No Respect, Proper Attribution for Sad Citizen JournalistsS

A couple days ago, Huffington Post's "OffTheBus," a political blog inside the political blog that is the rest of HuffPo, broke a story: Barack Obama thinks Americans are bitter! You have hopefully heard about this by now, as it was all over the TV all weekend, this whole "Barack Obama thinks economic troubles color people's world views" crisis, so we will spare you the details and instead point and laugh at OffTheBus's poor Jay Rosen detailing all the varied and confused ways every single media outlet on Earth refused to give them credit for a legitimate scoop. "Mayhill Fowler's Obama quotes were shown on screen, but Meet the Press made no mention of her, or OffTheBus, or the Huffington Post." Hah. It gets more convoluted from there because NO ONE UNDERSTANDS INTERNET STUFF.

Mayhill Fowler is an Obama supporter and donor. She blogged a fundraiser she went to. This, basically, is what this "OffTheBus" thing is supposed to be—people blogging about political stuff they see and do. Or "citizen journalism" if you insist. Due to a lull in important campaign stories, like lobbyist-fucking or crazy preachers, everyone latched onto this "Pennsylvanians be bitter" story and spent all weekend parsing it and arguing over it all without mentioning where it came from, which upsets blog-booster Jay Rosen.

Russert just said the comments "became public late on Friday afternoon." Then, later, he randomly decided that the Boston Globe was his source.

Time claimed the reported remarks were a leak from someone inside the campaign. Hah. Time has Obama's staff confused with Clinton's!

We're in uncharted territory here. There are languages missing. People get mad when they don't know what to call things. So much so that Mike Allen of the Politico in 12 reasons 'bitter' is bad for Obama couldn't even find the word "website" to describe the Huffington Post, which became in his tortured rendering, "a liberally oriented organization that was Obama's outlet of choice when he wanted to release a personal statement distancing himself from some comments by the Rev. Wright." Sounds like a shadowy 527 group.

To be fair, we can't really tell you what the hell "OffTheBus" is either, though we're pretty sure there's a limited list of HuffPo-affiliated projects that really merit the term "organization." (Zing!)

The Uncharted: From Off the Bus to Meet the Press [HuffPo]