Andrew Orlowski on “Moral Responsibility,” Excuse Me While I Laugh My Ass Off
Andrew Orlowski on “Moral Responsibility?” Excuse me while I laugh my ass off and spit my non-fat Starbucks latte all over my computer keyboard. This is just too rich.
So Andrew Orlowski’s sauntering around the internet with his most recent hit piece on Wikipedia, “There’s No Wikipedia Entry for ‘Moral Responsibility,” from his perch over at The Register (I’m making it a point not to link to the Register anymore so if you must feel free to look it up on Google yourself, but I suspect you may have already seen this).
This time Orlowski tells the story of John Seigenthaler, a former Robert Kennedy aide, who was supposedly libeled on Wikipedia. According to Orlowski, Seigenthatler “wrote about his anguish a fortnight ago, describing how an edit to his Wikipedia biography implicated in him in the Kennedy assassination, and claimed he’d lived in Russia for twelve years. Both claims were false, and lay uncorrected for months.”
So here is a guy, Andrew Orlowski, a purported journalist, who recently reported an email that he received as “factual” when its alleged author publicly and vocally disputed its authenticity. Further, the email’s alleged author, Robert Scoble, said that Orlowski, never even phoned him to determine the legitimacy before printing it.
Orlowski mentions the “months” that facts about Seigenthaler lay uncorrected on Wikipedia? What about the “months” that his reported facts lay uncorrected over at the Register?
In fact, I’d suspect that Orlowski’s hatchet job on Scoble at the Register might still lay “uncorrected” to this date had a few individuals (Scoble who was not one) not applied insistent and repeated pressure on The Register’s Editor Joe Fay for him to correct their error.
Even when The Register finally got around to correcting the article, at their leisure, the best that they came back with was, “Robert Scoble emailed us on October 25. Scoble said “Andy Orlowski…printed an email that he claims came from my hand, but didn’t”. Scoble also said he was not contacted about this story: “Andy never checked with me to see if I, indeed, did write that email.” We are happy to print his comments.”
Ok, so I said I wouldn’t link to them and I did.
How about the “moral responsibility” of Andy Orlowski telling us how he came to be in possession of an alleged fabricated email in the first place? How about the “moral responsibility” of an apology to Scoble? Isn’t reporting and journalism supposed to be about the truth? So how about the truth with this botched email Andy? Personally, if I received a fake email and was duped by it I’d want to at least report how I came into possesion of it. I’d feel a “moral responsibility” actually.
“It’s the chasm between Wikipedia’s rude claim to be an “encyclopedia”, and the banal reality of trashy, badly written trivia that causes so many people to be upset about it.”
Hmmmm…. change the word encyclopedia above to “serious tech journalist” and it’s interesting how that quote above makes me think of Mr. Orlowski and his own publication, The Register.
Andrew Orlowski may continue to cover tech and I’ll continue in general to ignore what he and the Register write about but it’s kind of hard to just sit by when he gets this preachy. Andrew Orlowski is the last person that should be chiding us all about “moral responsibility.”
And you can say what you will about Wikipedia but at least one good thing about it is that a previous post of mine exposing Orlowski’s sloppy journalism (at best) sits in the current entry for his own name, oh yeah, and even if it gets “edited” out, it still also sits on the first page search results for his name over on that little website called Google.