You Never Call When You’re Supposed To!

We’re all familiar with the experience of waiting for phone call that never comes (unless of course you’re Hillary Clinton). But over at the Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg is bemoaning “blogger’s” apparent inability to pick up the phone at all:

It’s one of the mysteries of the blogosphere, why more people don’t simply pick up the phone once in a while.

It seems Goldberg is upset that Matt Haber over at the Observer wrote a piece about Goldberg’s new blog without calling for comment (maybe he was operating on the three day rule?). According to Goldberg, Haber “repeated a discredited accusation made by an ethically-challenged journalist about my reporting without having sought my comment.” [UPDATED: Ken Silverstein’s response here]

The accusation in question — that “according to Harper’s Ken Silverstein [Goldberg relied] “heavily on administration sources and war hawks (and in at least one crucial case, a fabricator)”” — also happened to be the lede into a fairly tame and friendly piece announcing Goldberg’s arrival to the Atlantic’s online scene.

Goldberg queried Haber who told him that his blog is a “is a looser, more fun kind of way of writing things.” Not being satisfied with this answer Goldberg took his gripe to the more sympathetic ears of the “dean of global journalism” Jack Shafer who said the reason that “bloggers” don’t call is that they fear they may hear “something really interesting” (perhaps also the reason boys don’t call?).

Goldberg described Haber’s post as akin to a “mugging.” And while there is an argument to be made that as more and more mainstream media transitions to the online world, certain parts of the “blogsphere” may have to more strictly abide by journalism ethics (such as they are) we tend to agree with Goldberg’s fellow Atlantic writer Andrew Sullivan whose advised him that “calling you an asshole is just the blogosphere’s way of saying hello.”

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