Monday, May 04, 2009

Don't let yourself get played by the Alligators

marjorie says...

"people familiar with the matter"

"sources say"

"seasoned political players ponder"

"they say"

"insiders wonder"

"we're getting this from a source close to..."

These phrases are just a sampling of the stock in trade that litters the blog of Joe Monahan this morning. To listen to Monahan, he's got a tap on every "in the know" person in New Mexico and we should just, you know, "trust" him to get it right.

But here is what his blog is really about...

Monahan is the blog of leaks. It's the place that a certain sector of New Mexico's political class leaks information. Monahan mixes anonymous perspectives of some in the political circles he runs with and the straightforward stuff he gleans from the on-the-record writing of the rest of New Mexico's reporting/blogging class. And then he coats the information he brings with his own inclinations and political persuasion.

Problem is, the outcome can be highly irresponsible.

For instance, today he says Amanda Cooper and Chris Romer have been granted immunity. How do we know if we can trust him? He repeatedly reports rumor as fact, and apologizes after the fact when he's wrong. Or, he simply doesn't bother to "sweat the details."

And, if he is correct, what's the context? Does that mean they've admitted to wrongdoing? Or would they simply not agree to talk to the grand jury about what they may or may not know without immunity?

We don't know, because Monahan doesn't give us any context or anything on the record. He simply passes on the leak as it was handed to him. Someone gave him some info, possibly with an agenda, and he obliged them by getting it out there.

It's those hidden agendas that one has to keep in mind when it comes to Monahan's blogging about real people who've built real careers. Because without real facts and real context, we're left with a general perception of wrongdoing that may be completely off base, and for certain is quite damaging to those people he's writing about.

So you know, people, read his blog in the light it deserves...and don't let yourself get played.