Wednesday, September 29, 2004


NPR's ombudsman explains it to us:
It is hard for journalists who have led a sheltered life without public accountability to acknowledge that those days are over.
Especially hard, it seems, for a certain local journalist who jumped up and down and cried foul this morning in the Star Tribune:
[This] is about the war against the media. A lot of it, we deserve. But a lot of the attack against the mainstream media is coming from bloggers, which is like astronomers being assaulted by people who swear that aliens force them to have sex with Martians.
How dare we!

Now this outraged journalist--let's just call him Nick--has read some blogs. Enough to know he's kind of the chosen BlogBoob in these parts. You know, the one everyone (well, mostly Fraters) likes to make fun of. He's clearly cheesed about this:
And as for being a political stooge, unlike the bloggies, I don't give money to politicians, I don't put campaign signs on my lawn, I don't attend political events as anything other than a reporter, I don't drink with pols and I have an ear trained to detect baloney
Really? But are your fingers trained not to type it?

But somehow he's missed the fact that any mainstream media attempt to tell bloggers they're unworthy commentors and no one should be reading them just spawns lots of posting hilarity. Look what happened when a talking head tried to complain that a blogger is merely "some guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing." And don't even start about the ankle-biting.

We've got us some new post-fodder bloggers!:
  • Bloggers and "talk-show barracudas" operate by "tossing stuff against the wall to see what sticks." (Great original metaphor Nick!)
  • Bloggers = Venusians (A bit obtuse but I like it).
  • When visiting a blog, better put on those "haz-mat gloves before you touch the mouse!" (Ooooh we're hot hot HOT!)
  • Blogs : journalism :: ticks : elephants (Special SAT analogy dis) ... "Ticks may make the elephants nuts, but that doesn't mean they will replace them. You can't ride a tick." (With bonus strained explanation!)
  • We're "hobby hacks, the Internet version of the sad loners who used to listen to police radios in their bachelor apartments and think they were involved in the world." (While wearing pajamas of course.)
  • Bloggers are "graffiti artists [I'm an ARTIST!] ... who tag the public square" (that must be how we get that "street cred" you complain of).
  • Blogger "tripe" ... "often as vicious as it is vacuous." (But magically delicious.)
  • Right wing bloggers with respectable jobs sometimes post during business hours! (The horror!) Left wing bloggers "have made a practice of speculating on the president's penis size." (Where? where?)
And it all adds up to a surprise conclusion: "Most bloggers are not fit to carry a reporter's notebook." Bravo! I feel suitably chastened.

But after all this penetrating analysis, Nick's still stumped by one question:
So, how is it that nakedly partisan bloggers who make things up left and right are gaining street cred while the mainstream media, which spend a lot of time criticizing themselves, are under attack?
Hey Nick? Just a thought here from one us ankle-biters: Perhaps the mainstream media should take some of that time to check their facts. Plus, I think it's the clothed partisanship that's a problem, not nakedness. Free the people!

UPDATE: Wow! Nick made Memeorandum! He must be so proud.


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