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Another media slapdown by a blogger

Kudos to German media watch blog Davids Medienkritik for getting Stern magazine to change its text describing the Italian intelligence officer killed at a US military vehiclular checkpoint as having been ‘murdered’ by US soldiers.

The fact this powerful magazine reacted quickly to David’s sharply critical remarks shows that more and more of the mainstream media are now well aware of the blogosphere’s ability to shine an uncomfortable spotlight on such things.

Nice one, David!

12 comments to Another media slapdown by a blogger

  • mniobalf


    “slapdown” hardly fits a situation where there wasnt even an argument.
    Dont exaggerate victories.

  • I disagree. Getting a major publication with a history of anti-Americanism like Stern to retract something like that was a nice example of the ability of blogs to ‘fact check’ and then get results… and moreover an indication that MSM do not feel that they can just ignore it anymore. That is not a minor matter. And given how robust David’s open letter was, I think “slapdown” is quite a fair characterisation.

  • Michael Farris

    I’m sure that it makes a lot of difference to the deceased.

    And public gloating about “slapdown” is a very good way to make sure that bloggers are taken seriously in the future.

  • “And public gloating about “slapdown” is a very good way to make sure that bloggers are taken seriously in the future.”

    Right… and outright celebration of bad news from Iraq from many MSM sources, and ignoring seriously good news, is far more responsible.

    Besides, Perry isn’t gloating. Gloating is something you do when you take action and succeed. He is pointing out the success of another, which is another way of framing the hyperlink revolution of blogs. It isn’t just what he writes, but the ability to decide for yourself with a link to the source that makes the blogosphere not simply another medium for punditry. Maybe you think the situation doesn’t warrant a celebration. Instead of giving something more than a pithy reason, you could make a cogent argument why a correction isn’t something to be celebrated.

    I don’t mean to make this an ad homonym attack: I am sincerely interested in a coherent opposing view.

  • Albion

    I’m sure that it makes a lot of difference to the deceased.

    You mean it makes no difference if this person was murdered with malice of forethought or killed in a tragic accident (albeit one in which the victim’s negligence contributed)? Sorry but you do yourself no credit with a remark like that.

  • Gary Gunnels

    Of course these sort of reader induced retractions happened before blogging.

  • Aceface

    Yeah, sure they did, occasionally, but blogs (and Intenet generally) make it much harder for MSM to just gloss over things. The funny thing about this revolution is that most people cannot see it happening right in front of their eyes.

  • Peter William North

    This may work for print media. But the joint NPR/BBC news program “The World” still refers to “US Occupation Forces” in Iraq. No-one can “fact check” them as they do not publish transcripts nor make their broadcast available on-line – “pure” radio still seems immune to “fact checking”.

  • Tatyana

    Michael Farris (surprised to find you here): does it make a difference to the people perished on 9/11 if they’re called “dead by a plane accident” or “murdered by fanatics”?
    No, but it does, somewhat, for those who are alive.

    Words have meaning; who but you would know?

    Oh, and if not for bloggers’ relentless – and factual-slapdowns of MSM, they would never be taken seriously. Think Powerline and that “fake but accurate” pre-election story.

  • Michael Farris

    Tatyana, I’m like the Shadow, I show up where I’m least expected (or wanted, often enough).

    Of course naming matters, but if we’re going to do that all we can say is that “US soldiers killed him” (or that “US soldiers shot him to death” (undisputed by everyone involved*) and not ” killed at a US military vehiclular checkpoint” or “killed in a tragic accident”, both of which makes it sound like something he did.

    And I don’t think this case is that different than any other reader correction, and ‘slapdown’ is just plain silly. I enjoy blogs, but a lot of bloggers are awfully full of themselves.

    *For the record, I think it was an accident, the kind of thing that happens a lot when guns and nervous people are combined – and yes, they have good reason to be nervous.

  • Dan S

    “This may work for print media. But the joint NPR/BBC news program “The World” still refers to “US Occupation Forces” in Iraq. No-one can “fact check” them as they do not publish transcripts nor make their broadcast available on-line – “pure” radio still seems immune to “fact checking”.

    Posted by Peter William North at March 13, 2005 08:30 AM ”

    This is not entirely true as NPR (and probably BBC) make available audio recording of many(most?) of their programs. Aside from the obvious case of a blogger making his own transcript and linking the online audio, I can see the possibility of more actual clipping of the pertinent audio and placing that directly on the blog in the form of a link too.

    We already see regular use of TV transcripts, radio is less of an issue, not more.

  • Your site was mentioned in the New York City Post. Here’s my response:

    You betcha Michelle, i’m a “unrepentent,”dictator luvin'”,”tin-foil hat
    wearer”,”howling-at-the-moon-e­xtreme-edge-anti-war-protestor and yes, a



    Of course i’ll be sure to clog the streets, tie up police resources and
    leave behind a trail of anti-Bush propaganda litter when I march on

    And do you know why???

    Because unlike the so-called “democracy” you claim to have in Iraq –
    the kind you get when you terrorize the population, murder the women
    and children, and bomb to smithereens their cities –
    The last time I checked this nation was still a land where one could
    freely express oneself.
    Maybe you would like to see the type of “democracy” we have in Iraq
    where someone who opposes the war will be gunned down at the nearest
    check point……

    See you on the streets, comrade!

    Moonbats On Parade
    March 16,2005
    N.Y. Post
    By Michelle Malkin

    With freedom on the move across the Middle East and beyond, aggrieved
    anti-war protesters here in the United States have nothing better to do
    this weekend than what they have always done: stand in the way.

    The most unhinged of left-wing activists, from breast-exposing pacifists to the conspiracy-mongers of MoveOn.org, will descend on New York, Washington and other major media markets to “mark the two-year
    anniversary of the U.S. bombing and invasion of Iraq.” They will do so by clogging the streets, tying up police resources and leaving behind a trail of anti-Bush propaganda litter.

    Who says the Left doesn’t know how to create jobs?

    In New York, the “Troops Out Now Coalition” plans to march on Saturday from Harlem to Central Park to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s home to demonstrate against the “occupation.” Their solution for helping the
    Iraqi people and demonstrating American leadership: Cut and run. Now!
    You can guarantee there will not be a single sign of purple ink solidarity in sight, but the dictator-luvin’ ladies of Code Pink who prance around in pastel underwear will be out in full force.

    Along the way, the marchers will stop to harass workers at a local military recruiting station. Yes, these are the supposed peaceniks who derive pleasure from ripping yellow ribbon magnets off of minivans and
    throwing rocks through ROTC campus offices. These are the acolytes of Michael Moore, who compares Iraqi head-choppers to American Revolutionary war heroes.

    “Oppose the war, support the troops”? Bull.

    By lunchtime, the protest mob will convene at Central Park to take in stirring sermons from New York City councilman Charles (“You know, some days I get so frustrated I just want to go up to the closest white
    person and say, ‘You can’t understand this, it’s a black thing,’ and then slap him, just for my mental health.”) Barron; convicted terrorist conspirator Lynne Stewart; and Saddam Hussein sympathizer and pro bono legal counsel to thugs worldwide, Ramsey Clark.

    Organizers will also broadcast a taped message from convicted cop-killer and America-basher, Mumia Abu-Jamal. Death row diatribes are de rigueur.

    In New Paltz, N.Y., the weekend anti-war festivities will be capped by a speech from Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y. — the unhinged tin-foil hat wearer who continues to assert that White House adviser Karl Rove
    planted the bogus National Guard memos that Dan Rather wrapped himself in at CBS News.

    In San Diego and Fayetteville, N.C., Code Pink — co-founded by Medea Benjamin, a self-confessed fan of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez — will target military communities at Camp Pendleton and Fort Bragg. The
    Code Pink web site informs its minions that “Beyond Fort Bragg, North Carolina hosts four other of the nation’s largest military bases, making the state one of the friendliest to the military-industrial complex.”

    Code Pink is the same group that champions military deserters and traipsed around the Jordan-Iraq border last year condemning America, praying for the “people of Fallujah,” and doling out $600,000 in aid to what they called “the other side.”

    “Oppose the war, support the troops”? Bull.

    The Bush-bashers, as always, have impeccable timing. Nothing highlights the bankrupt obstructionism of the anti-war movement more than the inspiring photos of the renaissance of freedom taking place in Lebanon. Contrast the faces of hope and defiance against terrorism pictured at the massive rallies in Beirut’s Martyrs Square this week with the faces of Bush hatred and capitulation to terrorism that you’ll see this weekend. Any question about who’s winning?

    Seasoned observers who cover the War on Terror in the “blogosphere” (the increasingly influential world of Internet weblogs) have a useful term for the American Left’s protesters against progress: moonbats.
    Perry de Havilland of the blog Samizdat
    (samizdata.net) defined a moonbat as “someone on the extreme edge of whatever their -ism happens
    to be.”

    Surveying this bizarre array of grim-faced parade organizers on the extreme edge of anti-Americanism, it’s clear: The barking Left has been left behind. And it’s driving them batty.