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Dear Politifact, Get out of the traditional media echo chamber

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One of the nation's supposedly premiere independent fact-checkers accuses all liberals of only getting their news from liberal blogs and Rachel Maddow.


I, for instance, happen to read the Washington Post, NYT, LA Times, WSJ, and watch the News Hour in addition to occasionally watching ABC News and CNN, among lots of other traditional media sources depending on the hour, including the BBC and other Brit papers (and from time to time the French and Spanish and Italian press), in addition to reading the liberal blogs and watching Maddow and Olbermann.

Where does Politifact get off accusing "liberals" of only getting their news from "echo chamber nation"?

That's because the editor of Politifact, Bill Adair, is the Washington editor for the Tampa Bay Times, and Adair seems to suffer from spending a bit too much time in his own echo chamber nation.

In Washington's echo chamber nation, if you write a blog, for instance, you're a naive irascible child who has little experience in politics and even less in journalism.  And if you read a blog, you're even lower on the evolutionary scale.  Forget, for instance, that I started this blog after working in national politics, in real jobs, not just internships, for 15 years at that point (going on 23 now) after getting a joint law degree and masters from Georgetown and working in the Senate, the World Bank, and writing professionally for the Economist, among others.  Atrios has a PhD in economics, Marcos is a lawyer, etc.  We're not children.  And we've got just as much, and in some cases more, political experience in Washington politics than many of the people assigned by the traditional media to cover Washington politics.

The blogger blood libel, as it were, was au courant a good seven years ago, when people didn't understood what blogs were.  But now that lots of major newspapers have their own blogs, you'd think soe of the dead tree journalists would have figured out to judge us by what we've done, and what we do, not by the medium in which we do it.

It's very Fox News to knock someone for reading blogs, or watching Rachel Maddow.  But it's even more Fox News to accuse them of only doing those things.  On the left, we have our partisans to be sure, but no one is calling for the destruction of the NYT, Washington Post, ABC, particularly CBS, and all the rest.  Those calls come uniquely from the right, and they come from the highest levels of GOP partisans.  As I think Atrios once wrote, and I'm guilty of some serious paraphrasing, the left wants the media to do its job better, the right wants the media to go away entirely.

Politifact's Bill Adair, sadly, is letting his own old world bias' show through.  He doesn't understand blogs, doesn't understad the left, and is clearly piqued by the criticism he received in the past week for his odd choice of the Democrats basically correct charge that the Republicas were trying to end Medicare as the "lie of the year."  And he let his anger, and his own biases, loose with flying colors.  It doesn't bode well for the traditional media, and even less well for Politifact itself, that people like Adair still don't get what blogs, and our readers, are about.

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