When blogs attack

A few members of the MSM fight back.

Published April 18, 2005 5:35PM (EDT)

Sometimes they get it right. Sometimes they get it oh-so-wrong. Sometimes they get a little too much press.

Today, The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz lets some high-profile members of the so-called MSM have their say about how the blogging zeitgeist is affecting their day-to-day.

The New York Times' Adam Nagourney: "You want to pay attention to what legitimate critics are saying out there. In journalism, you screw up from time to time. But it's become so toxic -- attacks for the sake of attacks."

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank: "It's very nasty and personal and scatological. ... There's so much noise that you have to tune it out. It's very rare I'll write any story that doesn't get criticized by someone. ... Complete strangers make assumptions that they know your innermost thoughts."

ABC's Linda Douglass: "No one likes to have their integrity attacked or their motives or honesty questioned. If you're a high-profile reporter, there is somebody out there writing some rage-filled tirade about your reporting. ... Will they intimidate us? Will they make us back off? Probably not."

CNN's Jeff Greenfield, who "likes many blogs," and who tells Kurtz that "the baked-potato brains who say you're a media whore" don't really bother him: "On the whole, I'm real happy to know there are a lot of people watching with the capacity to check me. I don't think that's chilling. It's just another incentive to get your facts right."

By Mark Follman

Mark Follman is Salon's deputy news editor. Read his other articles here.

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