Rush Limbaugh slams Pioneer Press, U Journalism ‘Screwl’

I don’t usually promote Rush Limbaugh’s predictable outrage, but I suspect he’ll get some “dittos” from unexpected quarters after going off on a $238,000 state grant to retrain the Pioneer Press and Duluth News Tribune staffs.

There’s plenty of playground — he mocks the grant’s recipient as the U Journalism “Screwl,” and the papers as “drive-by” media (as opposed to the depth that is Rush).

But get past the bombast, and Rush will find allies in unexpected quarters.

Since the news broke a couple of days ago, some of my new-media pals have sneered at funding MSMers to learn what others grasped for free. A few seem impatient for the old way to die — for different reasons than Rush — and view this as good money after bad.

And then there’s the more tradtional objection to, as Rush puts it, journalists “suckling up” to the government teat.

Without further ado, here’s El Rushbo:

Comments (11)

  1. Submitted by Mark Gisleson on 02/26/2009 - 09:22 pm.

    I for one am very glad I hadn’t weighed in on this topic. I can, however, think of a few bloggers I’ll be forwarding this URL to just to make sure they see your clip!

  2. Submitted by James Norton on 02/26/2009 - 09:38 pm.

    This is the first I’ve seen or heard of Limbaugh since 2004-2006, when I earned a living (in part) by monitoring his show. If it makes anyone feel better, the guy looks exhausted and distracted compared to the plugged in, impish, energetically clever bomb-chucker I remember. That clip was weak sauce compared to the man in his prime.

  3. Submitted by Eric Ferguson on 02/26/2009 - 11:16 pm.

    Judging by the Pioneer Press’s editorial page on Sunday, nobody needs the training more.

  4. Submitted by Eric Ferguson on 02/26/2009 - 11:21 pm.

    And there’s also the St Louis County absentee ballots story. The Pioneer Press could have just called the election officials like The Uptake did. As a result the Pioneer Press pushed the Coleman line (editorial bleeding over into news?) while the Uptake got the real story. Just who is the amateur organization?

  5. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 02/27/2009 - 10:02 am.

    There has been no conformation from anyone about the status of those St Louis County ballots.

    The UpTake posted the speculation of one of their operatives in support of a biased viewpoint, which is something a amateur organization can get away with, but a credible news source doesn’t do.

  6. Submitted by Kathy Hansen on 02/27/2009 - 10:20 am.

    Just weighing in to bring some facts to the story once again. The state grant comes directly to the University of Minnesota, not the two newspapers. And the staff training was negotiated as part of the Guild contract — the two news organizations are obligated to pay their staff members while they take advantage of the training we will offer. If Rush is such a defender of the “little guy,” I don’t see why he would grudge the union members some pay for training rather than having to dig into their own pockets or take time off. It is precisely because the Guild and its members recognize how the world is shifting under them that they negotiated for this benefit. They should be commended rather than condemned. Anyone who has worked in daily MSM understands that you run in place just to put out the newspaper every day. To provide staff time and pay for training is truly revolutionary and we are pleased to be the training provider.

  7. Submitted by Adam Minter on 02/27/2009 - 12:40 pm.

    Regardless of what Rush says, Kathy Hansen seems to be missing the point here. And that is: why should the state, and by extension, the U, be paying to “retrain” journalists in new media techniques pioneered and deployed by (what the J school may term) amateurs? I’d guess that there’s hundreds of freshman bloggers more qualified to teach those classes than anyone on the J school faculty.

    Yes, yes, this was all part of a guild negotiation, etc etc. But if anything, that just shows, once more, how out-of-touch the guild is with the reality of news reporting in a post-newspaper world.

  8. Submitted by Kathy Hansen on 02/27/2009 - 03:42 pm.

    With a few important and admirable exceptions, bloggers do not yet do much original reporting, investigative work or content editing. Nor do they yet have the MSM’s access to and ability to hold accountable on the public’s behalf the captains of industry and politics that control our fates. I have no doubt this is changing and will continue to change. In the meantime, those of us who care about local and state reporting by professionals with the institutional resources to back them up need to hope that those journalists adopt, expand on and improve the new media techniques so creatively invented by others. And since the ad sales staffs are also eligible for the training we develop, they may actually find a way to pay for all of this.

    P.S. Anyone who hasn’t been inside a modern J-School recently might be surprised. The U’s program is now the largest major in the College of Liberal Arts, with more than 1,110 students. They aren’t there because we’re out of touch. They want to marry their new media skills to the professional journalism education and historical/ethical/legal background we offer. And we don’t do too badly with those new media skills either. 😉

  9. Submitted by John Jordan on 02/28/2009 - 02:49 pm.

    It scares me to think someone actually gets paid “monitoring” the free speech of a fellow American. This is exactly what the Soviets did to monitor and turn in fellow citizens who didn’t tow the Party line. You must be a proud Comrade, Comrade.

  10. Submitted by Peter Wykes on 03/03/2009 - 09:00 am.

    How interesting that these comments about a quarter million dollar grant to help retrain journalists and secure their future employment should come from a guy who makes more than a quarter million for two day’s work. Not everyone in journalism can get 400 million dollar contracts for serving as a right-wing propagandist. The rest might need a little help now and then.

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