photo: Jeremy Brooks via Flickr

photo: Jeremy Brooks via Flickr

I already beat Mike Calderone up about this on Twitter, so I apologize to him in advance for piling on. But I am utterly amazed by the lack of self-awareness shown by everything that went into the production of this story.

In it, Michael Calderone, whose media outlet is owned by big Republican money, and whose colleagues just gave Dick Cheney the most shameless blowjob this side of Judy Miller’s mushroom cloud, tells the story of a certain turmoil in the White House Press Corps.

You see, Peter Baker, who now works at the paper which helped Judy Miller shield the Vice President’s crimes for almost a year, but who used to work at Fred Hiatt’s paper, is concerned that journalists who work at outlets that produce “pieces with strongly argued points of view” will now be contributing to the press pool.

The media industry, as we all know, is changing.

And in this transition, there will inevitably be some friction as online news organizations, which may or may not be bound by the same professed standards of objectivity, begin taking on the responsibilities of long-standing, print publications.

That’s been apparent this week, as White House reporters have privately discussed and debated the recent addition of sites like Talking Points Memo and Huffington Post into the White House in-town press pool. It’s not that reporters are criticizing the work of either Christina Bellantoni or Sam Stein, but some have expressed concerns about pool reports coming from left or right-leaning news organizations that will then be used by the rest of the press corps.

“This is really troubling,” said New York Times reporter Peter Baker in an email to POLITICO. “We’re blurring the line between news and punditry even further and opening ourselves to legitimate questions among readers about where the White House press corps gets its information.”

Baker said he has no problem with outlets like Huffington Post, which he described “an important part of the marketplace of ideas.” But the site, he said, has a mission “to produce pieces with strongly argued points of view” and that puts the Times—or other non-partisan news organizations—“in a position of relying on overtly ideological or opinionated organizations as our surrogate news gatherers.”

While at the WaPo, Baker frequently partnered on stories with both Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, now at the Politico giving blowjobs to Cheney. In fact, Baker covered the White House during the entire period of the discovery of JimmyJeffGannonGuckert, but he is not known to have complained about covering the White House with a gay whore working for a partisan outlet (though to be fair, GannonGuckert never contributed to the press pool). Before working at the WaPo, Baker worked for the Moonie Times, which lost $40 million last year to provide a mouthpiece for a far-right cult leader.

As far as I can tell, Baker has never won a Polk Award — though Josh Marshall has.

Also, as far as I can tell, Baker has also never complained that Fox News participates in the White House pool, in spite of the fact that it, like Fred Hiatt’s editorial page, produces “pieces with strongly argued points of view.” Nor has he complained that it, like the Politico and the Moonie Times, is owned by right-wing big money.’

Nevertheless, Baker is very worried about his credibility if he has to rely on pool reports from the HuffPo and TPM.

I already beat Mike Calderone up about this on Twitter, so I apologize to him in advance for piling on. But I am utterly amazed by the lack of self-awareness shown by everything that went into the production of this story.

In it, Michael Calderone, whose media outlet is owned by big Republican money, and whose colleagues just gave Dick Cheney the most shameless blowjob this side of Judy Miller’s mushroom cloud, tells the story of a certain turmoil in the White House Press Corps.

You see, Peter Baker, who now works at the paper which helped Judy Miller shield the Vice President’s crimes for almost a year, but who used to work at Fred Hiatt’s paper, is concerned that journalists who work at outlets that produce “pieces with strongly argued points of view” will now be contributing to the press pool.

The media industry, as we all know, is changing.

And in this transition, there will inevitably be some friction as online news organizations, which may or may not be bound by the same professed standards of objectivity, begin taking on the responsibilities of long-standing, print publications.

That’s been apparent this week, as White House reporters have privately discussed and debated the recent addition of sites like Talking Points Memo and Huffington Post into the White House in-town press pool. It’s not that reporters are criticizing the work of either Christina Bellantoni or Sam Stein, but some have expressed concerns about pool reports coming from left or right-leaning news organizations that will then be used by the rest of the press corps.

“This is really troubling,” said New York Times reporter Peter Baker in an email to POLITICO. “We’re blurring the line between news and punditry even further and opening ourselves to legitimate questions among readers about where the White House press corps gets its information.”

Baker said he has no problem with outlets like Huffington Post, which he described “an important part of the marketplace of ideas.” But the site, he said, has a mission “to produce pieces with strongly argued points of view” and that puts the Times—or other non-partisan news organizations—“in a position of relying on overtly ideological or opinionated organizations as our surrogate news gatherers.”

While at the WaPo, Baker frequently partnered on stories with both Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, now at the Politico giving blowjobs to Cheney. In fact, Baker covered the White House during the entire period of the discovery of JimmyJeffGannonGuckert, but he is not known to have complained about covering the White House with a gay whore working for a partisan outlet (though to be fair, GannonGuckert never contributed to the press pool). Before working at the WaPo, Baker worked for the Moonie Times, which lost $40 million last year to provide a mouthpiece for a far-right cult leader.

As far as I can tell, Baker has never won a Polk Award — though Josh Marshall has.

Also, as far as I can tell, Baker has also never complained that Fox News participates in the White House pool, in spite of the fact that it, like Fred Hiatt’s editorial page, produces “pieces with strongly argued points of view.” Nor has he complained that it, like the Politico and the Moonie Times, is owned by right-wing big money.’

Nevertheless, Baker is very worried about his credibility if he has to rely on pool reports from the HuffPo and TPM.

emptywheel

emptywheel

Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.