In the journalists who act like the stereotypical blogger rather than the bloggers that rise to level of journalists, I cannot help but include this little piece by Ted Hearn over at Multichannel News. It is perhaps no surprise that reporters for trade magazines beholden to cable television have been, to put it politely, less than pleased with Kevin Martin. But there is a difference between general unfavorable coverage that upholds journalistic standards and the sort of gratuitous nastiness that is supposed to be the purview of the blogosphere and the editorial pages. Or there used to be. And when Hearn compounds this by missing the opportunity for a more interesting story to focus on the little Martin-zingers, I just gotta wonder if I should consider myself a journalist after all.
Hearn’s story is about a Korean journalist miffed at Martin having a press conference in Seoul, South Korea, at the OECD Ministerial Meeting. Hearn’s opening, that “Fifty-five years of peace on the Korean peninsula suffered a minor setback last week after Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin landed in Seoul for a two-day ministerial session of the 30-country Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development,” can be dismissed as comic overstatement for humor. It’s the little zinger at the end that has me shaking my head in wry amusement wondering if Hearn has been taking lessons recently from Rita Skeeter.
The whole thing would hardly be worth a raised eyebrow but for how it illustrates a more serious issue that Hearn muffed. As anyone who follows international news in even a cursory way knows, U.S. – S. Korea relations have been in a bit of a tailspin over the decision of S. Korean Pres. Lee Myung-Bak to lift restrictions on importation of U.S. beef (‘Said Myung-Bak: “We have assurances that the U.S. guarantees the safety of it beef.” Sadly, the U.S. Ambassador was suffering from salmonella from some U.S. tomatoes and could not respond to a request for a quote . . .’) That a reporter was miffed over Martin’s conduct is a potential barometer for the touchiness of U.S.-Korean relationships and whether the beef business will spill over into cable or tech concerns, and whether the trivial conduct of U.S. officials may have impact for American interests.
Such a story would have been timely and important, but would have required some actual work and reporting. So much easier to simply take what someone else has done and editorialize around it. You know, like this thing you’re reading here. Except this is a blog that I write in my spare time without the pretension of pretending to be a journalist. Although given this story and last week’s MSM hack job on Kozinski, I’m starting to rethink calling myself a journalist. Judging from what I’m seeing, what I do isn’t really that different.
Stay tuned . . . .