Opinion: Are websters second-class citizens? Bill O'Reilly seems to think so
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Many of you enjoyed Ron Mitchell’s Blowback column ‘Stop calling O'Reilly names,’ a rebuttal to Rosa Brooks’ column on Bill O'Reilly’s name-calling. We figured O'Reilly would also appreciate our giving a soapbox to one of his producers. Alas, it turns out the post-modern hothead is also an internet snob. Here’s how he characterized Mitchell’s article in his ‘Most Ridiculous Item’ yesterday:
L.A. Times Flubs Correction I was all set to compliment the Los Angeles Times, and they hosed us, in the end. Last week their far-left columnist, Rosa Brooks—who works for George Soros, if you can believe it, but The Times doesn’t tell its readers that—harpooned me about this bogus Indiana University study that says I insult people once every 6.8 seconds.Well, Factor producer Ron Mitchell has blown the lid off that study, and you can see it on BillOReilly.com. I mean, we just destroyed it. So we called the Los Angeles Times and said this is a bogus study. You’ve got to print Mitchell’s article. They said they would, and they put it on their Internet site. Not good, you guys. You guys have really got to be more honest. The Los Angeles Times strikes again.
Just when I think I’ve arrived in the MSM, I get a reminder of how many layers there are above me: At some level of media privilege, you can actually have one of your staffers send in a column about a column—not even bothering to sign it yourself—and expect that a newspaper is going to hop to and make room for it in the tiny news hole it has in its print edition? Bill, I just wish I lived in your world!
For the record, Mitchell’s rebuttal would never have run in the paper under any circumstances as it was too long for a letter to the editor and cited no factual errors in Rosa Brooks’ column (even if it had cited errors, those would have been handled through our corrections process, not by giving the subject space for an Op-Ed-length reply). We never told Mitchell, O'Reilly or anybody else that ‘Stop calling O'Reilly names’ would appear in the print edition, and in fact I specifically told Mitchell, well ahead of publication, that it would not be appearing in the paper for the reasons cited above.
Happily, the world wide web (a wonderful new medium that Bill O'Reilly should look into one of these days) allowed us to print Mitchell’s rebuttal in full, and we were happy to do so. (Regular readers of Opinion L.A. will recall our examination of rejectedletterstotheeditor.com, which touched on some of these matters.)