August 1, 2006 8:27 PM
Why Editor & Publisher has become irrelevant
If you read Greg Mitchell's columns on Iraq and now the Israel/Hezbollah conflict it's clear why Editor & Publisher has become increasingly irrelevant.
Mitchell, the editor of the trade magazine and web site, spends a lot of time taking on the press from a liberal/left viewpoint.
Here are a few examples:
"Blood on Our Hands
One month after pundits and editorialists, following the lead of the president, declared (yet again) new hope in Iraq, the death toll is soaring and alleged atrocities mount. Who, now, will dare speak up?"
"Few Editorials Find Fault with the Bombing of Beirut
It's one thing to endorse Israel's right to defend itself and retaliate. It's another to remain silent on the crime of causing mass destruction and civilian deaths in neutral areas of Lebanon."
And the latest:
"Endorsing More Death in Lebanon
As dozens more die in Lebanon, and much of that nation lies in ruins, David Brooks, The New York Times columnist, calls for more of the same, while admitting the policy probably won't work -- partly because of the war in Iraq, which he strongly supported."
Now David Brooks doesn't need any help defending himself.
But I think Mitchell is mistaking standard opinion journalism for media criticism. There are plenty of places to debate the right approach to Iraq or to the current Mideast Crisis, but what he's doing is not media criticism.
Even if he's going to wear his politics on his sleeve, he should be taking on the quality of the reporting, not recounting his unhappiness with the editorial positions of journalists or newspapers. At a minimum, he should have his Web site provide an opposing view. But what he should really do to make his publication relevant is critique journalism, not tell us what he thinks newspapers should be saying on their editorial pages or in their columns.