Getting off the citizen-bus

What a bloody citizen-farce. The 61 year-old "citizen-blogger" who revealed Obama's small town America remarks to a closed group of San Francisco donors is called Mayhill Fowler. She "works" for OffTheBus.Net, the citizen-newspaper which obviously takes advantage of clueless alter-kuckers like Fowler for their "news". Fowler, of course, shouldn't have revealed Obama's off-the-record remarks. But then she's a self-acknowledged dabbler rather than a trained journalist, isn't paid for her work and has no traditional editor at the exploitative OffTheBus. In the end, the New York Times tells us, she decided to go public with the grenade of a story after talking with her husband who told her to publish it because it was "newsworthy."

Then there's Jeff Rosen, the NYU citizen-academic responsible for OffTheBus. Justifying his decision to publish Fowler's piece, he wrote on his blog:

"we knew there could be problems with this approach and possible disputes with the campaigns. But we felt that participants in politics had a right to report on what they saw and heard themselves, not as journalists claiming no attachments but as citizens with attachments who were relinquishing none of their rights."

Huh? Citizen-garbage in, citizen-garbage out. Pity the poor kids at NYU who have to listen to such sanctimonious citizen-smut from Rosen on a daily basis. Don't dress this up in doublespeak about "citizens with attachments", Jeff. You got a hot story by accident and ran with it -- even though any journalist with an ounce of professional credibility would had the good sense to kill it.  End of story.

Meanwhile, Arianna Huffington, the citizen-mogul founder of the Huffington Post, is laughing all the way to the citizen-bank. OffTheBus fed the piece to her uber-blog and a few hours later, bingo, it had 250,000 views. According to The Times, Huffington "cleared the post by cellphone while aboard David Geffen's yacht in Tahiti." At least this Santa Monica based citizen-voice of the American working class takes her own cellphone calls. Perhaps now she knows what it feels like to live in small town America.