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January 05, 2006



Heh. I hope you sent this to Patterico.


Stalemate? Not even close friend. Patterico has blasted the brain-dead Times all over the Internet, and I love it! The Scheers and the Stalino-Fascists like him at the Chicago Tribune should take note -- we patriots will not stand by passively!!!

Harry Arthur

Have followed Pat Frey's comments on the LAT very closely for several months. Hiltzik's childish tantrum could not be farther from the truth in almost every respect. It's almost as if Hiltzik is attempting to parody himself. His argument certainly does little other than to confirm the veracity of Patterico's observations, assertions and analysis.

Read Bernard Goldberg's excellent book on the subjet: Bias A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News for a very fair and well reasoned analysis that squares with Patterico's on many levels.

As Goldberg suggests, and which most of the MSM true believers fail to understand, it is not that there is some vast left wing conspiracy going on - it's all about world view. These folks all go to the same left-leaning journalism schools where they worship at the alter of Watergate, Woodward and Bernstein, and the Viet Nam "experience". It's a matter of their world view informing their interpretation of events that causes the biases to find their way into their "reporting". And the really interesting thing is not only do they not realize this, they deny it fervently.

That there is a left-leaning bias in the MSM in general, and the LAT in particular, is really without serious question at this point.


not only do they not realize this, they deny it fervently.

It often takes a paradigm shift in worldview to become aware of your own (which would now be previous) bias.

The shift may of course result in substituting a new bias for an old one, but since self-awareness has been achieved through the paradigm shift, you can freely admit and deal with it.

Seven Machos

I am currently subletting an apartment from a fairly bigshot reporter at a major newspaper. There is no question that this person has a left-liberal worldview. A close relative of mine married into a large newspaper fortune. All of the people I have met from that fortune have a strongly left-liberal worldview.

At least 70 percent of the regular columnists for the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times have an unabashed left-liberal worldview. These newspapers regular publish unsigned editorials espousing a left-liberal worldview. Who would argue that TIME and Newsweek espouse a generally left-liberal worldview? Who would argue that CNN, MSNBC, and the news anchors at CBS, ABC, and NBC are mildly to absurdly left-liberal in their worldviews?

And yet the left continues to trot out this lame argument that the press is...right-leaning. It's silly.

Gabriel Sutherland

Seven Machos: Capitalism is a right wing economic system these days. That's how Eric Alterman gets away with his argument that the media is right wing.

Comrade Patterico

My favorite part was being compared to a Stalinist apparatchik.


Doesn't the press say Bush won't listen to his critics, is slash-and-burn, won't apologize or explain himself, and is too secretive?

How does that not apply to the press itself?

Eh? Who knows. I suspect most of the press skims Daily Kos every day, and by comparison this Hiltzek guy probably thought he was being very centrist, calm, and well-reasoned in his blogging style.

Seven Machos

Our Mr. Rider was a perfect example of this kind of thing, MayBee. "I am being rational. I haven't called anyone names or set up any strawmen. I don't know why you Nazi scum are upset with me. Clearly, you are fascists with a program to take away the Bill of Rights."

I quote from memory.

r flanagan

Yeah , since I agree with most of Rider's
arguments I'm discouraged when he does that.Not that he's alone. . When your side
does it , I'm partly glad to see you undercutting your own arguments, but mostly just bored. Like coming upon a street fight
and looking away.

As to the LA Times I actually have some
personal knowledge but I'll spare you.


Wait'll Mickey hears he is one of the 'ignorant partisan trope' troop. Ed, sell the LATimes.


Workers of the world unite, we have nothing to lose but our 'tropes'.


My favorite part was being compared to a Stalinist apparatchik

I was engaged in Extreme Lead-Burying when I left that out.

Keep pummeling him, Comrade - you've got him on the tropes.


Hiltzik sounds like a pig squealing being stuck. We're not talking little squeaks of delight, we're hearing shrieks of horror.


Someone should point out to Hiltzik that Patterico IS the sporting news in the LA basin. Now Play Ball, and let the best man win.


Reporters in the MSM are just unable to deal with bloggers, I think for a number of reasons.

Mostly, I think, its because bloggers have their feet held to the fire all the time by their readers, and reporters are almost completely insulated from reader criticism - at least in any substantive way.

If TM (or Patterico, another of my favorite bloggers) makes an error of even the most trivial kind it will last about 10 minutes before someone posts calling him on it (and likely calling him a dumbass). The result is that reputable bloggers like TM, or Frey, try very hard to make sure they've got it right before they post anything - in fact sometimes reading the posts I detect an almost desperate exactitude.

Reporters simply do not have that sort of accountability. Nobody can post a correction to a reporter's article directly next to it or below it in real time on a half million newspapers.

My sense is though that they better get used to it, because everywhere I go I see newspapers chugging along creating blogs and trying their best to catch up with the new media.

Which, come to think of it, is probably why Mr. Hiltzik is so pissed-off.



You got that right. When they do make a correction it is usually buried on page X82 in small font. Nobody gets that far, nor can they refer back to the original to see what was incorrect and how it might change the original story.


Like coming upon a street fight
and looking away.

But when CNN comes upong a street fight or a "demonstration" they photograph it. Ohhh...wait...they got tipped by the "freedom fighters" to be there and see what happens.



Reporters in the MSM are just unable to deal with bloggers, I think for a number of reasons.
It's funny - I don't think it's out of the capability of the MSM reporters like Hiltzik to substantively rebut what is written in many blogs. What sticks out to me is the incredible hubris and smug self-satisfaction which oozes out of every word written by Hiltzik, as though Patterico were a young child who had attacked him personally armed with nothing more than a bad attitude.

Instead of responding to criticism with the careful examination and dispassionate reasoning with which MSM reporters supposedly (according to them, at least) approach the news, Hiltzik seems to prefer venomous ad hominem and the dashing asunder of strawmen. Very curious.

At the risk of having my insectoid carcass crushed under an onslaught of invective and mendacious trope (new word to me - gotta get it in somehow) like Patterico, I'm going to suggest that Hiltzik's two posts, in total weighing in at an impressive 5,000+ words (not counting his comments), does as much to damn the LA Times as Patterico's 11,000+ word review of an entire year of errors.

As much damage in half the bandwidth. No wonder this guy works for a newspaper - though if I were the LA Times, I might ask Hiltzik who's side he's on.


What is even funnier is the comments section to Hiltzig's post. About 90% negative to his view. Gotta laugh. How old is the guy? Does he understand the blogopedia world?



New word for me too. Had to look it up.

Main Entry: trope
Pronunciation: 'trOp
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin tropus, from Greek tropos turn, way, manner, style, trope, from trepein to turn
1 : a word or expression used in a figurative sense : FIGURE OF SPEECH
2 : a phrase or verse added as an embellishment or interpolation to the sung parts of the Mass in the Middle Ages

Just out of curiosity, I substituted the meaning with the actual quote...ignorant partisan figure of speech or ignorant partisan phrase or verse added as an embellishment or interpolation to the sung parts of the Mass in the Middle Ages.

Weird word to have used...



Maybe he didn't have a dictionary?




I assumed it was a typo...instead of trope he meant tripe...

Gary Maxwell

But does he really cash a paycheck for this? Whoa.

I am wiping the tears out of my eyes and letting my ribcage settle down after the explosion of laughter coursed thru my being.

Tom you have outdone yourself with this one. But fish in the barrel really isn't that big a challlenge now is it?


D, another way to put it is that 'Old School' MSM is speaking to a passive audience, bloggers to an active one. That'll be the way it goes. Old School print and other media journalism, and then there will be blogs and webcasts. Old School journalism will survive as vanity press.

The die is cast. Hiltzig and Patterico are just jointly heaving it into the oven for firing.


The Tropic of Cancer, a steamy new novel uncovering the blind troping and malignant acting out under all four layers at the LA Times.

richard mcenroe

If I makes Hiltzik feel any better, I cracked a molar when I read sports writer T.J. Simers's comment that "to my knowledge, this would be the first time the Times editorial board ever printed anything untrue" after the Rose Bowl game...


"But does he really cash a paycheck for this? Whoa."

Well, that's the problem.

It's the same one the Reformation ran up against in trying to reform the medieval Catholic Church (before throwing up their hands and starting their own church, with bloody consequences), there were too many mediocre functionaries who depended on the institutionalized abuses to feed their families.

The MSM is our corrupt Catholic church (and the universities the monasteries).


I found it fascinating that Mr. H accuses Patterico of not trying to correct errors or some such drivel--Isnt the role of the reporter, the fact checker and the editors--those "fabled layers of checks and balances" to do precisely that? Mr. H will soon follow the egregious Robert Scheer into obscurity. Talk about NOT GETTING IT

Billy Beck

My favorite part was when he referred to Stalin's "Doctors' Plot" as "the single most famous show trial of all". Of course, I'm a kook about this stuff -- I only keep about nine linear feet of Sovietology on my bookshelves -- so it could just be me. But that was bloody hilarious.


Yes, BB, I especially liked Kogan's "What is 'Joint'?" And I notice an ENT named Feldman among the plotters.

Bill in AZ

I used to waste time arguing with an extreme lib on the bias of MSM... until I pointed out the simple observation that since most of the MSM was to the right of her, that said more about her bias than it did about the MSM bias.
It's a matter of perspective when libs state there is no bias, or even a right wing bias to MSM.


It's not particularly unusual or difficult for LA Times opinionairres to contradict themselves over the course of a month or so, or to reverse a position or alleged principle based solely on what parties are involved and whether they may advance a pet politcal argument thereby.

But to be internally inconsistent, that is, to contradict oneself within two paragraphs of a single article, well that takes true political slavishness to new heights. What a feat: instant irony from LAT!

A Senior Administration Official

Hiltzik has been a nemesis of ours ... so much so that we have a category just for him. This is not the first time he's used abrasive, arrogant language to describe anyone who disagrees with him. A few weeks ago, prior to a Hiltzik appearance on Hugh Hewitt's show, we summarized some of his most egregious "I'm right, you're stupid" statements in The Los Angeles Times’ Michael Hiltzik Favors Civil Discourse … Just Not From Himself. His attack on right-side bloggers as a group is just par for the course. Glad to see him hoisted by his own petard!


TM, Outstanding use of the 'trope-a dope' technique. As his sophmoric screed thuds ignominiously upon the canvas, victim of your lightning jabs and comic reflexes, I can't help but see the beads of sweat still flying off his pummeled vanity, all to the echo of Howard Cosell famously shrieking in the background, "Down goes Hiltzik! Down goes Hiltzik!" Phew, give the poor boy some smelling salts.


Did anyone here actually read the point by point rebuttal to Paterrico? Hiltzik lays out exactly what Paterrico accuses him of and, using links and page views as evidence, refutes some of what he is being accused of. As I don't normally read the LA Times or Paterrico and I don't buy the whole conservative/liberal label as a justification to dismiss what reporters or bloggers have to say, shouldn't evidence be used to decide who is right.


vttex- The issue isn't really who is right or the point by point rebuttal. That, by itself, would have been good. It's the ad hominem on Patterico and his readers that made it ridiculous.

Here is Jay Rosen in the WashingtonPost chat on Friday:
How can you be a White House reporter today and not recognize that discrediting you is part of the way the Bush coalition does business in the political theatre of our time?

I wonder if there has ever been a President that has been happy with the press, or has not tried to discredit his detractors? I'm guessing not.

Even so, I think the writers in the press have a bias, but more a bias toward themselves than to any particular ideology.
They are smart people, and they hold well thought-out personal beliefs. When they come to a conclusion about something, it is very hard to imagine someone that disagrees with them has come to their conclusion honestly or intelligently.

As Jay alludes to, I think much of the press considers itself under seige by an administration they don't agree with. They can take criticism from a source they otherwise agree with, because they assume that person is a thinker.

Do you think Jay Rosen includes Dan Rather or Eason Jordan in his mental list of people "the Bush coalition" tried to discredit? How many press people feel that was part of Bush's slash-and-burn? And how does that affect them when their own work is questioned, by bloggers and/or conservatives especially?

They are very defensive, the collective press. But they want not to be seen that way.



italics should have ended at the end of jay rosen's quote "Theatre of our time?"


For superb fin de siecle feeling, go check out his blog, PressThink, the Ghost Dancer in the Democracy Machine.


This statement of yours says it all:
" it is very hard for them to imagine someone who disagrees with them has come to their conclusion honestly and intelligently"
They are convinced regular people and bloggers are neither intelligent or honest unless they agree with them. Hence their arrogance and dismissiveness.

Comrade Patterico

I hope anyone who read Hiltzik's point-by-point rebuttal reads my response:



Well, vttex, have you?


The number of comments this and surely other MSM types generate in their blogs is telling. They are chosen by news organizations while bloggers like yourself are chosen by readers in what Rush calls "the marketplace of ideas". It makes one wonder, what future will these columnists have, even in the near future? As circulations and available money for salary decline in the MSM establishment, I believe they will turn to proven bloggers to replace their tenured columninsts to generate greater readership at a lower cost. I also believe these tenured columnists see this as well, and are very very scared.


I learn more from bloggers every day than I did as a regular newspaper reader. As for the editorial writers and columnists in the WaPo and NYT I never read them with the exception of Krauthammer. You can put a year's worth of NYT editorials in a stack and they do not compare to one single column by Mark Steyn or Chris Hitchins.Perhaps they ought to consider term limits for themselves and their columnists.


The dead tree boomeranged from Vermont to Texas, passing through a skull without hitting a thing.

Andy Freeman

> None of these critics appears to be genuinely interested in ... improving this newspaper’s, or any newspaper’s, performance as a journalistic institution—which are certainly legitimate goals.

Improving newspapers may be a legitimate goal, but since when it anyone else's obligation?


Andy,Let's play 20 (minus 19 questions): What is an editor?


If Jane H is Queen of the Blog World, I'll quit reading all blogs!

Just finished reading some of her comments on Alito.

What a mess!

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