April 07, 2006

Ellen Goodman Owes Us an Apology

Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman writes:

I AM SURE that Jill Carroll and her family are too busy inhaling the sweet spring air of freedom to spend time sniffing out the pollution in the blogosphere. Anyone who spent three months imagining the grimmest fate for this young journalist in the hands of terrorists can't get too upset when a little Internet posse goes after her scalp.

Nevertheless, this is not a good moment for the bustling, energetic Wild West of the new Internet media. Remember when a former CBS executive described bloggers as guys in pajamas writing in their living rooms? Well, it seems that many have only one exercise routine: jumping to conclusions.

It seems Goodman is breaking quite a sweat herself.

Goodman smears large swathes of the blogosphere based upon cherry-picked comments from just two specific bloggers out of more than 33.5 million (as tracked by Technorati), along with commentary from Debbie Schlussel, who while having a blog, also belongs to Goodman's print media as a "frequent New York Post and Jerusalem Post columnist" according to her bio.

Goodman misrepresents the blogosphere, as the vast majority of blogs on both the political left and right did not write about Jill Carroll to "go after her scalp" as Goodman contends. The overwhelimng majority on the left and right defended Carroll, myself included, many urging a wait-and-see approach, strongly suspecting her comments were made under duress. A relative handful did attack Carroll, but these bloggers were hardly representative of the greater whole.

Implying that the blogosphere in general want to attack Carroll is every bit as disingenuous on Goodman's part as is someone else saying that most Boston Globe columnists are dishonest because of the plagiarism of Mike Barnicle and Patricia Smith.

Then again, maybe misrepresenting the work of others is the exercise of choice among columnists at the Boston Globe.

A real neat thing about bloggers that Ellen Goodman should know about is that we are notoriously self-correcting when we're wrong.

Let's see if she can meet our standards.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at April 7, 2006 02:14 PM | TrackBack

As a supporter of the bloggers who "attacked" (i.e. raised serious questions regarding the journalism of) Jill Carroll, I'm glad to see your rebuttal of Goodman's shoddy thinking. The only place her essay would get an "A" is in journalism school. Any reasonable philosophy professor would rip her conclusion to shreds.

Posted by: gus3 at April 7, 2006 09:12 PM


The only place right-wing bloggers get any notice is in this silly little circle-jerk you fools seem to run. This level of self-congratulatory excess you shmoes keep up makes "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" look like an exemplar of understatement.

Yeah, philosophy departments are full of liberals. No A for you there either.

Posted by: phil at April 8, 2006 11:41 AM

Well, gee, Phil, you seem to have noticed us. Are you saying you're part of the circle-jerk? Oh, wait, that would mean Ellen Goodman is, too!

Check the facts on Jill Carroll's writing, then re-read the Goodman column. Carroll has garnered a lot of support from the terror supporters (check here), for her sympathetic portrayals of the freedom-haters in the Middle East. And she has not repudiated that support. No wonder the terror front groups made all kinds of noises about kidnapping the "wrong" target.

As for Ellen Goodman, the juxtaposition of her "feminist" dogma and her opposition to freedom in Iraq exposes her hypocrisy with little mental effort. (Is that asking too much of you?) Since she can't bash the President on facts, she can only bash him and his supporters with ad hominem attacks. Gotta keep up her liberal street cred somehow.

Posted by: gus3 at April 8, 2006 01:46 PM

She got that exercise/jumping to conclusions like, oddly enough, from Captain's Quarters, I think.

Posted by: Dan Collins at April 8, 2006 06:13 PM

Wrong, Dan. Not even close.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at April 8, 2006 09:52 PM