Jay Rosen: "Murray Waas Is Our Bob Woodward"
by Matt Stoller, Mon Apr 10, 2006 at 08:14:50 AM EDT
Jay has a superb piece on how Murray Waas is a much more important and useful journalist today than Bob Woodward. Rosen even goes so far as to dance around the claim that Woodward isn't really a journalist anymore, but an insider.
I don't hobnob with Bob Woodward or his ilk, and I mostly spend time with journalists and operatives with much less clout. What I've noticed is that there is this weird phenomenon in DC, where some political journalists like to consider themselves both closet strategists and independent truth-tellers without an ax to grind. That attitude just doesn't hold water. What Waas does strikes me as structurally different; he pores through documents, learns everything there is to know, and works sources to find out how decisions are made. He's relentless, and he's focused on the big picture. And eRiposte and Firedoglake are right there chewing through the reporting with him, a kind of adjunct institutional memory.
Waas is a neutral reporter. FDL and the Left Coaster aren't. Regardless, how is political bias related to credibility? If ou are liberal or conservative, are you an automatic liar? Does it color what you look for so that you are no longer reliable? With all the 'liberal bias' screeching, I've never heard a good answer to this question.
Bloggers are often take to dislike the stupidly named MSM. That's a ridiculous claim; the right-wing movement - on AM radio, national magazines, in the White House - has consistently attacked 'the media'. What progressive bloggers want is a credible media. To us, Bob Woodward is not credible, because his sympathies seem to lie with insiders rather than the public. Murray Waas represents the public.