September 22, 2004
The Hypocritical Critic, &c.
Sorry, Jack Shafer. Your column today in Slate, calling for an end to White House background briefings, is not allowed. You gave up your right to complain about anonymous sources on Monday, Sept. 20, 2004, when you included this sentence in your column:
Sources inside the [New York] Times tell me that the paper’s leadership worried that excavating and analyzing the WMD stories would damage the institution.
Harsh? Tough. No, after your months of railing against anonymous sources, you do not get the luxury of throwing a few willy-nilly into article that wasn’t even about the New York Times, or WMD, or anything close. Sure, I agree with your main point, but when you totally undermine it, you live with the consequences.
And while we’re bashing press critics, can Wired please start making Adam Penenberg be interesting? He’s always four beats too late when it comes to writing on any topic, then he rarely has anything insightful or original to add on the matter. (Today’s brilliant column? How bloggers took down Dan Rather. Um.)
Someone should be appointed the press critic critic. Because that would definitely interest more people than just me. Definitely.