Whining About Bloggers Not Calling Them For Comment

Add Jeffrey Goldberg’s name to the list of phony posturing MSM journalists such as Jewish Week Editor Gary Rosenblatt and Jewish Times Editor Phil Jacobs who whine about bloggers not calling them for comment while simultaneously refusing to answer inquiries from bloggers such as myself.

Rosenblatt wrote a column a few years ago complaining that bloggers don’t call him for comment before they write about him.

I’ve called and emailed Gary many times for comment before writing about him and he can never be bothered to even acknowledge my inquiry.

I called him to interview him about his column before I wrote about him.

He did not return my call.

Gary Rosenblatt is a big fat phony.

I did interview him in 2004 for my Jewish journalism book. As soon as I asked him a tough question, he had nothing to say. Rosenblatt won’t answer tough questions. When he and his newspaper received stiff fines for deceiving the postal service, neither Gary nor his paper addressed the matter publicly.

Also, Gary never bothered to ask any of the bloggers he wrote about for comment before blasting them.

About a year ago, Phil Jacobs wrote a column complaining about bloggers never asking him for comment before writing about him.

I’ve emailed Phil Jacobs several times for comment before writing about him. He can never be bothered to even acknowledge my inquiry.

Phil Jacobs is a big fat phony.

Now Jeffrey Goldberg blogs:

I was telling Andrew [Sullivan] about an on-line mugging I experienced at the hands of a person named Matt Haber, who is associated with the New York Observer, about which I have generally warm feelings, in part because it gave my book a great review, and we all know what such a review does for a person’s self-esteem, if not for a book’s actual sales. Andrew wasn’t impressed by my complaint. "Calling you an asshole is just the blogosphere’s way of saying hello," he said.

But I was unappeased. What bothered me about Mr. Haber’s post was not its insults (a couple of which were funny) but that he repeated a discredited accusation made by an ethically-challenged journalist about my reporting without having sought my comment. I called Haber to complain. He said: "I just wanted to promote your new blog." I didn’t quite understand this argument. He went on to explain that he "assumed" that I had already "had it out" with the journalist in question. Then he said that, while the Observer "does reporting," the blog for which he writes "is a looser, more fun kind of way of writing things." Fun, in Haber’s view, includes slander.

I called up Jack Shafer, the dean of global journalism and the future director of the Newseum, because I needed someone to listen to me bitch, and Andrew certainly wasn’t going to. I complained to Shafer about Haber’s dishonesty, but Shafer noted that his dishonesty was not relevant; what mattered was his mediocrity. "What these bloggers don’t understand is that if you call the target of your post to get a comment, the target’s going to say something really interesting," he said.

It seems to me to be a basic point. Haber’s post on my blog would have been more interesting if he actually got me to talk about my reporting. I might have even inadvertently offered him ammunition.

It’s one of the mysteries of the blogosphere, why more people don’t simply pick up the phone once in a while.

I’ve tried on many occasions to get a comment from Jeffrey Goldberg before writing about him. Once I did it in person at the GA in Los Angeles 18 months ago.

This is how it went down:

During a break in his conversations, I inquire if I can ask him a question (I wanted him to elaborate on a sentence in his book where he describes Jewish leaders in America as puny compared to Israel’s leaders).

He says sure.

I pull out my tape recorder. He freaks out. "Who are you? Who are you with?"

I say my name and the name of my website and show him my press pass.

"No," he says. "No interviews."

Goldberg then referred me to his publicist.

What a prima donna! I couldn’t ask him a simple question without him invoking his publicist because he must get so very many press inquiries. So very many.

I’ve also emailed and written letters to Goldberg to interview him and he has never even acknowledged my inquiries let alone refused them.

Jeffrey Goldberg is a big fat phony.

The important point here is not that Goldberg, Rosenblatt and Jacobs refuse to acknowledge interview requests from a blogger such as myself while simultaenously denouncing bloggers for not contacting them for comment. The deeper point is that these guys have the same commitment to answering tough questions as Ari Fleischer displayed at the White House. When push comes to shove, these blokes are as duplicitous as Nixon.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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