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My Right Hand


In her first post this morning, Christy mentioned today's New York Times article by Scott Shane.  Since I was interviewed by Shane last week (although, sadly, not quoted or mentioned by name in the article — thus denying my dream of seeing the word "Swopa" printed in the nation's paper of record), I thought I might be able to shed some light into the sausage-making process by which news stories are constructed.

For example, I wonder if Marcy or Jane confirmed this, or if I was the only source for this paragraph:

In the courthouse, the old- and new-media groups have mixed warily at times. Mainstream reporters have shushed the bloggers when their sarcastic comments on the testimony drowned out the audio feed. But traditional reporters have also called on the bloggers on occasion to check a quote or an obscure detail from the investigation.

I gave Shane one example each regarding the latter two sentences, and it's easy for me to imagine him stretching that a little to paint a verbal picture of the media room.  Truth be told, though, one particular "mainstream reporter" I won't name was shushed on several occasions during the week I was there, far more than any of us disreputable bloggers.

And I'm curious how Shane's article made the mistake of saying Robert Cox of Media Bloggers Association had "negotiated access" for all of the bloggers at the trial.  I made very clear in my interview that there were two distrinct groups of bloggers, and I'm certain Jane and Marcy were explicit on that point as well.  Did Cox make some sort of sweeping (and misleading) claim of credit late in the process that Shane neglected to double-check with Team FDL?  Did a confused copyeditor try to "clarify" a poorly worded sentence?  Hopefully, Siun or Jane or someone is hounding Shane for an explanation.

In the meantime, though, I've got my own problems.  Like my right hand, which is shown in the picture above.  That picture appeared on the front page of the Times this morning. (Here's the PDF for my immediate family anyone who cares to view or save it.) 

And even though it wasn't even credited, my hand has become insufferable as a result.  You know the saying, "Talk to the hand"?  I can't; it wants me to leave a message with its assistant instead.  It's wearing sunglasses and one of those ostentatious silver headsets.  It claims to be sorting through "other media offers," though it can't decide whether to go for a project with potential mass appeal or something more serious.

I know what the Bible says I should do ("If thy right hand offends thee…"), but I just can't go there.  Besides,  what would I do when my left hand finds out that it has a close-up in the jump on page A21?

This situation is getting out of… well, you know what I mean. 

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Swopa has been sharing prescient, if somewhat anal-retentive, analysis and garden-variety mockery with Internet readers since 1995 or so, when he began debunking the fantasies of Clinton-scandal aficionados on Usenet. He is currently esconced as the primary poster at Needlenose (