Klein On Malkin

April 17, 2006

Update: Like I said, it isn’t like the Left occupies any noble ground. Disgusting, all around. The problem is that if the alleged debate is always going to be framed with anger and sensationalist pleas to emotion, in the end, you’ll get back the same thing. It’s a food fight all around and ultimately serves no good purpose for politics as a whole. That is, unless one is all about firing up the base at any cost.

Another note I’ll add, having written numerous press releases for one organization some time ago – the contact information is understood to not be for publication, but for press inquiries. That’s a fact of the trade. At least, it was.

Ezra Klein takes Michelle Malkin to task for publishing the personal telephone numbers of some students in a student group opposing military recruitment on a college campus in California. Foolishly, they included them on a press release.

Make no mistake, I oppose what those students stand for. And the phone numbers being included initially was probably a sign of their naivate and lack of resources, as in an office for such things. But Michele is not naive. I’m not sure what her excuse is.

Still, only faulting Michele isn’t really fair. I believe she’s the most frequently read conservative politics only blogger. Things like that happen for a reason. What it ultimately speaks to is the current state of blogs, blogging and blog readers as a whole.

We can do trash TV one better, be sure and tune in. Unfortunately, as long as the more strident voices are also the most popular on the Left and Right, blogging in general will never amount to much as regards a broader more mainstream readership.

Liberals shouldn’t kid themselves that Michele is some gross exception. Were the tables turned, similar information would make its way to DailyKos, or some other liberal blog. This isn’t so much about personalities, as it is the tone of the blogosphere in general.

And it will remain a niche media product in political coverage until that changes.

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  1. Considering that the numbers were listed as “press contacts” for the group, I’m having a problem figure out what the issue is with this.
    I mean, if I didn’t want to be contacted, why would I put my name, phone, and e-mail into a press release as a member of the “ad hoc press team. Here’s the header of their release (I’ve wrecked their names, phones, and e-mails with x’s)which makes it kind of clear they aren’t trying to hide the information.
    Maybe a smarter way for the students would have been a single e-mail press@… and then respond with further contact info for legit e-mails.
    Students Kick Military Recruiters Off UC Santa Cruz
    Submitted by studentsagainstwar on Tue, 04/11/2006 – 1:37pm.
    April 11, 2006
    CONTACT: Students Against War’s ad-hoc press team:
    Sam Axxxke – 714-458-xxxx – sarankx@xxxx.edu
    David Zxxxick – 805-698-xxxx – dzlxtnic@xxxx.edu
    Janine Cxxxona – 707-496-xxxx – jgcaxmon@xxxx.edu [1]
    Students Kick Military Recruiters Off UC Santa Cruz
    Military Prevented from Recruiting for Third Straight Job Fair

  2. The Unhinged and Malkin

    Evidently, being students who protest instead of going to their journalism classes, they didn’t realize that “For Immediate Release” usually means everything below that line is for publication.

  3. Dan says:

    I addressed that in the post CP. I “get” the point, but 1) they were likely just niave and 2) even professional press releases which include such information do NOT intend it for publication. It is meant as a source for journalists. And THAT is a fact. I know, I have written enough of them in my lifetime, going back 20 years ago.

  4. Ken Adams says:

    And it will remain a niche media product in political coverage until that changes

    While the extremes of the spectrum draw all of the popular attention now, the actual political journalism taking place on the blogs today will provide a rich source of information (and varied opinion) for the history books. There is an awful lot of primary source opinion being generated out there today that didn’t get published before, with much of it at levels of detail never before seen.

  5. don surber says:

    There is a line. She crossed it. You don’t publish their personal information, especially of kids.
    For a woman who is peddling a book that has as its focus ad hominem attacks on her, she sure showed the judgment of Ben Domenech
    Credibility is like sugar. It melts easily in the rain

  6. I am not saying publishing their info was right but they are not kids Don. They may be treated as such by parents who pay for their schooling but they are adults and responsible for their own actions.
    I read the hate mail on their site and I read the hate mail at Michelle’s site both are bad; both are embarrassing to the authors.

  7. Geek, Esq. says:

    I’ve seen leftwing blogs do this sort of thing too–mainly the sort of “let’s encourage this College Republican to enlist in the army” type of thing.
    Some people think that it’s not enough to disagree with someone–instead you have to try for their scalp too.

  8. Blogging and the Ethics of Contact Information

    A blogstorm erupted last evening over Michelle Malkins decision to publish a press release from the Students Against War, the group who chased military recruiters off the UC Santa Cruz campus last week, including the contact information for the …

  9. Don Surber says:

    A Line Crossed, A Reader Lost

    Malkin knows better. Rather than take her posts down, Malkin published the phone numbers again.

  10. TexasFred says:

    Malkin crossed the line of Conservative journalistic ethics, she DOES know better and I delinked her as well…

  11. A couple of things I found looking around today. The persons named haven’t contacted Malkin about this (at least on her update around noon), the information is still up on a number of “lefty sites” without the hate mail from the supposed supporters of the ad hoc press corps of the SAW.
    Secondly, the idea that no one in the media publishes names,phone numbers and e-mail addresses is, well, BS. Just about every article at major papers with an online presence contains at least 2 of the three above items. Doing a quick cruise of the “papers I read daily” off of my blog, the writers on 20 of 22 non-wire service stories e-mails were included in the header and footer.
    The guy who taught me to write press releases a nubmer of years ago drove one thing into the heads of all of us ANYTHING under the “for immediate release” line was. My number always went under the “for further info contact” line, after “END OF STORY”
    As I said above, she could have blanked out phone digits or something. But, if she followed the press release around, and saw the 15 (that I found) sites that had the contact info up, should she then have assumed all of the (some run by pro journalists) were rubes and didn’t understand it also?

  12. stan devaughn says:

    I protested the Vietnam War and got a snoot full of tear-gas in process and once damn near got myself shot! If the students at UCSC don’t have the courage of their convictions, they should stand down. Pete Seeger used to sing a song with the lyrics, “That’s the way it is…in the protest biz”. Indeed.

  13. bubba says:

    This has been done three times to my knowledge. Once by Fox News when they gave out CNNs Tucker Carlsons home phone (and his wife started getting death threats), Once by Ann Coulter and now once by Michelle Malkin. Its kind of a scummy thing to do, I agree. Now of course there are unpleasant tactics of different sorts used by the nutjobs on either side. But if that unpleasant things have been done by the “other side” is a defense for anything, then we have arrived at the palestinian/israeli paradox.
    “Hey, you righties shouldnt have printed those phone numbers knowing what would happen”
    “Oh yeah? Listen to the language you evil lefties used attacking Malkin…”
    “But what about the language you evil righties used attacking Cynthia McKinney?”
    “Sure, thats terrible, but weve lived on this land for 4000 years…”
    Oh, sorry, I mixed nutjob rhetoric. Its just a matter of time until someone gets killed, maybe more than one. Then the silent civil war will be more entertaining for everyone. Its clearly what many want anyway, admit it.

  14. The Malkin Controversy

    Mark left this comment in one of the Freedom of Speech threads:
    [Edited for brevity]
    Your hero, the truly evil media whore (with due apologies to actual whores, as well as conservative ladi…

  15. themole says:

    Regarding how this all started, Michelle Malkin went to a cached page, took a screenshot, and posted the image on her site because didn’t like the politics of the people. It’s not her place to justify the disclosing of this information because she deemed that they were terrorizing people. That’s an issue for the Santa Cruz police department to deal with, not her own brand of vigilante justice.
    As for her own personal details – Malkin included that on her own e-mail list and that’s how it went public. She launched her personal information about herself BY herself.
    And the anti-racist One People’s Project website promptly released her new details.
    Someone took it a step further and used live.windows.com and yahoo maps to do a Graphic.
    Payback’s a bitch eh’ Malkin?
    Her refusal to remove these kids contact information was not from conviction, but from revenue. Every journalist in the world knows that contact information on a press release is for journalists to call for more information or interviews, not to be published (or even pointed out) in the publication itself. If she were any kind of ethical person she would have pulled the information when asked.
    If she were something resembling a human being with “feelings”, she would not have republished the information once the students themselves removed it. Michelle is a vicious, vindictive, venomous egoist with no discernible ethics nor even a shred of human decency. If she wants to be The Minority Woman Who Believes Minorities and Women Suck, that’s her right. But she should at least have the integrity to acknowledge that she has done wrong and to stop compounding the wrong. And she should not give us that disingenuous crap about how she doesn’t condone death threats and nobody should misuse her posting and reposting of personal information.