Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Equivalence for instance

How is McCain banning Joe Klein any different from Obama banning Ryan Lizza?


Leo said...

What evidence is there that Obama "banned" Ryan Lizza?

I think you're making that up.

factory123 said...

Making it up? Hardly. Here are the links: HuffPo Guardian LA Times Blog and Andrew Sullivan.

I'll admit that analogy isn't perfect:

1. On the one hand, the McCain camp is very straightforward about banning Klein, comparing him to a Kos diarist. The Obama camp didn't admit to banning Lizza, saying it was really just a space issue.

2. On the other hand, Klein's been using his blog to attack McCain, whereas Lizza's offense was writing straight up journalism about Obama's past to which The New Yorker attached that muslim/radical cartoon.

Leo said...

Here's a piece Lizza published this week containing good inside-scoop type quotes from the Obama campaign. Doesn't really seem like he's lost access.

Those links you cite are worthless. Basically you have one HuffPo blogger jumping to a conclusion and then a bunch of other people linking to it or "reporting" that people are talking about it. The original blogger then went back and acknowledged that he was wrong to use the word "banned" and that his piece assumed that Lizza had been excluded in retribution for the cover art.

But if you you want to make sure that every well established fact of bad behavior by the McCain campaign is balanced by a speculative innuendo of bad behavior by the Obama campaign, I suppose I can see why you would have a problem with the current election coverage.

factory123 said...

The evidence, as I said, isn't as strong, but it's more than "speculative innuendo".

The Obama camp was very vocal in their dislike of the New Yorker article. Right on the heels of their complaints, the entire magazine was excluded from Obama's trip. Not just Lizza, the entire magazine. Now, as Sklar points out, Lizza had long covered Obama. And it's not like the New Yorker is Parade or Seventeen or something. The status of the magazine and reporter makes their exclusion notable. That's why the story got traction beyond HuffPo, across several blogs, including liberal blogs, including Sullivan.

And again, Joe Klein's no Ryan Lizza. Klein's a columnist, he writes opinion, not journalism. Why should the the McCain campaign give access to columnists, particularly hostile columnists?

Frankly, I don't think that either case is all that shocking or bad, because I don't particularly care for closely embedded coverage of campaigns, but that's something else.

"I think you're making that up." That's dismissive.

Leo said...

I think speculative innuendo is the perfect term for the Lizza story. More precisely, the Politico story was innuendo, and all the discussion afterward was speculation. I don't find it particularly improbable that the Obama campaign bumped Lizza as retribution (although query whether a positive story in the New Yorker was one of the top 40 priorities for the Obama campaign back in July), but it is simply not an established fact.

Other than that, I totally agree that the boys on the bus are an inessential (and sometimes counterproductive) part of campaign coverage. And I'm not particularly offended by the McCain camp kicking out Joe Klein, although I do worry about the message these things send to other reporters, who obviously do care about access.