Per The NYTimes, a “loose network of conservative operatives allied with the White House” has “compiled dossiers of potentially embarrassing social media posts and other public statements” made by reporters at major media outlets. (Looking at you, CNN!)
In other words, Prznint Stupid’s flying monkeys have set up an opposition research operation, you know, to threaten journalists that they think are mean to The Chosen One.
Here’s the shocking evil plan: Vulgarmort’s orcs will publish damaging information about the journalists, including Tweets from years ago, presented out of context.
“Oh, no,” you say, “Now they are politicizing our sacred free press?”
Respectable media outlets are outraged that right wingers are searching their social media for trolling material. You’ll be shocked to learn that the Villagers themselves are aghast. It’s not cricket to do this, they say. Peggy Noonan reaches for the Bacardi and a handy pineapple to steady her shattered nerves.
I’m old enough to remember when this was called “media criticism.” Media criticism is where CNN’s Brian Stelter makes serious coin, where Dylan Byers’ reputation (such as it is) was formed. Media Criticism is where snarky little blogs find sumpin’ to write about in the slow month of August. But I digress.
Teevee Shows like Stelter’s Reliable Sources play by their own Queensbury rules, admonish their fellow journos, and then beneficently forgive themselves. They pat themselves on the head and proclaim to the world how objective they are for holding themselves accountable to their own chosen ambassadors. Media Criticism by Stelter et al is an exercise in public relations meant to prop-up the ridiculous notion that the media tells us objective truth. Just look the Access Journalists like Upchuck Todd or Maggie Haberman; they sell out the truth every doggam day, usually through the very obvious Sin of Omission.
Lookit, Twitter is a public platform, your tweets are public record, and frankly Twitter makes everyone look bad, small, petty. It is a firehose of merde (as the French don’t say, but probably should). All social media is a firehose, it’s not just Twitter. Journalists are people too, they make mistakes, they say stupid things.
So as the Very Serious Villagers recoil in mortal horror, we note that it would be very hard to claim that what you said in public forums cannot be used in this manner.
Journalist, heal thyself.