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March 11, 2004
New Media Blog Gets Results

For those who say that political and cultural blogging only preaches to the choir and doesn't really change anything, I refer you to this post at Oh, That Liberal Media and also cross-posted on his own blog, where my friend and colleague on the group blog details how he got the Los Angeles Times to balance its coverage:

The other day, when the Times ran a story about Justice Scalia's having spoken before an advocacy group, I told you here that Justice Ginsburg had done substantially the same thing in January. I explained that the experts' criticisms of Justice Scalia's speech applied equally to Justice Ginsburg's speech. I noted the fact that the group before which she had spoken had filed an amicus brief in a case on which she had ruled just 15 days before the speech.

I also told you that I had sent an e-mail to the Times's "Reader's Representative" about Justice Ginsburg's speech. In a subsequent post, I explained that I didn't really expect the Times to do anything about it.

I was wrong.

Patterico's efforts resulted in the Times printing this story in today's edition:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has lent her name and presence to a lecture series cosponsored by the liberal NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, an advocacy group that often argues before the high court in support of women's rights that the justice embraces.

In January, Ginsburg gave opening remarks for the fourth installment in the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Distinguished Lecture Series on Women and the Law. Two weeks earlier, she had voted in a medical screening case and taken the side promoted by the legal defense fund in its friend-of-the-court brief.

Not only did Patterico prove that the coverage was unbalanced (probably unintentionally in this case), but that a determined and informed readership can make a difference in media coverage. That's why we blog, and in the case of all my colleagues at OTLM, that's why we keep our eyes on the major media outlets. They won't change without people holding them accountable.

Congratulations to Patterico, and at least two cheers for the Los Angeles Times, who made an excellent effort to correct the situation once Patterico had pointed it out. Perhaps next time they run a story like this about a conservative, they'll look around a little more to see if the issue applies across the political spectrum. If not, we'll be here.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 11, 2004 9:56 AM

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