5-29-09 -- On the Wednesday night Factor O'Reilly had Amanda Carpenter on for the policing the net segment. She is the Republican Factor internet cop. They reported what a few blogs were saying about Sotomayor. But their reporting was dishonest, and very misleading, as usual.
Blogs have a writer who signs his or her name to the posting, some blogs have more than one person who writes for them. They write a blog, then put their name on it so you know who they are. Some blogs have a comments script that allows anonymous people to register any name, and leave a comment on what the blogger wrote. So you have no idea who this person is, whether they are a Republican or a Democrat, there is no way to know who they are.
In fact, I could go to a conservative blog right now and register any name then leave a comment, and pretend to be a Republican. I could make some crazy comment, and nobody would know who I am. The comments section of a blog is basically a free speech zone, where anonymous people can say anything they want. The comments left by anonymous people have nothing to do with the people who own the blog, or the people who write the blog postings.
O'Reilly and Carpenter both know this, especially Carpenter. Because in the past they have both admitted there is a difference between a blog posting by a named blogger, and a comment left on that posting by an anonymous internet user. Yet Wednesday night O'Reilly and Carpenter dishonestly cherry picked partial quotes from a few blogs, they pulled these partial quotes from the comments left on a blog posting, not from the named blogger who wrote the posting.
The problem is this, they did not disclose that the partial quotes they used were from the comments section of a blog posting, and they implied that a writer for the blog wrote them. Both things are dishonest, and they knowingly did it to make the blogs look bad. This is terrible journalism, it's dishonest and a violation of journalistic standards. Especially when an anonymous person could go to a blog and say anything, just to make that blog look bad, and you have no idea who they are.
O'Reilly read this quote from a comment left on a blog posting at thinkprogress:
O'REILLY: It will be so funny seeing a bunch of old white guys questioning her during the Senate hearings.And now, here is the entire comment from CParis:
The GOP is going to look like morons with these attacks on Judge Sotomayor. I'm sure claiming she's unqualified (because she's a female and a minority) will attract even more women and minorities to the GOP. It will be so funny seeing a bunch of old white guys questioning her during the Senate hearings.That is taking a partial quote out of context, and not disclosing it's a partial quote, or the fact that it's from the comments section, not an actual writer for the blog. O'Reilly and Carpenter made it look like an actual blog writer said that, when it was a comment left on a blog posting by an anonymous person.
Nobody should ever pull partial quotes from a blogs comments section, then use them to smear the blog owner or a writer there. Especially if you do not tell people you are using partial quotes from the comments section, and not from the actual writers who write for the blog. If you plan to quote someone at a blog, you should only quote from an actual blog posting. Using a comment is wrong, and should never be done, because you have no idea who the person is, and they could be there for the wrong reasons.
O'Reilly did this knowingly, and Carpenter did too, she never said a word about the quotes being from the comments sections of the blogs. Not to mention, they used partial quotes, they took them out of context and only quoted part of what the person said. Which is a big deal for O'Reilly, and in the past he has said it should never be done, then he does it himself.
Both O'Reilly and Carpenter were dishonest, and the worst part is they did it knowingly, they knew it was wrong, and unethical, yet they did it anyway. And btw, they even did it to a Conservative blog, like HotAir. Michelle Malkin called O'Reilly dishonest on Fox & Friends yesterday morning, and last night in the reality check segment O'Reilly admitted it was wrong to do what he did. He admitted that he should have pointed out the quotes were from comments, not from the actual blog writers.
What O'Reilly should do is never use a partial quote, or any quote, from the comments section of any blog ever again. O'Reilly is the only person in the media who does it, it's wrong, and it's simply done to smear the blog owner and make them look bad for what someone else said, which is just ridiculous.
And if you do quote a blog posting, at least have the journalistic integrity to quote the person who actually wrote the blog posting, not some anonymous fool that left a comment on a blog posting.