NYT Columnist Rips “Fact-Free Bloggers”

February 3rd, 2006 10:47 AM

The wounding in Iraq of ABC anchorman Bob Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt spurred New York Times Metro columnist Clyde Haberman to talk Friday (TimesSelect required) about the 61 journalists killed in Iraq.

“On the list are only two American journalists: Michael Kelly, who wrote for The Atlantic Monthly and The Washington Post, and Steven Vincent, a freelancer from New York. Mr. Kelly was in a Humvee that turned over after coming under fire in the war's early days. Mr. Vincent was kidnapped last summer, probably by Islamic extremists, then beaten and shot, his body dumped in the street.”

Haberman uses the death toll to mock bloggers for not doing similar dangerous work:

“Journalists. There's a word that has been stretched almost beyond elasticity. It now extends to fact-free bloggers offering little more than attitude. In general, journalists rank far down the food chain when it comes to popularity. But the pain of Messrs. Woodruff and Vogt and the agony of Ms. Carroll remind us how indispensable old-fashioned, shoe-leather reporting is to a democracy.”

But Haberman’s knee-jerk anti-blogger snobbery neglects the fact that Vincent, a pro-war journalist, had a blog as well, which is still being maintained by his friends. (TimesWatch wrote about the murder of Steven Vincent last August.)

And there are indeed some bloggers who are doing the dirty work of reporting from Iraq.

For more examples of NYT bias, visit TimesWatch.