Monday, November 28, 2005


I'm not one who gets outraged when media types rant about how blogs are filled with inaccuracies. They are, as any visit to one in the full-o-shit-o-sphere, such as Time Magazine's Blog of the Year, will prove. Zuckerman's little anti-blog rant is ridiculous for other reasons, as P O'Neill points out.

Still, it's worth addressing his central point that "gatekeeper" media, a system by which "journalistic professionals" determined what the great unwashed did or did not need to know, is being torn down by the blogs. I think that concept of "gatekeeper media" is on balance a bad concept, but I don't see it as being entirely without merit. Nothing wrong with real professional standards, assuming they're real and not imaginary.

However, it isn't blogs that destroyed the Gatekeepers. It wasn't blogs that put Rush Limbaugh on as an election analyst. It wasn't blogs that gave Bill O'Reilly the flagship show on a major cable news network. It wasn't blogs that gave Michael Savage his own television show on a cable news network. It wasn't blogs that put Ann Coulter on the cover of a major national news magazine. It wasn't blogs that created all of the various and often fact free screaming heads shows. It wasn't blogs that gave syndicated columns to numerous conservatives with little or no experience in journalism. It wasn't blogs that devoted the summer of 2001 to Gary Condit (uh, ok, well, maybe Josh helped a bit)and the summer of 2005 to a missing girl in Aruba. It wasn't blogs that invented the New York Post or Washington Times. And, it wasn't blogs that were responsible for all of the errors that this wonderful organization tracks on a regular basis.

Gatekeeper media may be dead, but to a great degree they dug their own grave and dove right in. Blogs didn't really get there until after the funeral.