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Friday, September 28, 2012

Carol Wainio rips Terence Corcoran and Margaret Wente a new one

John Stackhouse too, by implication.

And the best part is, she does it so politely and reasonably. No sneering, no condescension, no invective, none of the aggrieved privilege that marks so much of Wente's and Corky's oeuvre.

From her rebuttal to Corky, everyone's favourite crazy old uncle, in the Putz:
In the wake of the Margaret Wente affair, the National Post’s Terence Corcoran suggests that media ethics require no oversight at all. But in performing his analysis, could Mr. Corcoran not have provided us with something other than a variant on the “political-correctness-gone-amok” meme? It’s becoming a bit of a worn out catch-all, perhaps best retired or re-assigned.
There is such a thing as ethical correctness — more difficult and less cartoonish than political correctness — which we expect in banking, government and business. Does Mr. Corcoran recommend ethics be removed from all areas of public life, or just his own profession? And what good are ethics, without consequences in the breach?
You couldn't ask for a starker delineation between new media and old media. Never mind the arrogance of its initial response or Wente's I'm-the-victim non-apology or the Real Estate Deals From Leah McLaren And Her Mom section. To the extent that the Globe even acknowledges the existence of a "blogosphere," it's only to blow off the idea that bloggers have anything worthwhile to add or ought to be taken seriously. It still hasn't gotten the message, evidently, because it seems to think that if it just circles the wagons and ignores the buzz on social media, this will all go away.

All of which makes the contrast with Carol Wainio and her firm and principled arguments that much more biting.

Better wake up, old-media types. Prof. Wainio is teaching a course in Credibility 101, and you ain't got much left.

Related posts:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Sixth Estate » Canada’s Print Media: Democracy Couldn’t Ask for Finer Keystone Kops

The Sixth Estate » Canada’s Print Media: Democracy Couldn’t Ask for Finer Keystone Kops:

This country has real issues to worry about. In the last year alone, we have been presented with documented evidence of large-scale electoral fraud, our environmental protection and climate change regimes have been ripped to shreds, and the federal government has laid aside the Canada Health Act and thus ended, at least in principle, universal healthcare. More evidence continues to emerge that it plotted a systematic course of deception with regard to the cost of a multi-billion dollar military procurement project. And our media is so breathtakingly incompetent that they can’t even agree on whether someone in their ranks was copying and pasting without attribution and, if so, whether it was very wrong of them to do so.

'via Blog this'

Related posts:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

From John Miller's blog: Wentegate and the Globe

Blog: Wentegate:

"So what should happen now?

The Globe and Mail has itself a big, big problem. The Wente Affair makes the newspaper -- and the rest of mainstream journalism -- seem hopelessly out of touch with the internet-savvy hordes who seem to enjoy circling around the decaying corpse of authority these days.


When Stead was appointed to the job last January, editor-in-chief John Stackhouse said: "The Globe and Mail is among the most respected names in Canadian media, because we've always been held to the highest standards. Credibility is our currency and we want to protect its value."

That currency has taken a fast plunge. One reader addresses it in a comment attached to Stead's column: "As questionable as I find Wente's lapses of journalistic integrity, the greater blame falls to The Globe for being so irresponsible as to give her this space and lending her an air of credibility by virtue of their (former) reputation. I stopped subscribing to the Globe years ago when it became apparent they were abdicating their responsibility to the public as a source of responsible journalism. This gutless editorial downplaying and excusing Wente's abuses has made me lose any remaining respect I had...No accountability = No subscription."

'via Blog this'

Pop quiz: When confronted with something like this, do you:

a. recognize that you're in deep doo-doo, reflect on how you got there, and take tangible steps to fix the problems that made it happen

b. circle the wagons, stick your fingers in your ears, and go "la la la la la?"

See also:

The Globe’s (and wider media’s) response to this is telling and a serious wake-up call
Margaret Wente Plagiarism Allegations: Globe Responds To Criticism (TWITTER)
Did anybody see where Margaret Wente?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Margaret Wente Plagiarism Allegations: Globe Responds To Criticism (TWITTER)

Margaret Wente Plagiarism Allegations: Globe Responds To Criticism (TWITTER):

'via Blog this'

Whoever did the twitter slideshow is an evil genius. When you're done guffawing, go read Jymn.

Is it just me, or does the Globe totally suck at damage control?

Did anybody see where Margaret Wente?

Yeah, well.

Not like any of this is new or anything, but for some reason it's suddenly getting traction. An overview:
First, some serious acknowledgement to the heroic Media Culpa, who is, evidently single-handedly, doing more quality control for Canadian journalism than the entire corporate media sector combined. No point in going through it all again. Read Media Culpa (and keep your Gravol within reach).

What to do about Wente? In a way, she does the same thing as Blatchford: create controversy, be contrarian, pose as the great crusading sacred-cow-attacker with the courage to say what everyone else is thinking, masquerade as the purveyor of "common sense," take a perverse pride in being "politically incorrect," and so on. There are a lot of people on that gig, of course, but Wente's been riding it so successfully for so long that she must be up to her ass in frequent-flyer miles.

But where Blatchford was all about visceral gut reaction and stoking the lynch mob, Wente's shtick is more insidious — and, just maybe, more fundamental to the Globe and its mission. She is the stinking, unrepentant, unreflective id of the smug entitled boomer demographic — people whose biggest complaint, apparently, is that they can't fit enough cases of wine into the SUV for the cottage. And uppity waiters, baristas and service staff, and why the hell are my taxes so high when these overprivileged brats don't want to learn marketable skills because they're being indoctrinated by entitled leftist tenured academics?

You know them. The generation who had it all their own way, and are insisting on keeping it that way. The ones who ran up such a giant fucking tab economically, environmentally and socially that the planet just won't be able to carry the interest, and can't be bothered to give a shit because they'll be gone when the bill arrives, and shut up and quit your whining, you pampered kids don't know how good you have it compared to what we went through …

Self-awareness and critical thought aren't part of the equation for the Wentes of the world and their milieu. They've never had to practice it  themselves. They don't want their privilege or worldview challenged, and they especially don't want the kids for whom they're leaving such a giant mess  questioning any of the assumptions underlying the generational and social structures sustaining that privilege. (Which is part of why you see such condescending contempt for the Occupy movement, but that's another essay.)

As for the alleged instances of plagiarism / manufactured quotes / fabricated sources / sloppy or non-existent attribution, well, no point in going through that when MC's done such a comprehensive job listing and documenting it. Why does the Globe allow it? God knows. Maybe they've made a strategic decision that that suppurating pile of aging biomass is their core demographic, and Wente, predictable and lazy as she may be, is their entree to that market. It's not about informing them, it's about reinforcing their prejudices and ensuring that their eyeballs can be reliably delivered, en masse, to advertisers.

I could be wrong, of course. But it's worth asking ourselves whether this is what we have in mind when we talk about "journalism."

See also:

Saskboy and Jymn rub The Globe's nose in #RoboCon | #cdnpoli
Media culpa catches Wente being sloppy again | #journalism
How The Globe channels the 1 per cent | #Occupy #classwarfare
The Sun's effect on our national conversation is obvious, but what about the Globe?
Media culpa: George Monbiot’s unedited letter to the Globe and Mail