TO THE BLOGOSPHERE: WEINTRAUB MUZZLED
TO BEE REPORTERS: DON'T MESS WITH CRUZ
Marcano is the Sacramento Bee's "Ombudsman," one
of those puffed-up titles that newspapers use to designate
the guy allegedly in charge of the public's interest. I
don't normally read columns by "Ombudsmen," but
this morning's headline was too interesting: "Are
Bee's standards for web lower than for print?"
follows can only be described as part deception --Marcano
buries his news-- part triumph of political
and part incredible stupidity. Here's the key line:
blog now goes to the editorial page editor or his deputy
before it's posted on sacbee.com."
Weintraub is the paper's best political columnist and
he has become a national figure --a go-to resource
for the national and international
media covering the California recall.
blog (see below, just about every day for the
last month, for a citation to California
was a genuine innovation in journalism, a decision
to move one
paper into the new century by equipping its best
talent with a computer and a mission to report
in real-time, thus
moving an old-media dinosaur out of the swamp.
has consistently delivered scoop after scoop and most
of his postings have shaped the news
that followed. Only
Kaus has matched Weintraub for impact
on the race and only the Bee has a web-based
content on the web.
has written a lot of pointed commentary, much of it aimed
at Arnold. I
have disagreed with many of Weintraub's conclusions
about the race and especially
his criticisms of Arnold's campaign decisions,
but never doubted they were honestly arrived
at. I started putting
Weintraub on the radio a month ago, and now
seek him out daily for an update. We brawl over specifics,
but he is
on top of the race in its many dimensions.
Bee's powers have now decided to start
supervising Weintraub. Why? Because the Latino
about one of his entries.
It is a tough entry, one that blasts Cruz
Bustamante and the Caucus. Weintraub
is an opinion journalist, and in this particular
posting his opinions on Cruz and his
colleagues are not high. In fact, it
deserves that classic phrase of journalistic
the Caucus blasted back. Usually an editor
then stands up for the columnist and the
citing a long tradition of press vigilance
over entrenched political power and the
glory of the First Amendment.
this time. Keep
in mind that Bee big boss Rick Rodriguez is the only
Latino to head a major newspaper
in the U.S., and that the Latino Caucus
is a powerful force in the state. The Bee responded
to the criticism by putting its best writer under close
watch and by publishing
a clipping that can be sent over to the
members of the Latino Caucus. The Caucus
gets a scalp and the paper sacrifices its integrity. Along
the way a promising innovation in journalism gets trimmed.
because a lefty politician and his pals don't like
what a columnist wrote. What
was Al Franken saying about right-wing
And the gents at FAIR? Too
bad Weintraub didn't know it is only
safe to blast Republicans and their
supporters. If he'd played by the standing
of print journalism, he'd still have
the freedom to blog on and make news
with every entry.
will never see what gets left on the Bee floor,
but we know what got
minders. It is
a great bet that Weintraub won't
be slamming Bustamante and the Caucus
with the same fervor any time soon. Weintraub
will still write what he believes,
I am sure, but the editors know what
displeases Rodrigues. And surely
the message has gone out to the Bee's
reporters: Lay off Cruz.
the truth about the left at the
Sacramento Bee will get you
and muzzled by
triumph for journalism.
Weintraub Blogger Links
Potatoes 9/21/03 Free Weintraub!
Mickey Kaus 9/22/03
'Free Weintraub' update, updated
2003 Free Dan Weintraub, Muzzle Tony Marcano
An Open Letter to Tony Marcano
21, 2003 The Sacramento Bee has caved to special interests
L. Simon 09/21/2003: It was bound to happen...
Priorities & Frivolities 9/21/03
Priorities & Frivolities 9/22/03
Priorities & Frivolities 9/23/03
Undervaluing Blogs: A Revision of My Weintraub Argument
Monkeys 9/23/03 SacBee/Weintraub Nannygate
Hewitt - Weekly Standard 9/25/03 When Editors Attack
Sac Bee Ombudsman replies: Flogging
by blogging: Sorry, editing isn't censorship Tony