Blogs Wars: Newpaper man accuses bloggers of McCarthyism
In an extraordinary attack, a leading international newspaper representative has accused bloggers of McCarthyism in a post to leading editors around the globe.
Authoring the attack was Bertrand Pecquerie, an expert in newspaper syndication and press networks, who is the Director of the World Editors Forum, the organisation for editors within the World Association of Newspapers (WAN).
WAN includes amongst its membership a large number of Associations worldwide, including the Newspaper Association of America, a non-profit organisation that represents about 90% of the daily circulation newspapers in the US, as well as a variety of non-daily papers.
In a post to the editorsweblog, Pecquerie attacks bloggers over the Eason Jordan affair and defends Jordan’s outrageous and unsubstantiated remarks that the US Army is targeting US Journalist’s in Iraq by defending the comments as legitimate questions about the Bush administration’s policies in Iraq.
He concludes that “Real promoters of citizen media [blogs] would have to take some distance with those who have fuelled and organised the Eason Jordan hatred. If not, the “new era of journalism” opened by the blogosphere will appear as the old clothes of American populism.”
By American populism, he eludes to his earlier statements tying bloggers to the 1950’s communist witch hunts of US Senator Joseph McCarthy.
We are probably not the first to say this, and won’t be the last, but in defending the comments of Eason Jordan, Pecquerie lowers himself to the same level. He fails to defend the allegations with evidence, and chooses simply to attack bloggers, who we would note were covering a legitimate story, as hate mongers worthy of derision. We can only hope that Pecquerie is the next to resign from his post.
If bloggers are “McCarthyites”, what does that make Eason Jordan?
I apologize for my previous remark, it was hasty and emotional. Of course it’s pointless to hurl insults.
But: Hurling insults at a large group of people who might buy newspapers and watch TV news is not a constructive path for journalism to take. Bloggers are not some “lunatic fringe” group.