that gets back to Old Media as gatekeepers, something I don't need a Jay Rosen to tell me.

Otherwise, on the big issue, Doug's right, even if Wikileaks isn't perfect. The Podesta emails et al WERE enlightening about modern American democracy. That's not to mention the enlightenment of the Iraq and Afghanistan leaks that "made" Wikileaks.

And, they were journalism. Remember when much of the MSM (and presumably, profs like the duo here) followed the gummint line that Wikileaks was endangering lives, etc.? Well, Assange and his assistants did this thing called "editing" precisely to guard against that.

As for the Podesta emails? Wikileaks generally provided background information, narratives, transitions, etc., as needed. It didn't need to do a lot of that, because they already had the background of earlier DNC leaks from Wikileaks.

See, the Youngs and Rosenwalds don't like Wikileaks in part because, per gatekeeper mentality, it's not a source that Old Media can control. And, such animosity, per Doug, certainly doesn't square with being a "democracy enthusiast."

Rosenwald then said, but Wikileaks reports only partial information. And the inside-the-Beltway scribes don't do the same, in spades.

That said, Doug is right on the other count, too. This IS more democratic, than ... many puns intended ... today's Democratic Party. I suspect that's part of what's eating at Young. I'm pretty sure she's not a Trump voter, and from Rosenwald's antidemocratic sneer, we know he's not.

They then both said "but we're academics," and we study the economics of media and more. Again, "study" vs "do," first of all. Second, it's goalpost shifting. Per the Tweet above, the dispute was about journalism, pure and simple. Not about media economics. Not about the sociology of communication. Nope, nope, nope.

Young tried to claim this was ONLY about democracy, despite her mentioning both "democracy" and "journalism" in the Tweet above.

Rosenwald then said "I stand with Madison and Hamilton." I outsnarked him by saying "Who are they."

(Actually, we know "who are they," too. Two elitists, one of whom wanted a monarchy, and the other a landed gentry aristocracy, and probably believed a pre-Spencer form of Social Darwinism.)

Young then said "PhDs today would hate me," or words to that effect. I outsnarked her by saying "Did they have PhDs?" Both then got muted.

But, I noted the degree earlier, joking that she got a Ph.D. from the guy who created TV Guide. (Penn's Annenberg School of Journalism being named after Walter Annenberg.) And I noted his love for "gotcha journalism," per Wikipedia:

In 1966, Annenberg used the pages of The Inquirer to cast doubt on the candidacy of Democrat Milton Shapp for governor of Pennsylvania. Shapp was highly critical of the proposed merger of the Pennsylvania Railroad with the New York Central Railroad and was pushing the US Interstate Commerce Commission to prevent it from occurring. Annenberg, who was the biggest individual stockholder of the Pennsylvania Railroad, wanted to see the merger go through, which it eventually did, and he was frustrated with Shapp's opposition.[13] During a press conference, an Inquirer reporter asked Shapp if he had ever been a patient in a mental hospital. Never having been in one, Shapp simply said "no." The next day, a five-column front page Inquirer headline read, "Shapp Denies Mental Institution Stay." Shapp and others have attributed his loss of the election to Annenberg's newspaper.
Yeah, it was snarky to tell her that. But, it's true. (Which she admitted.)

That said, this would be like Jeff Bezos getting a Washington Post reporter to ask a similar question of Bernie Sanders.

Speaking of ...

What Young never answered was my comment that the Washington Post, speaking of Rosenwald's cesspools, is more a cesspool than Wikileaks, over PropOrNot, doubled down on the editorial page by Iraq War bloodhawk Fred Hiatt.

Back to the Podesta email leaks, which, according to a friend of Assange's, a former British diplomat, did NOT come from the Russkies.

The reason that, unlike with Chelsea Manning, he didn't leak these to the likes of the New York Times is he knew that, per this year's election, they wouldn't report on the emails unless their hand was forced. And he forced their hand. So, the inside-the-Beltway scribes, whether actually trained by the duo above, or simply simpatico with their thinking, who tilted even more Clinton than, I'll bet, any Dem candidate has been tilted before, are ... infuriated.

I also color myself suspicious of communications profs using "quantoid" as a buzz word.

Ditto for being a "quantoid," part of her Twitter profile.

Of course, I also "love" journalism/media profs making assumptions without evidence. Like assuming that I was a Trump voter, before the anti-Green sneer.

==

Sidebar:

And, the cesspool gets bigger in Camp Clintonista, too. Like Kos, yes, THAT Kos, saying that West Virginia coalminers deserve to lose their insurance and die early if that's a result of voting Trump.

Then, there's Kos alum Bmaz:
Not even worth responding to, though I've gotten part of a group fire on Twitter on this.

Hilariously, on Emptywheel, he tells people in this post its time to move beyond 2016. But, on Twitter, he still can't do that. THAT, in a nutshell, is Clintonistas' own Clinton Derangement Syndrome.

That said, I agree with "moving on." But, I don't practice unilateral disarmament, or singing Kumbaya.

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