Print journalists criticizing bloggers is nothing new. So when Michael Skube, a journalism professor at Elon University, wrote an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times, in which he asserted that bloggers do no real reporting, it was difficult to suppress a yawn.
To bolster its argument — or to give it the appearance of specificity — Skube’s article mentioned four blogs by name. One of those was Talking Point Memo. TPM found that odd and sent Skube an e-mail, to which he responded
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 …
Gosh that’s generous! To that extent! The benefit of the doubt!
TPM followed up, pointing out that his article — which had appeared that very day — had in fact mentioned the site by name. And got another 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.
In short, the esteemed journalism professor, in an article criticizing online reporting, allowed an opinion to go to print under his byline about a subject he never researched and admits knowing nothing about.
There is just so much still to learn from print journalists.