If Anne Applebaum is to be believed, the existence of primary sources is in and of itself the reason the dead-trees should be kept around. She writes for Slate:
I didn't think it was possible, but Julian Assange has now done it: By releasing 92,000 documents full of Afghanistan intelligence onto the laptops of an unsuspecting public, the founder of Wikileaks has finally made an ironclad case for the mainstream media. If you were under the impression that we don't need news organizations, editors, or reporters with more than 10 minutes' experience anymore, then think again. The notion that the Internet can replace traditional news-gathering has just been revealed to be a myth.
Ironically, that passage shows one of the key problems with the mainstream media: they don't know anything. The Afghanistan documents collected by Wikileaks are not "intelligence," but field reports from regular combat units and special forces. Also, the notion that Wikileaks is some kind of news organization when it is really an online repository of documents-i.e. sources instead of reportage-shows the kind of unfamiliarity with basic facts that people like Applebaum, in the mainstream media, wrongly attribute to Wikipedia and ignore in themselves.
Some Saturday night humor. File under Things a Journalist Should Be Too Embarrassed to Cite. In her weekly Washington Post column published on Monday about the impact of the ash emitted by the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland which shut down European airplane flights, “Nature hoists Europe back in time,” Warsaw-based Anne Applebaum included this sentence about reaction to the volcanic eruption:
A British friend sees this as “judgment for the bad things we have done to the Earth.”
Applebaum is a veteran journalist, serving as Warsaw correspondent for The Economist, foreign editor and deputy editor of the Spectator magazine in London and the Evening Standard's political editor, before becoming an editorial writer for the Post and, since 2006, a columnist.
"How do you say 'FAIL' in Polish," Michelle Malkin quipped in a blog post this morning dealing with Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum, who in a September 27 blog post decried the arrest of Roman Polanski in Zurich the day before.
Applebaum, you may recall, failed to note in that blog post that her husband, Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, is pleading for Polanski's release. Well, Malkin noted today that Applebaum is defending her lack of full disclosure, despite having been called out on the blogosphere for the glaring omission:
Washington Post columnist and blogger Anne Applebaum not only penned a September 27 blog post lamenting the recent arrest by Swiss authorities of child rapist and fugitive from American justice, Roman Polanski, she failed to let readers in on her conflict of interest.
Applebaum is married to Poland's foreign minister, who is lobbying for Polanski's release on bail.
Our good friend Patterico -- who works for the D.A.'s office that put out the arrest warrant -- has details at his blog (h/t La Shawn Barber):
Anne Applebaum said she was reaching for a metaphor to describe the dreamy Barack Obama when she started her Slate piece on January 19. Instead of reaching for a metaphor, however, she only got a handful of absurd hyperbole when she decided that Barack Obama was "just like" Captain C.B. "Sully" Sullenberger, the hero pilot that saved the lives of his entire planeload of people by landing it safely in the Hudson River last week. But, after she went wild with her "metaphor" about Obama, Applebaum ended her piece with some really solid warnings about government overreach.
Still, the first half of Applebaum's column was so silly that its hard to know where to start discussing its over-the-top nature. But, lets begin at the top with her ill-fitting conflation of Capt. Sullenberger's excellent job, an "anti-9/11" she absurdly claimed, and the terrorist attacks that brought down the World Trade Center in 2001. There is simply no logical way to relate the two incidents at all, but Applebaum makes a valiant and risible attempt to do so.