What is a “real” journalist?

Before there was Andrew Breitbart, there was Michelle Malkin to hate:

‘Real Journalists Are Apologists for Corrupt-ocracy’: Michelle Malkin Takes on Juan Williams in Tense Live TV Segment

Things got a little more heated than usual on tonight’s Hannity in a debate between noted conservative blogger Michelle Malkin and liberal Fox News contributor Juan Williams over the nature of the recent White House leaks.

Williams had tried to argue that there was nothing particularly special about the leaks regarding national security currently emanating from the White House, claiming that every administration had done the same thing. Malkin fired back by raising the point that the liberal press had excoriated former President Bush over the leaks regarding CIA agent Valerie Plame, which were seen as an attack on the country’s intelligence community and, by extension, on national security.

Williams’ response was to pull rank on Malkin. “I’m a real reporter, I’m not a blogger out on the blogosphere,” Williams said dismissively, before launching into a lecture about how reporters talk to officials, something he apparently didn’t believe Malkin had any experience with.


“The American people are sick of the kind of snotty condescension from liberal elite journalists like Juan Williams who tell us that the rest of us are not doing our jobs, when the point is that when Eric Holder was shamefully approved and nominated and approved to be Attorney General, he had already had a long record of bastardizing national security and the rule of law,” Malkin said.


Williams must have sensed he was bleeding this point, and interrupted, accusing Malkin of going off-topic before launching into an extended repeat of his original arguments, virtually unaltered. It was at this point that Hannity interrupted to tell Williams that he was going to have to accept that “Holder is finished” before closing the segment. Williams tried to protest, at which point Malkin got in her killing blow.

“So real journalists are apologists for corrupt-ocracy, we got it,” Malkin said drippingly.

According to Wikipedia, Malkin got an English degree from Oberlin college in 1992 where she worked on a conservative student newspaper.

Malkin began her journalism career at the Los Angeles Daily News, working as a columnist from 1992 to 1994. In 1995, she worked in Washington, D.C., as a journalism fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute,[11] a free-market, anti-government regulation, libertarian think tank.[12][13] In 1996, she moved to Seattle, Washington, where she wrote columns for The Seattle Times. Malkin became a nationally-syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate in 1999.[14][15]

For many years, Malkin was a frequent commentator for Fox News Channel and a regular guest host of The O’Reilly Factor. In 2007, she announced that she would not return to The O’Reilly Factor, claiming that Fox News had mishandled a dispute over derogatory statements made about her by Geraldo Rivera in a Boston Globe interview.[16] Since 2007, she has concentrated on her writing, blogging and public speaking, although she still appears on television occasionally, especially with Sean Hannity on Fox News and Fox & Friends once a week. In December 2009, Malkin began writing for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

She also has written four non-fiction books (including two bestsellers) and has been blogging since 2004.

But she’s not a “real” journalist?

The progressive blogosphere got its start as a reaction to “real” journalism. Two of the earliest blogs (called “webzines” back in those prehistoric times) were The Daily Howler (1998-present) and Media Whores Online (2000-2004). Talking Points Memo started in 2000 and Media Matters for America (MMfA) started in 2004. All of them were media critics/watchdogs.

By the end of the Nineties there were three full-time news networks (CNN, FOX and MSNBC) but journalism was becoming increasingly lazy, decadent and corrupt. The media came to see themselves as gatekeepers of information and kingmakers in politics. They took it upon themselves to decide what we should and should not know, as well as which candidates we should support.

I used to think of reporters and journalists as people who went out and found stories. In reality they spend most of their time at their desks, waiting for news to come to them. They regurgitate official talking points and cooperate to stage photo-ops.

On television there are basically two types of “journalists.” The first is a news reader in the style of Ron Burgundy. They are hired for their looks and voice qualities, and they sit in front of a camera and read the news to us off a teleprompter.

The second type is the pundit or bloviating gasbag. They don’t provide us with any information, they just tell us what they think about the stories of the day. (As far as I am concerned the term “news anchor” should refer to the weight that keeps the body of a bloviating gasbag from rising to the surface.)

Compared to Juan Williams and most “real reporters”, Michelle Malkin is way above average. At least she does some research on the topics she plans to discuss. She must be doing something right or the proggers wouldn’t hate her so much.

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54 Responses to What is a “real” journalist?

  1. cj says:

    He’s obnoxious lately, all the Dem talking heads are, but I wonder if that’s exactly what FOX pays them to be. Fair & balanced, yeah sort of, but the “lib” side is always, always, always, overbearing, combative & ridiculous.

    Whatever. What he said to Malkin was offensive. I heard that Roland Martin did the same thing to a blogger on CNN last night. Could it be a new WH offensive on the right’s sudden dominance of the internet?

  2. lyn5 says:

    Honk! I used to think that blogging was the new journalism until most “liberal” bloggers went for Obama. In J-School in the late 70s, I was taught to have a healthy skepticism toward everything. I don’t know what a real reporter is today. You can have convictions, but you still have to be objective about the subject on which you are reporting. I think real journalism died in 2000 and then 9/11 sealed it. And the corporate takeover of TV, magazines and newspapers was the death knell. Also, because reporters want access, our politicians give it to them as long as their reporting is favorable. The U.S. media today are lap dogs. The Internet gives us access to international reporting and to those bloggers who are skeptical, and I am grateful for that.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      The press was dishonest long before 2000 (remember Clinton & the 90s?). However, 2000 is the year things truly changed, because the press got cowed into cowardice. Clinton had a love/hate with the press. H. W. Bush needed them. They loved Reagan for the most part.

      But 2000 changed everything because was the first president in a long time who would cut off access and wreck careers if anything a reporter did displeased him. He would cuss them out in public places, even if they were out with their families. He would ban them from the reporting pool. He would call their bosses and complain in certain and aggressive terms.

      It was his way from when he was a governor, too, and a major bone of contention between him and his father in the 1992 race. W. insisted the press was hostile towards conservatives and should be ignored or worked around; H.W. insisted that you had to have the press on your side to win. W.’s vindication was that his way led to a second term.

  3. lyn5 says:

    P.S. “Real journalist” is the new card to play to belittle opponents. Asshats.

    • Lulu says:

      That is all they know. Performance, accomplishment, and merit are foreign ideas to most of them. It is a bullying culture and Obama is the chief bully so they look to him. Their problem is that it is not working anymore. When you run off, exclude, demonize or threaten half of your audience or voters it will bite you. They are just now seeing glimmers of this and it should scare the shit of them. Jerks like Williams always lash out at women when they are loosing. So what else is new?

  4. WMCB says:

    I think they see Obama tanking, Holder going down, and new media is the reason!they can’t do squat about it. In the past, TPTB could count on the cocktail circuit media to change and massage the narrative for them. It’s not working anymore.

    Very few major stories are broken by the dinosaur press anymore. They are broken by bloggers and online journalist groups, whether left or right.

    The solution ought to be for reporters to get a clue, and start doing their damn jobs. Instead, they think it is for them to try to marginalize and denigrate. What we have here is a case of the corrupt old guard saying:

    “These horseless carriages, so called automobiles, are a joke! Why, they are not even accredited by any respectable buggy maker!”

  5. threewickets says:

    No media channel, outlet, platform, online or offline, rivals Fox News for shaping broad public opinion in the nation today. If the Republicans do sweep in November, they will have quite a mandate. The liberal media may then come storming back, or not.

    • myiq2xu says:

      Fox drives the proggers nuts. “Fox News lies! Fox News lies!

      Yeah, but so does MSNBC, CNN, ABC and CBS. NPR too.

      The biggest difference (besides the ratings) between Fox and MSNBC is that Fox usually throws a token liberal (Alan Colmes, Juan Williams) out there for “balance.” MSNBC doesn’t even pretend to try to be balanced.

      • myiq2xu says:

        The other day Crazy Joe Cannon was ranting about Fox. He said:

        The Democratic party should erect and publicize a “Propaganda watch” website which chronicles the many lies emitted each day by the right-wing misinformation machine.

        I guess he never heard of Media Matters or Attackwatch.

    • WMCB says:

      Whats ironic is they brought it on themselves. If the other networks had done their damn jobs, FOX would never have come into being. The public (which is, protestations to the contrary, majority center-
      right) was sick to death of networks pushing one side of the debate.

      I don’t buy that Murdock and Ailes created FOX to hatch some evil master plan. They saw a market niche going completely unserved, and stepped in to fill it. Yes, they are conservatives, but they are businessmen first.

      And BTW, they are doing the exact same thing all over again, right under the radar of the stupid dinosaur legacy media. Libertarianism is on the rise, becoming a major trend esp with young people. Guess what the newly launched Fox Business Channel is? Libertarian Central, that’s what. It’s not really GOP friendly.

      When FBC takes off, and it will, the traditional networks will be all surprised, and hatch some more conspiracy theories about FOX. When any idiot paying attention could have seen Ailes foreseeing a societal trend, a new market, and positioning well for it.

      • myiq2xu says:

        I never cared for FOX or any of the others for that matter. Watching people yell at and talk over each other is not news. I prefer written news from multiple sources.

        The truth is out there, you just have to sift through the bullshit to find it.

        • WMCB says:

          I watch network news, often Fox, if there is actual big breaking news or election coverage. And I still think Greta does some of the best low-key, old-school, “just the facts” interviews left in journalism. So I’ll turn her on sometimes if she’s interviewing someone interesting. CNN can still do a decent job at times, if the story is being “on the scene” at some international happening. Same with BBC.

          But I don’t look to any network news at all as a primary source. And I trust none of them. I get info from all over, take it all with a healthy dose of skepticism, weigh it, compare what different sources are saying, factor in X amount of bias either way, and draw my own tentative conclusions.

          Anyone who is an uncritical consumer of “news” from ANY source is an idiot.

        • votermom says:

          In the morning I prefer the local Fox affiliate for local news.

        • threewickets says:

          I don’t get much news from television these days. But television ratings in general haven’t been falling that much relative to the web or anything else…for better or worse. People still like the tube. When I do watch, I try and avoid the opinion shows. I catch Fox for straight domestic reporting, CNN for international.

  6. DeniseVB says:

    MichelleM also created Hot Air, which has some pretty talented writers and journos, even in the Green Room.

    And of course, Twitchy. 😀

    • WMCB says:

      The thing that makes me respect Michelle is that while I don’t agree with all her politics ( which she does not hide, and is forthright about), she is careful in her research and consistent. She carries no ones water. She yells just as loud about GOP corruption as D.

      Corruption and cronyism is the issue she OWNS, and she is fucking fearless about it.

      • cj says:

        …she is fucking fearless

        I was just going to say that ! She’s lethal in battle, but she never cheats. I love that in a woman even if I don’t agree with 1/2 the things she stands for.

  7. cj says:


    “this morning, Clinton pre-emptively stepped on Barack Obama’s new message of staying the course — and in Ohio, no less, in the same exact spot where Obama will try out his new “blame Bush”s strategy.”


    • cj says:

      Meh, I just listened to the whole thing & I’m pretty sure he’s reading something into the speech that wasn’t there. Sorry

  8. myiq2xu says:

    Will anyone be watching Obama’s latest Greatest Speech Ever?

    I can’t watch it – I’m not allowed to drink booze and I’m all out of choom.

    • cj says:

      I’m thinking about it. If he finally melts down today & I don’t see it happen live, I’ll be inconsolable.

  9. HELENK says:

    Williams has had his head so far up backtrack’s behind that if williams sneezes people will think backtrack broke wind.

    Thing about this whole scene yesterday was over the Valarie Plame leak. Hannity and Malken claim she was not undercover and that outing her did not do harm. During the investigation it was proven that she had worked undercover. No one speaks about what harm was done by outing her.

    diarrhea of the mouth from our government no matter whether it was bush and bunch or backtrack and bunch hurts this country

  10. HELENK says:


  11. HELENK says:


    he lives in his own world. damn shame he just will not leave the WH and go to his own world and leave ours alone

  12. WMCB says:


  13. driguana says:

    I tend to like MM but she does have a combatitive streak…..sometimes I think she just wants a good scrap. She may have gotten a tad nasty with Juan in this one….but, personally, I like a good scrap and especially a good take-down.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Maybe she’ll go on Joy Behar’s new Current-TV show 😀 In my dreams, but she clearly avoids the haters. Like people who think the Romneys house burning down would be funny. Derrrrrrr…..

  14. HELENK says:

    awesome political ad

  15. gxm17 says:

    What is a real journalist?

    You got me. I haven’t seen one in ages and have forgotten what they look like.

  16. WMCB says:

    LMAO awaiting The Won’s speechifying:

  17. myiq2xu says:

    I kinda sorta overmedicated myself this morning. So I was watching Obama’s speech and I was really amazed how inspiring it was.

    Then I realized I was watching the cat lick himself.

    • Erica says:

      Naughty!….but in all honesty, that’s about the only way I could get through one of his speechs.

  18. HELENK says:


    interesting picture today

  19. myiq2xu says:

  20. WMCB says:

    Man, the Romney campaign ain’t playin! Obots whining about the Mitt campaign bus doing the drive by honking, and Mitts traveling press sec tweets this. We have said FOREVER that the way to get to the Progs and their narcissist preezy is to MOCK them:

  21. WMCB says:

    Monica Crowley is on a roll, mocking the frat boys.

  22. HELENK says:

    this guy explains backtrack’s thinking better than anyone I have ever heard

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