Today's Times Opinion section runs another piece proclaiming the blogosphere lacking — this time in factual political reporting. It read to me as if journalism professor Michael Skube wasn't familiar with the trend toward blogs by political journalists, and toward more good journalistic blogs by non-pros. Well, it turns out Skube hadn't even read at least one of the websites he mentions — Talking Points Memo is specifically known for its original reporting efforts — and the professor says Times editors inserted it in his piece. Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo has posted on an email exchange with Skube:
Now, whether we do any quality reporting at TPM is a matter of opinion. And everyone is entitled to theirs. So against my better judgment, I sent Skube an email telling him that I found it hard to believe he was very familiar with TPM if he was including us as examples in a column about the dearth of original reporting in the blogosphere....
Not long after I wrote I got a reply: "I didn't put your name into the piece and haven't spent any time on your site. So to that extent I'm happy to give you benefit of the doubt ..."
This seemed more than a little odd since, as I said, he certainly does use me as an example -- along with Sullivan, Matt Yglesias and Kos. So I followed up noting my surprise that he didn't seem to remember what he'd written in his own opinion column on the very day it appeared and that in any case it cut against his credibility somewhat that he wrote about sites he admits he'd never read.
To which I got this response: "I said I did not refer to you in the original. Your name was inserted late by an editor who perhaps thought I needed to cite more examples ... "
And this is from someone who teaches journalism?
Perhaps I'm naive. But it surprises me a great deal that a professor of journalism freely admits that he allows to appear under his own name claims about a publication he concedes he's never read.
Also in Opinion: D.J. Waldie calls the Sunland-Tujunga neighborhood council a player for stopping Home Depot's political end run around planning rules, and Jim Newton interviews longtime South Los Angeles force Larry Aubry.