Journalistic Standards Plunging, Say Anonymous Name-Calling Friends

Salon‘s Glenn Greenwald has an illuminating post (6/27/10) that argues that the Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg, with his “self-praising, desperately insecure need to tout his own wisdom, knowledge and expertise, while demeaning those who are not admitted to his Special Club…is a perfectly illustrative face of the American establishment media.” Responding to Goldberg’s assertion (Atlantic, 6/25/10) that the resignation of Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel after making anti-conservative comments in what he thought was a private forum reflected “a lack of adult supervision, and…the proper amount of toilet-training,” Greenwald wrote:

In his first post arguing that Weigel’s hiring evinced the Post‘s journalistic decline, Goldberg relied upon “one of [his] friends at the Post,” to whom he granted anonymity to trash Weigel as an “idiot” and someone who has “destroyed” the paper’s reputation. Just think about that: In the very same post whe  re Goldberg pretentiously grieved for the collapse of journalistic standards, his “source” was a cowardly “friend” of his at the Post who was granted anonymity solely to spit out catty, petulant name-calling. Is that supposed to be journalism: granting anonymity to your friends to puke up conclusory condemnations of other reporters? That’s like lamenting the decline of American journalism while quoting the answers provided by one’s Ouija board.

Greenwald has a lot more to say about Goldberg as an exemplar of what’s wrong with corporate journalism.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.