Jarvis, also a guest on the broadcast, took great offense at Alterman's suggestion. After all, it was Jarvis who has written glowing accounts about Ali and Mohammed -- the two bloggers at issue -- and their occupation-friendly blog, IraqThe Model. He called Alterman's comment "irresponsible and dangerous." Later in a posting on Buzzmachine, Jarvis wrote: "That's the worst of tabloid, tin-hat, anti-intellectual, ammoral [sic] rumor-mongering. That's Eric, the rumor monger. What he did was, let me repeat, not journalistic."
Through it all, Jarvis fails to weigh the consequences of another event: Prior to Boxer's story, the bloggers in question received an invitation to come to America and meet President Bush at the White House -- a friendly encounter that was widely covered in mainstream press -- which likely did much more to imperil the pair than anything written in The New York Times.
Back to Alterman. I've been in the same room when someone questioned his journalistic chops -- something that seems to occur every time I mention Eric's name -- and his response was not pretty. My theory: the shrillness of the defense is proportional to the accuracy of the charge. Alterman's reporting seems too closely in step with the DNC agenda now being championed by the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, where -- surprise, surprise -- he serves as a Senior Fellow.
On the other hand, Jarvis seems to fancy himself as the fresh prince of blogdom, routinely boasting of his various media appearances via his best-selling blog Buzzmachine.
As evidence of this, take note of the grappling between these two 'Titans' of the ring. I'm scoring it as Jarvis: 3, Alterman: 2 -- using the FILA standard for Greco-Roman wrestling, of course.