How Not To Respond To New Media II
First a congressman assaults an amateur reporter, now a verbal assault from the NYT's James Risen, who caught flak for his story on Afghanistan's mineral bonanza:
"Bloggers should do their own reporting instead of sitting around in their pajamas," Risen said. "The thing that amazes me is that the blogosphere thinks they can deconstruct other people's stories," Risen told Yahoo! News in an increasingly hostile interview that he called back to apologize for almost immediately after it ended. "Do you even know anything about me? Maybe you were still in school when I broke the NSA story, I don't know. It was back when you were in kindergarten, I think." (Risen and fellow Times reporter Eric Lichtblau shared a 2006 Pulitzer Prize for their reporting on the Bush Administration's secret wiretapping program; this reporter was 33 years old at the time.)
Yahoo reporter John Cook reveals more about the interview via Twitter:
NYT's Jim Risen just told me bloggers criticizing his Afghan minerals story are "jerking off in their pajamas." Yahoo worried abt language.
Exum lays into Risen for his "phenomenal arrogance":
[I]f you think you don't need to answer to bloggers, some of whom have spent years doing field research or working in Central Asia and now blog as a hobby, the invisible hand of the market is going to find you out. And before you know it, you'll have taken a buy-out from the New York Times and be teaching creative writing in Maryland. And, let's face it, probably blogging on the side.
Both responses are, it seems to me, acknowledgment of the new media's power to rattle authoritah - the authoritah of congressmen and the authoritah of Pulitzer Prize winners (a political bauble if ever there was one). Score one for the web.