Every conversation needs two participants: one to impart information, and the other to react. Usually, these two people have some level of awareness of each other: shared history, mannerisms, working habits, speaking styles or political views. This awareness informs how they receive and interpret information during their conversation. Most regular readers of ABC News' The Note are aware of the pub's fondness for attempting ironic juxtaposition, mild sarcasm and well-deserved mockery of high-falutin politicians, consultants and political reporters. A few days ago, it posted a copy of Jimmy Carter's 1979 energy crisis speech, claiming it was an advance copy of a speech President Bush was to deliver.
John Aravosis, not a regular reader, received the speech by email and was not amused. That's his right.
But PRWeek UK jumped on the bandwagon, writing up a little snippet about how ABC News has "drawn criticism from some in the blogosphere for compromising the integrity of the ABC News brand."
Some? Jack Shafer correctly pointed out that "some" is one of several weasel words used to manufacture a trend piece without any actual quantifiable proof.
My other quibble with the piece? The assumption that The Note is a carpet-bagger, a new arrival on the instant-reporting scene. The reporter and an erstwhile PR columnist both infer that ABC News is getting its feet wet in the whole blogging lifestyle, and that this should be a learning experience for the organization.
Absolute Crap. ABC dared to post its reporter's notes on political stories years before CBS decided to have a "nonbudsman." The piece is really marked by a reporter and two "authorities" drawing conclusions - and proving that none of them actually read the pub.
Wonkette had ABC's real crime dead to rights:
"Anyway, to us the real scandal here isn't the prank. It's that the Note actually made an effort to be funny in an intentional, unself-referential, and other than smarmily self-congratulatory, fashion. Rest assured, Mr. Outraged Americablogger, that it's a mistake they're not going to make again."