"Are bloggers journalists?" asked media critic Jason Salzman on the Rocky's opinion page, Mar. 29. Some are, some aren't, he answered delphically. But on the evidence of his own paper this weekend, Salzman might better have asked: Are journalists reliable? Can MSM writers and editors be counted on for accuracy in citing easy facts, using good English, and shaping up each other's copy when needed? Not always, it seems.
Inches away from the Salzman column was an oped by Jane Urschel, an education lobbyist and Ph.D., who began with the confident assertion that Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech of 1963 occurred "thirty-five years ago." Rocky columnist Mike Rosen made a similar flub the previous day in placing the November 2006 death of Milton Friedman at "several months" ago in November 2007.
The weekend's best pot & kettle moment came when the ultra-assured Garrison Keillor, writing next to Urschel on Saturday, mentioned "the Puritans who I am descended from" -- any 6th grader knows that pronoun should be "whom" -- but then a few lines later lit into someone who used "me and him" as the subject of a sentence.
Keillor summed up smugly, "I belong to the Correctness Party, the party of good spellers, of people who pay attention to details," and couldn't resist adding that this makes him infinitely superior to President Bush, "intellectually... a charity case all his life."
Right you are as usual, Garrison. Ask not for "who" the charity bell tolls; it tolls for "thou." Then again, what business is it of mine, a mere slapdash blogger, to dare correct you and all the other unerring MSM journalists?