Carol Platt Liebau: The Fate of Michael Hiltzik

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Fate of Michael Hiltzik

Read it here. He's lost his column, and will be reassigned after a suspension.

Seems a bit harsh. Too bad he wasn't allowed to continue blogging -- this time, with the latitude to admit to his own predilections and biases (like many of the rest of us do) so that the use of "alter egos" to make his arguments would be rendered unnecessary.

Even so, it also seems to me that there are sometimes good reasons for people to work under noms de plume -- but for a journalist (unless he's whistle blowing), no good reasons exist. Hiltzik had a nasty little habit of misrepresenting his ideological adveraries' arguments, all the better to demolish the (misrepresented) argument and smear its alleged proponent. His various pseudonyms assisted in this effort, but in the end, it wasn't just the misrepresentation of his own identity that was Hiltzik's big problem. It was the misrepresentations in the way he reported (and interpreted) reality.

Just one example: Check this item out. Hiltzik alleges that my "solution" to illegal immigration is to "[r]un them down on the freeway." He then quotes one paragraph from this piece in the American Spectator, where I noted that:

For too long, illegal immigration has been condoned by the U.S. government -- signs along the highways near San Diego warn motorists that people on foot (read: illegals) may be crossing the highway.

Obviously, the point of the observation wasn't to advocate hitting illegal immigrants. It was to point out that illegal immigration has become so widely accepted as a fact of life that, rather than making real efforts to capture illegals, the government simply warns motorists not to hit them.

Given Hiltzik's misrepresentation here and in other instances, I'm a bit suspicious about the Times' assurance, without more, that their "inquiry found no inaccurate reporting in his postings in his blog or on the Web."


Blogger mariognitrini111 said...

Well Carol,

How about Patrick Frey "Banning" me from his website for telling the truth:

Patterico’s Pontifications » Hiltzik Suspension in the Media
Filed under: Dog Trainer, Hiltzik — Patterico @ 12:55 pm. The AP has reported on
Michael Hiltzik’s ... Mr. Patterico. My name is Mario G. Nitrini 111. ... - Cached

Isn't that very hypocritcal?

Mario G. Nitrini 111

The OJ Simpson Case

3:52 PM  

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