Friday, March 27, 2009

Obama LiveBlog!

I know you're all's our liveblog of the Obama and Holder event!

It'll start at 9:30, so sit tight until then.


A Student of Yours said...

9:34 [Comment From Adam Green]
Is the GW Hatchet there? Are the Department of Justice people swarming them -- asking to give a statement to GW's "paper of record" (according to Hatchet comments on GWBlogspot yesterday)?

9:36 [Comment From Adam Green]
If Obama puts a seal on the podium, is there any chance the JEC will be forced to kick Obama off stage for not officially declaring the podium as an expenditure?

Adam, you're getting more and more pathetic every day.

Poli Sci Student said...

Seriously. This guy sounds like he didn't check a lot off his to-do list in college and is attempting to extend the experience. Doesn't exactly summon the word "professorial" -- though "juvenile" comes to mind.

God save the Political Science department if Adam Green ever receives tenure.

Jonathan said...

Why is Adam Green so damn bitter. I find it repulsive that a professor would mock one of the School's selling points, one of the best newspapers in the nation.

Dear Adam,
your class is a joke, you are a joke, and your arguments are juvenile. If I see more posts like the one about the hatchet or the backhanded stupid comments on the liveblog, I will write an extensive letter to SMPA telling them how you are the worst "professor" at this institution and deserve to be removed.

Better yet, go to American U. The American Eagle and you are destined for eachother. The are a gaggling bunch of idiots, as are you and your bloggers.

AdamGreen said...

In the interest of transparency and constructive dialogue, let's have the discussion.

First, let's start with the main point on the table the last couple days. Is it fair game for GWBlogspot in general, or me in particular as admin of GWBlogspot, to critique the Hatchet?


Why? Because a big part of the Internet & Politics class is the idea that we're moving from old norms to new norms, a top-down world to a bottom-up world -- and that includes "new media" coming onto the scene.

To the extent that older media adapt to the new world, great. To the extent that they try to deny the new world or marginalize it, they deserve pushback. Not just at GW, but nationally and globally.

So "Hatchet editor" writes this: "Why would the University come to a site about a year old with likely not 1/1000th of the distribution of the Hatchet?"

That's downright dismissive of new media -- a centerpiece the Internet & Politics. It beckons for a response.

When I challenged the editor on these "distribution" claims, he actually backtracked and said he should have talked about readership (which, I assure you, is not a 1 to 1000 ratio).

"Hatchet editor" also claimed most posts on GWBlogspot are about the Hatchet -- again, an attempt to marginalize new media as a "me too" Hatchet. When I pointed out that wasn't true, there was no rebuttal.

So, the overall point here is that when the Hatchet or anyone else chooses to marginalize new media, it's fair game to push back. It doesn't mean anyone's bitter or anti-Hatchet. Believe it or not, it's possible to have a dialogue and even disagree without being bitter.

Point two, but related: Most media resist critique. I deal with national reporters all the time -- they are not fans of sites like which consistently fact check them and hold them accountable.

I understand that resistance. It's not fun to be criticized. But (as I'm doing here) it's better to be responsive than dismissive. Especially if you embrace the ever-increasing bottom-up world we live in.

So, here's a line of media critique that Nick wrote -- an opinion, connecting some dots between the Hatchet's place in the media landscape and the substance of their reporting:

"My problem, and this is something I've tried to say multiple different ways, is the air of dismissal that the Hatchet and some of its editorial board and writers feel towards other forms of media because of their position. I think this comes from a certain sense of entitlement and comfort that goes hand in hand with being the exclusive provider of up-to-date news for the University. The Hatchet does indeed have wider readership (nobody can contest that), but if you aren't actively finding ways to speak up for students, then you, unfortunately, aren't doing your jobs. And that's why I advocate people paying attention to the smaller news sources. The Hatchet may have better resources and better access, but they've become disconnected."

Do you agree with that critique? Disagree? You're free to do either.

If you disagree, make an intelligent argument as to why. That's the point of a comments section.

But what actually happened? "Anonymous" immediately posted, "Fabiani, are you serious with your last comment. Why don't you do some research before posting these comments you write?"

When Nick made his initial post -- also a cogent critique that you can agree or disagree with -- Anonymous wrote, "Get off your high horse and quit complaining."

There was also an anonymous comment demeaning GWBlogspot itself -- the essence of attacking the messenger when disagree'ing with the message.

Who wants to step up and defend the tone and substance of Anonymous? Talk about bitter.

When I encourage students to embrace this new media -- and their constructive arguments are met by dismissive attacks posted anonymously, I don't delete those comments. That would be top-down and against a key premise of this course. But I see it as fair game for me to step in and comment back.

I have yet to see a substantive rebuttal of the points I'm making about the role of new media on campus or the shifting media norms we're seeing in society.

(Although hat tip to Jake, a former Hatchet editor that I respect for his responsiveness this year and last, who did present some strong examples of the Hatchet doing watchdog journalism -- a constructive rebuttal to some of the points made by others about the Hatchet's journalism.)

Third point: let me be first to rebut myself. In the liveblog, I recollected incorrectly that it was a Hatchet person that called the Hatchet GW's "paper of record." That was wrong. It was actually W. Hunter Patterson. Apologies for that mistake.

Fourth, in the first 10 minutes of the liveblog, I was doing my part to help the commenting get off the ground by responding to what Nick was describing about the scene inside the Obama event. There were multiple tongue-in-cheek comments. If you didn't appreciate the podium sign reference, that's fine. Sorry you didn't appreciate it.

Fifth, when someone apologized on the blog yesterday for calling me "Adam" instead of "Professor," I wrote back telling her not to apologize. Adam is fine.

Why? Again, we live in an ever-increasing bottom-up world. My opinion in the comment section is not inherently any more worthy than anyone else's -- no need for special salutations.

My opinions are also not above critique. That's fine. Go for it.

But I'll call out as ironic attempts to shoehorn teachers into a top-down box, like this one: "I find it repulsive that a professor would mock one of the School's selling points, one of the best newspapers in the nation."

Really? Someone who teaches about new media can not respond to comments by "Hatchet editor" that marginalize new media?

C'mon now. That's just ridiculous -- of course it's fair game to respond. And when people like Jake (former Hatchet editor) respond to my substantive responses with substantive responses of his own, it proves that the whole process is actually quite constructive.

And finally, a word on Internet & Politics, the course.

If you've never taken the course, and you're judging the substance of the course by posts that you disagree with on this blog, you honestly undercut your own credibility every time you lash out.

There's a reason that students leaving this course last year had to juggle competing internship offers from the National Journal's Hotline and the Huffington Post. There's a reason that the Obama administration ended up giving GWBlogspot an "invite-only" media credential at this week's Obama event.

The reason: This is not a traditional course. (And, as someone who's main job is national online politics, I'll admit it, I'm not a traditional "professor.")

Those in the broader political world know the value of the hands-on experience students in GW's Internet & Politics class are exposed to. That's why top reporters, top national bloggers on the right and left, top strategists for presidential campaigns, and top online activists come to our class to share their thoughts. It's also why they are so open to providing students who have been through this class with opportunities when the class is over.

So, I embrace the bottom-up world. Feel free to heckle or provide substantive comments. Feel free to criticize my ideas or others you disagree with.

But, don't think that anyone forfeits their right to speak because you comment anonymously, use a harsh tone, or comment on behalf of (or in defense of) a campus publication that is "one of the best newspapers in the nation."

We're all equal here in the comments.

Anonymous said...

Once again, you miss the point. You're a professor. GET A LIFE! Stop arguing with 19-year olds.

caesarslaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

First, I've been reading this blog since it was started - some fun info/gossip. Second, only until a couple of days ago did I realize from the comments section that AdamGreen is a professor.

Have you students no shame whatsoever...Jeez...I read the comments and I'm embarrassed
my peers treat a professor this matter how much they disagree with him.

"you're pathetic" "idiot" "go to American" - are you freaking serious? That's your intelligent response to what is said on the blog? If you don't like it ...go freaking read CNN and Hatchet - professional journalism.

I'm all for getting your point across - I disagree with most things here ...but the rudeness is truly an embarrassment for GW student community. If that's how you treat other individuals especially adults/professors who aren't partying every freaking night, smoking weed, cussing and acting all self righteous since mommy and daddy pay the tuition, smoking, and screaming on a the streets a freaking 2:00 in the morning ...get some dignity and get some intelligence. You haven't worked a day in your miserable existence, and you're acting like you're the sh** on an anonymous blog...

And may I say I'm surprised everyone just keeps attacking more and no student has said anything yet. Too busy being green, loving Obama, and complaining about how this was the "worst day of your life" because of your D...? I can only hope someone treats you the same way along the years when you have a job and a life and a snotty 19-year old makes comments to be self important

Professor Green, I personally want to apologize not for them disagreeing with you but the way students voice their concerns. I've disagreed a lot of times over some of the statements made here but never in this manner.

Colby Anderson said...

At anon,

I'm not saying that I agree with everything you said, but I am worried that students are not respectful enough with a professor.

While I'm not really sure where I stand on Professor Green, and I'm still not 100% convinced his continued criticism of the Hatchet on and off the blog is professional, I am worried about the tone students are taking towards a professor.

The position of a professor should be respected. There is the exception when the professor truly does not do his job (like getting back to you, not holding office hours, etc etc) but that doesn't seem to be the case here.

Disagree with Professor Green, but he is a professor, please, show some sort of respect.

(Even though he did call me a "her" in the above post, when I am in fact a man)

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