Big Journalism, Round 2

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 18 2011 9:59 AM

Big Journalism, Round 2

Dana Loesch corrects one of my spelling errors and argues that I went too easy on the liberal media figures whose e-mails appeared on the September17 listserv for Occupy Everywhere organizers.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

The media did not “aid” the tea party; the tea party grew in spite of it.

This statement is accurate if you leave Fox News out of a definition of "the media." Why would you, though? Fox News's roster in 2009 included a host, Glenn Beck, who started a movement that grew parallel to the Tea Party (the 9-12 movement), and who told viewers to join rallies. Not all reporters or pundits or anchors claim to be objective, with views from nowhere, which was my point.

I am not an “unbiased” NBC anchor who reports on the tea party while hiding the fact that I help write messaging for it. Ratigan and [Matt] Taibbi, especially the former, report on the Occupy movement and expect to be taken objectively, Ratigan more so.

Right, Loesch is clearly identified as a conservative pundit when she appears on CNN. But the "'unbiased' NBC anchor" she refers to here is Dylan Ratigan, who doesn't say he's unbiased. Like I wrote, he proudly leads a new cause called GetMoneyOut, the goal of which is to limit corporate speech and influence in elections. Here's how his website describes his take on news.

Ratigan left as host of CNBC’s Fast Money in 2009, provoked by outrage over the governments handling of the 2008 financial crisis. Since then, he has dedicated his work to launching media properties that will engage and debate the U.S. government on policy, while opening the door for millions to learn more about money’s often poisonous role in our democracy.

The author of Greedy Bastards, who says his goal is "for millions to learn more about money’s often poisonous role in our democracy," comes at the Occupy Wall Street story with a clear POV, which he tells viewers about. Loesch is assigning him a role that he doesn't pretend to play. Same goes for Taibbi. Should they disclose that they've e-mailed a listserv of activists that they disagree with, and shared advice with them? That's what they've been doing in public already!

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 


Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Do the Celebrities Whose Nude Photos Were Stolen Have a Case Against Apple?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company


How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

Scotland Is Inspiring Secessionists Across America

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Sept. 18 2014 3:19 PM In Defense of Congress Leaving Town Without a New War Vote
Sept. 18 2014 5:09 PM Three CEOs Step Down in 30 Minutes
Sept. 18 2014 4:15 PM Reactions to a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Reveal Transmisogyny
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 3:30 PM How Crisis Pregnancy Centers Trick Women
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 5:03 PM Bono, Apple Creating "Irresistible" Music Format. Prepare to Buy the White Album Again.
  Health & Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.