Tuesday, April 06, 2004


Andrew Sullivan is a clown. Glenn Reynolds is an even bigger clown. Recent postings by Tweedledum and Tweedledee show why.

Yesterday, Reynolds put up a posting linking to a claim on the Healing Iraq blog that "a coup d'etat is taking place in Iraq at the moment."

Sullivan saw it and got very excited, calling the report "a really big deal."

But Reynolds was confused about the "scoop." "I'm not seeing anything about this elsewhere yet" he whined.

There was a good reason why. The report was incorrect and premature...a fact later admitted by Healing Iraq blogger Zeyad, who updated to say that "everything is back under control."

Zeyad's lack of clarity in a confused and dangerous situation is perhaps forgivable. What's less forgivable, however, is for two supposedly "A-list" bloggers to jump on an unconfirmed report from a single source and present it as "news."

What's particularly ironic is that the blog entry was picked up by two people who were utterly scathing of the BBC over the Andrew Gilligan affair. Notice any similarities gentlemen?

Many people see blogs as the future of news -- ordinary people on the ground recording events as they happen and replacing all those overpaid "professional" journalists. It's an interesting and important debate -- but in this brave new media world a little old fashioned Big Media editorial judgment and fact-checking never goes amiss.



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