Editors and Bloggers and Mixed Roles (per Ed Schultz' Outrageous Statements)
By Nancy Hill on May 26, 2011
Shocked and appalled; that is what I am, by what appears from my admittedly partisan perspective to be editorial bias in a post by one of BlogHer's editors. It is one thing when a simple old BlogHer blogger posts something partisan. That is fine, but when someone who has the phrase "managing editor" under her picture by a blog post engages in op ed commentary, then, well, that is a horse of a different color. At least in my book it is. Editors are gatekeepers and are partially supposed to keep people like me in check. I'm the one who is supposed to say ridiculous things and use blogging tricks to get readers.
What am I talking about?
Julie Ross Godar is the Section Editor of the News and Politics Section here on BlogHer. She wrote the post So Not OK: MSNBC's Ed Schultz Calls Laura Ingraham a "Right-Wing ...." (I took out the offensive word. I don't want to see it and certainly don't want to key it in.) I have to admit the post title alone raised my hackles. I know how to write from a partisan perspective and I do it all the time on Build Peace. I make no bones about it.
There are many titles that Godar could have been placed on her post. I know how a title can capture an audience long after its post is no longer pertinent. I still get more hits for blog posts I wish I could retitle than for other far more thoughtful posts. I once, way back in 2005, titled a post by letting the first line of the post accidentally become the title by not creating a title. When I found out you could do this, accidentially, I did use the technique occasionally. "Kathleen XXXXXX Sucks" was the accidental title. The first sentence of the blog was "Kathleen XXXXXX sucks resources out of the mouths of Ward III's children." I learned a lot from that title. I regret it. My excuse was that I was young and blogging as a field was still not as established as it now is. I wasn't as established as I am now.
When experienced bloggers and editors choose to use incendiary phrases in titles, I believe they do it for a reason. Editor Godar surely knew that using the phrase she protested someone else using, is a tactic. Quite frankly I expect more out of BlogHer editors. Sure we know the political persuasion of editors. Knowing it and seeing that perspective promoted is something else.
Please allow me to analyze a bit further.
Godar uses the phrase, "Left-wing pundit Ed Schultz" and links to a wikipedia article. She uses the phrase "right-wing talk show host Laura Ingraham" and links to her business website. Pundit and host are not equal value words. A wikipedia link and a .com link are not equal value links.
And further: Godar's video link from Mediaite shows an embed link that is functional. I usually take out such things unless I'm trying to make something go viral.
The only Fox bashing I've seen on this site is from bloggers - why no editors lambasting say "baby mama" references on Fox? See: Fox News' Appalling Smear--Every Woman Should Be Offended Lisa did comment on this one way back in '08 but she did not pen the original article. I "called" Jill on supporting this post and adding a link to it, but I think she was within bounds, though at the edge.
- Godar goes on to say, "I think both of Schultz' employers should fire him." Hmmm. Does she think Rush Limbaugh should be fired for racist and misogynist statements, such as shown here?
- I have to admit that I am totally perplexed by Julie's post. I expect more from any and all BlogHer editors. Am I expecting too much? I hope no one -- not a single person out of the four who will read this. :-) -- takes this as an attack on Julie it isn't. I am just puzzled by this seeming slip.
- I hope that in the future BlogHer editors will refrain from using their editorial status to distribute their political takes on situations. There needs to be some sort of disclaimer made when original posts are made by editors outside of their editorial duties.
- Thanks for letting me vent.
- Long live BlogHer!
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