Friday, July 31, 2009

Valleywag's Ryan Tate hates the term "Fox News Bonehead"

In my multi-part blog entry on Erin Andrews (which included the video above) I ran across an little gem by now-Valleywag Editor Ryan Tate regarding the website activities of one Fox News correspondent Courtney Friel, who was one of the guests of Fox News star blowhard Bill O'Reilly on the matter of the nude video of ESPN's Erin Andrews. I got after Tate for using this title:

Secret Bikini Shots Of Fox News "Bonehead"

Because I was under the impression that Tate was using someone else's quote to about her to channel (a popular term now) his perception of Friel. I was under the impression Tate himself believed Friel to be a "bonehead" because in the blog post he didn't write the text to separate himself from what he wrote. Well, the ever-observant Tate saw my blog post and sparked a great and friendly email exchange (Ryan's cool) where he wrote:

I quoted the term, twice. Why do you quote things you don't
necessarily agree with? Usually because they're interesting. That
doesn't mean you think they're true. In this case, we have an anchor
who has stirred up a lot of critics. I can't say I agree with them,
because I haven't watched her show and never professed to. What do I
have to go on? What I do know is how she's handled the critics, and
what she's said, which is what I wrote about/ Hard to do that without
quoting the critics.


That's because I didn't rail against the term. I'm not saying I knew
it to be wrong; I knew not whether it was correct or incorrect, and
did not pass judgement on it either way. The post you quoted wasn't
about whether she was a bonehead, it was about her removing racy
pictures from her own website, and more broadly how she presented
herself (the "horse dick" video). Her critics are relevant in this
context because it's a possible explanation for her pulling the

This was a far cry from the exchange I had with Kara Swisher of the Wall Street Journal, who employed the same device regarding Twitter in stating that it was "simple", which I disagree with. Where Ryan was cool, Kara was nasty and overbearing, basically ordering me to make a change without explaining why she used someone else's quote about Twitter.

Kudos to Ryan!

As one who's paid to give an opinion, I'm used to those who write or say "I think this" or that, rather than hide behind a quote. But at least Ryan gave me his point of view separate from what he wrote and without the insults and orders Swisher threw at me.