Wednesday, March 30, 2005

More on the Blogging Panel at the National Press Club

This is a followup letter from Sean-Paul at the Agonist on the question whether Jeff Gannon/Jim Guckert can adequately represent bloggers and online journalists in this august venue:

Members of the National Press Club,

In our previous letter, we noted with concern that serious liberal political bloggers are being intentionally excluded from the academic and media dialogue on blogging. We protested your exclusion of serious liberal political bloggers from an upcoming panel on which you have placed the conservative political operative Jeff Gannon, neƩ Guckert.

This panel portends to discuss the meanings of the words "journalist" and "blogger" and whether the two are different things or one and the same. We note that this topic has once again been raised in light of the Gannon case, although the debate on blogs as journalism has been going on for years here in the so-called "blogosphere." As Gannon is not a blogger, we feel his inclusion means that the panel is largely about Gannon himself and what his specific case means in context of the discussion. We also note, as you must have, that Gannon's presence on the panel will allow him to once again air his side of the story. Who will air the other side?

While we commend your about face by extending an invitation to Matthew Yglesias to sit on this panel, it ignores the larger issue. We think highly of Yglesias' work publicizing the mission of bloggers and don't want to exclude him, or anyone, from the panel, but he was simply not a central player in regards to the Gannon story. A panel on the case of Jeff Gannon, especially one including Gannon himself, should have representation from someone who did heavy lifting there, someone intimately familiar with the process that brought Gannon's identity and his relationship with the White House Press Corps to the public eye. That voice must be a blogger who was a key player in the investigation of Gannon, his role in the media and his background.

Many people at various blogs, including SusanG at Daily Kos, Media Matters, World O Crap, Atrios, and AMERICAblog were at the fore of this investigation. Traditional media ignored the story until bloggers uncovered it. That's why you're having a panel on it. However, not one of the individuals who worked hard on the story was approached with an invitation to speak on the panel. Even outside the context of right versus left, this exclusion raises a serious issue of journalistic imbalance. This was not a careless oversight. The institutional press is giving the investigated his voice while not allowing the investigator to have its say.

Thus, we cannot recommend strongly enough the inclusion of AMERICAblog's John Aravosis on this panel. He has volunteered to be the representative of those who worked on the Gannon investigation.

As we have noted above, you're discussing a story broken by blogosphere yet cutting out the very people who made it a story there. This exclusion is shortsighted and raises questions of journalistic imbalance and ethical malfeasance. Thus, we again must raise our collective voice and insist that John Aravosis sit on the panel.

Please continue your calls to Julie Shue or Rick Dunham at the The National Press Club and politely insist that they include John Aravosis of at their event. Here are there numbers: 202-662-7500 or 202-662-7501 or email at and


Sean-Paul Kelley,
Think Progress, Think Progress
Ezra Klein,
Echidne of the snakes,
Amanda Marcotte,
Mark Karlin, Editor and Publisher,
Matt Stoller,
Democratic Underground
Lindsay Beyerstein
Shakespeare's Sister, and
Bob Brigham,
Dave Johnson,
Matt Singer,
Kari Chisholm,
Steve Gilliard,
Kevin Drum, Political Animal
Crooks and Liars,
Brian Balta,
That Colored Fella,
Anna Brosovic
skippy the bush kangaroo
David Neiwert Orcinus
Julien 's List
General J.C. Christian,
Laura Rozen,
Liza Sabater,
Chris Patil,
Ralph Dratman,
David (Austin Tx),
Ellen Dana Nagler,
Sean Carroll,
media girl,
Joe Giblin
Stephen Anderson,
-Kevin Hayden, American Street
Elaine Supkis Culture of Life News II
Melanie Mattson Just a Bump in the Beltway

Kenneth Bernstein
James E. Shirk
Dennis Perrin -- Red State Son
Margaret Imber
Read The Otter Side
Kerry Lutz
Kelly B
Wes Flinn, Walk In Brain
Greg Turner,
Dean Lawrence Velvel,
The Purple Coalition
Erik Wilson, The Generik Brand
Clif Burns
Sandra Wooten, Dallas, Texas
Nico Pitney, Center for American Progress
Hughes for America,
Ben Varkentine,
As I Please
Lane Schwark, Dr. Laniac's Laboratory
Jeff Tiedrich, Editor and Publisher, The Smirking Chimp
Ryan Pitts, Dead Parrot's Society
Paperwight, Paperwight's Fair Shot
The Farmer,
Mr. Thomas M. Fiddler, Somerset, KY 42502
Sidsel Anderson,
Boadicea, We are the Resistance
Frederick Rhine, BeatBushBlog
Riggsveda, It's My Country Too!
John J. McKay
Larry Hosek, Silence Is Consent
ice weasel, private blog
James Benjamin, The Left End Of The Dial
exceive, Kuffner, Off The Kuff
Chris Bowers, MyDD
Tom Burka, Opinions you Should Have
Bill Scher, Liberal Oasis
Amber Smigiel,
Carl Nyberg, Blogging Blagojevich's Blunders