"The Tribal Filter on Green News," Insight July 23, 1990. Update: Click here for larger, legible image.
Blogging is nothing new. Before the glory of the internet, we were madly clipping and underlining and annotating the margins of tree-based publications. Take this snail blog post, "The Tribal Filter on Green News," by Woody West, having "The Last Word" in the July 23, 1990 issue of Insight:
Only lately have the pooh-bahs of the national press felt secure enough to admit publicly that they filter the news through their personal-tribal creed. As a result, of course, they often report as fact that which is both unsettled and disputed.
. . . At a conference on the environment in Washington earlier this year, reported by The Wall Street Journal's David Brooks, Charles Alexander harrumphed:
"As the science editor at Time I would freely admit that on this issue we have crossed the boundary from news reporting to advocacy." There was applause from the pressies in conclave assembled, after which Andrea Mitchell, an NBC correspondent, said that "clearly the networks have made the decision now, where you'd have to call it advocacy."
It gets even better:
An environmental reporter at The Boston Globe, Dianne Dumanoski, is quoted as saying, "There is no such thing as objective reporting . . . I've become even more crafty about finding the voices to say the things I think are true. That's my subversive mission." Then spake Barbara Pyle, environmental editor of Cable News Network, which shows distressing signs of aping the older networks in cooking the news: "I do have an axe to grind. I want to be the little subversive person in television."
Pardon our French, but, plus ça change . . .Oh, and Andrea, there's a message for you from someone called Alan . . . and David Brooks, You're the man! Clearly.
[Thanks to susis for title]