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NPR is teh suck

This morning on Weekend Edition, Daniel Schorr (sigh) framed the issue of the fired U.S. attorneys using the "Justice Department in disarray" trope. Unfortunately, the real issue, as Josh puts it, is that the administration has been using the criminal justice system to affect election outcomes. Schorr then characterized Monica Goodling taking the Fifth as "weird," which it is, but that was all he had to say. Can't somebody just say that the problem isn't how the firings got explained, it's that everybody at Justice is acting like they know that crimes have been committed? And that maybe our famously free and extremely well-paid press should be getting to the bottom of the story, instead of letting DFH bloggers like Josh Marshall (upon whom be peace) drive the story?

Then Daniel Zwerlding butchers the story of how McCain butchered his MySpace site.

Zwerdling said that designer Mike Davidson "hacked into McCain's site.

Not only would that be a crime, it's not what happened.

On his site, McCain used a very well known template that Mike designed, without attribution, as Mike asks. That's bad.

But when McCain included Mike's template on his site, he also included the graphics that came with Mike's template, and those graphics were still hosted on Mike's machine, where Mike had access to them. (Just like we put photos on Flickr, and then use IMG tags to display them here. And if we change the image at Flickr, it changes here.)

So, Mike changed the graphics that he was hosting. And McCain's site dutifully kept displaying them (and the changed views on hot lesbians that Mike added).

1. So, in no sense did Mike hack into McCain's site. The whole point of the story is that Mike didn't have to do that. Rather, Mike changed an image on his own site, that McCain was using.

2. McCain looks bad here because he was stealing Mike's bandwidth. Why should Mike be hosting images for the McCain campaign?

3. McCain looks worse because what he did, besides being unethical--stealing the template, stealing the bandwidth--he looks really, really, stupid.

NPR got the facts wrong, and because they got the facts wrong, they missed the implications.

But they all get to wear tuxedos and watch Karl Rove clown around at the White House Correspondents dinner! Sick....

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leah's picture
Submitted by leah on

They do read them and often on the air. Or write to their ombudsman - think you can do it online.

Swerdling is usually good. Daniel Schor maybe among the best of the beltway insiders, but he's still one of our bettors-not, and unsurprisingly gets almost everything wrong.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Speaking of NPR, what is Daniel Schorr's function actually? Although his title is "Senior News Analyst," his analysis consists of regurgitating headlines with faux gravitas.

I have noticed this for years, that he offers nothing new, insightful or profound by way of analysis that a 10 year old with sharp ears could not do.

Ruth's picture
Submitted by Ruth on

...NPR is making the point that it no longer adheres to the role it traditionally played. I equate it with Fox Serial Republican Sales Pitches.


julia's picture
Submitted by julia on

I agree about the coverage on NPR dumbing down astonishingly, but in this case Davidson did kind of contribute - the distinction between "hacking" and "hacking onto" is not one the smart money would have assumed most reporters would grasp, and the post on Newsvine was called Hacking John McCain.

Submitted by lambert on

And in fact I used the word "hacking" too.

But it's the job of extremely well-paid Washington insiders to get these details right in their coverage.

No authoritarians were tortured in the writing of this post.

Ice-9's picture
Submitted by Ice-9 on

...have you ever noticed that when they read critical mail, they don't do a straight job of it? There's an odd tone of voice that suggests what's being read is not to be taken seriously, and coupled with the whimsical background music the whole exercise gives the impression of a pat on the head to a handful of nitpicking but lovable cranks. It's too bad the spring pledge drive is over; we might all have called our respective stations on the same day and said "Not donating this year because this, this, this, and that are a complete load of crap."