This week, there were two interesting developments.
A New Yorker-ish reporter filed a column, excoriating a film starring one of the cast's actors and, in the process, buttressed her opinion with an anonymous commentor on real-life Web site Aintitcoolnews.com. One of the producers of (Studio 60) rightly stuck it to the author, who seemed nonplussed.
It's an interesting temptation journalist face in times of unfettered and unceasing opinion. Thanks to the online environment, journalists can invent trends and give heightened credence to anonymous people who may either have an axe to grind or scant clue about their opinions. A salient point to ponder.
In a career-salvaging interview given to Time, Jordan McDeere (Amanda Peet), the network president, faced a slew of hostile questions, including the old chestnut - "A lot of people are saying X, would you care to comment?" McDeere's response, in essence, was "Who are these 'people?' I have an idea - it's you and your friends at the office. I don't think you've talked to one person close to the show that has a negative opinion of me.
Needless to say, the reporter was not chastened by the dress down; he snidely cut the interview short. But it exposed another journalistic pitfall - the taking of convention wisdom or insular thinking - and projecting it to the unknown, unwashed masses or "insiders."While the give-and-take seemed a bit (par for the course) sanctimonious, the two incidents (where journalists are giving a proper criticism) should lead to some journalistic introspection.
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