Tuesday, September 21, 2004

"Blogging" Author's biased blog...

Ms O'Brien has a blog. Remember her from my post about the MSNBC show last night? Well, I didn't know anything about her site, but Rathergate was onto, and called Keith Olbermann on his lack of transparency for not revealing this woman's bias.

How do I know about her bias? Well, the subtitle of her blog is "Chronicle of Our Nation's Crisis (the Bush Administration)" so we know where she stands.

She posted that I was angry with her (though she used more colorful language, both in the post and in her comments), which I was not. In fact, I felt bad for her because I saw the situation as one where Olbermann steered the conversation in a direction which forced her to cast doubt on the validity of the bloggers who broke the story. But that is not the case.
See, I had been wondering why she didn't mention said bloggers, why she didn't mention Powerline et. al. and instead mentioned Drudge. Well, Powerline is a conservative website, and i don't think she wanted to give any credit or free advertising as it were to conservative bloggers who are vetted and reputable and who were able to move beyond vague and bias statements by posting readers legitimate concerns about the documents. She believes bloggers are influential, just not the conservative bloggers apparently.

Moreover, as Powerline has said again and again, they didn't have to do a lot of research for this story, they merely posted the information that readers were sending them, corroborating it when necessary. And if operatives really have been "feeding junk" to Drudge as Ms. O'Brien thinks, this certainly wasn't part of it. Drudge saw Powerline and linked to it and that was it.

I had also been wondering why she didn't give herself any free advertising, why she didn't mention her blog. Every other blogger I've seen on TV since this happened has had their blog mentioned in one way or another. But since her blog is so obviously slanted, either she or MSNBC must have felt it would be too much to show her blog address. You see, they had to be careful because she was on there alone, she wasn't paired with another blogger or pundit (the way Powerline blogger Scott Johnson went up against the more Liberal Juan Williams earlier today on FoxNews), she was by herself. Appearing alone gives the impressing of being impartial, a commenter there to comment because of her expertise. It's true that there was no "overt" mention of her bias, but a careful viewer could see it.

She mentioned Drudge with the idea to discredit the story, as Jeremy said yesterday. She didn't seem at all offended by the mention of the blogger-right-wing conspiracy theory which I think would annoy any blogger associated with the breaking of this story.

Ms. O'Brien's post includes a transcript of the interview, in case you missed it.

In the end Perhaps Keith Olbermann wasn't so clueless afterall. He knew she had a blog and he refused to mention it. He refused to site her bias, which if he even looked at the top of her website would have been obvious.

That is MSNBC. It's not transparent, and neither is Ms. O'Brien. And she is certainly not "fair and balanced".

But I was not angry with her over her appearance. I was merely confused and curious as to why the interview went the way it did. Now it's all a lot more clear to me.