February 24, 2005

*The Antimedia Interview

Here’s an interview with Antimedia, a man on a mission.

In the extended...

You’re on a serious mission to point out media bullshit. What put you over the top and got you to start a blog?

I've been writing letters to the editor for years. Most don't get published. I would read editorials that I felt weren't as well written or researched as what I would do or distorted the facts in a way that was really irritating. I'd write a letter to the editor, and it would disappear into the black hole.

One day I heard about Raad's blog and I started reading it. During the bombardment of Baghdad, I found myself worrying constantly about his well-being. That's when I realized that blogs were a really big deal.

One thing led to another and one day I started a blog. The next day I asked myself what the hell I was doing, so I deleted it. The following day I realized, if I didn't blog, I'd explode, so I started it again. And here I am.

Have you ever interviewed or contacted any mainstream media personnel and pressed them on an issue?

No, I haven't. I've been interviewed on a number of occasions, and I'm well aware of what it feels like to be quoted out of context. I'm aware of the pressures reporters are under - time constraints, space constraints and editorial constraints. So I understand why they don't tell the whole story. That doesn't make me any happier to be miss-quoted though.

If I was going to interview someone, I'd pick one of the obnoxious ones, like O'Reilly (who I can't stand) or Chris Matthews (who completely disgusts me) and I'd grill them until they couldn't take it any more, then ask them how it felt to be on the business end of the knife.

Fortunately I don't have cable, so I'm not subjected to either of those bozos except through third parties.

In your opinion, which mainstream media outlets do the least spinning / report most accurately?

In my opinion (and readers should always keep in mind, these are my opinions), in general, the more local the outlet, the more they tend to be accurate. The problem is the national and international outlets (AP, Reuters, the alphabets) dominate the major stories and the small outlets just parrot them uncritically. Of the mainstream media outlets, I think Fox does the best job of trying to be accurate, but none of them do a really good job.

In your opinion, which blogs do the least spinning / report most accurately?

I think Belmont Club is good in that respect. So is Steve Vincent's In the Red Zone. At one time Andrew Sullivan was, but then he went off the deep end.

Depending upon the subject, Kevin Drum has been objective. I liked Michele Malkin's angry reaction to the "payola" stories of conservative journalists taking money from the administration. She's very controversial, but she'll rip into Bush just as quickly as she will into a liberal. If you've read her case for internment, it's hard to argue with her research.

I think Donald Sensing is pretty objective as well. Some others that come to mind are Roger Simon, Instapundit, Arthur Chrenkoff and Michael Totten.

Which MSM outlets do you find the most bias, in either direction?

Some might find this surprising, but I think NBC (not CBS or CNN) is the most liberal of all. Fox is criticized for being too conservative, but in my opinion they are much less conservative than people think. The problem is that the media leans to the left so much that the center looks like the right. NewsMax is a conservative media outlet. I can't stand to read it and haven't in some time.

Do you think blogs will ever become a part of MSM?

No. Some bloggers will be assimilated. Some may even sell out for big money. But the "real" bloggers aren't journalists. They're citizens who have "regular" jobs and blog because they love to and because they have to. Blogging is too personal (for most) to be commercial.

I think the MSM will recede in importance and blogs will become the normal way of getting news. (See my post - The Cathedral, the Bazaar and Blogs.)

Would you consider yourself news obsessed?

Are you kidding? I watched almost all of the OJ trial. (And btw, I don't think he did it - I think his son Jason did. I have a book about it that I could lend you.....) I watch every Presidential speech. I was glued to the TV during the Challenger disaster. I watch every State of the Union address. I will sometimes stay up all night during a "big" story and then go to work on time anyway. I always sit up to 2 or 3AM on election night.

Yeah, I'm obsessed.

What do you do when you’re not blogging?

I own a 1949 Chevy pickup that I'm restoring. I work a lot, even from home, because I love my job with a passion. I maintain a small website for some good friends (all the techie stuff, not the content.) I like to watch movies with my wife (sometimes as many as six in a weekend.)

And I have a really good friend that I spend time with - he's old and disabled and can't get around much, but I love him and I love spending time with him. He's bull headed and alienates people easily, but he has a heart of gold. And he can tell tall tales like no one I've ever known. He can captivate an audience for hours. He gets all my computer hand-me-downs. We like to go to (car) swap meets and go out for breakfast on Saturdays.

Football or baseball?

No contest. Football. (My father in law would kill me if he read this. He's baseball nuts.) I love NASCAR too, though, and I'm a Jeff Gordon fan. Last Sunday was heaven. :)

Is there any one post you’re especially proud of?

Yes. The Cathedral, the Bazaar and Blogs. I think it accurately portrays where blogs and the media are headed and what the outcome will be. I'm also proud of the work I did on the Swiftvets story, although my blog is so small and new that few really noticed.

Posted by Paul! at February 24, 2005 08:42 AM