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A reader emails with a screen grab from the FaceBook entry of Brian Stelter of TVNewser which sheds some light on a long-standing question about the integrity of the TVNewser site.
OlbyWatch regulars will recall a widely linked post, A word on ratings and the "25-54" demo hype in which I asked "Who cares if Brian Stelter is a liberal activist, with a cozy relationship with MSNBC, who despises Fox News and has been known to edit his site to suit the whims of MSNBC on-air personalities like Keith Olbermann." I then proceeded to explain why it matters that the primary source for cable news ratings data in the blogosphere is biased to the left.
TVNewser responded in "rightgeous" indignation with a typically disingenuous post laced with invectives and denials including these tidbits:
"to suggest that I'm motivated by ideology...is offensive, baseless, and wrong"
"For the record, I am not a liberal activist..."
As I noted in my reply, Methinks TVNewser Doth Protest Too Much, Brian himself wrote about his liberal activism back when his blog was called "CableNewser" including photos of him picketing. (the entry has since been deleted from the archives). Having made the point that there was a perfectly good explanation for the perceived liberal bias on TVN (that he IS a liberal and that his political agenda comes through very clearly in his blog), I was pretty much willing to drop the matter until I read a puff-piece by Peter Johnson in USA Today which ends with this laughable quote from Brian:
""People write me and say, 'Thank you for correcting yourself.' I guess that's in short supply these days. Not enough people admit when they mess up. To me, credibility is all I have."
As has been documented on this site and elsewhere, Brian has had a long history of doing the exact opposite - covering his errors by backdating time stamps on posts, deleting posts without explanation, editing posts without indicating changes from the original, failing to provide proper attribution and much worse. The confluence of the two - Brian's claim to credibility to a gullible TV critic and a track record of playing fast and loose with the facts - prompted me to write a month-long series entitled "TVN: Journalism at its finest":
TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part I
TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part II
TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part III
TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part IV
TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part V
TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part VI
TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part VII
TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part VIII
TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part IX
TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part X
TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part XI
TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part XII
Recently, my daughter, a high school senior, has been meeting students at Towson University where Brian is a senior. In fact, I am taking her there tomorrow for a campus tour. This morning I found the screen grab below in my inbox, which shows Brian to be a member of 46 Facebook Groups including "Don't Blame Me...I Voted For Kerry" and "What's Wrong with the World? George W Bush!".
Now, what was that about "offensive, baseless, and wrong"?
[ed. the image was cropped both for readability and to protect the privacy of private persons whose name and/or photos appear in the profile]
UPDATE: an emailer sends along a Brian Stelter column on Facebook.