Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Mainstream Bloggers

I know there's nothing more boring than blogging about blogging and blogging about the media covering the bloggers covering the media covering... well, you know.

But, still, this is really about the media and not the meta-meta-blogging.

It's really quite fascinating how the media is treating the bloggers and blogging. First, they spend a lot of time talking about how we don't have "editors" or "fact-checkers" and how you just can't reusr that stuff you read in the internet, especially from those pesky bloggers. Who remembers this from Judy Woodruff?

WOODRUFF: Just two days after moving closer to a presidential race, John Kerry already is in denial mode. His office says the senator does not pay $150 to get his hair cut, as claimed by Matt Drudge on the Internet. The Boston Herald quotes a source as saying that Kerry pays more like $75 to get what some have called the best hair in the Senate.
The Drudge Report, which we’ve not yet confirmed, says Kerry’s do is the work of a stylist at the chic Cristophe salon. And you may remember Cristophe from the $200 trim that he gave Bill Clinton on board Air Force One while it sat on the tarmac at LAX in Los Angeles. Clinton learned then what Kerry may know now. Even hair can be a cutting issue when you are or want to be president.

So, Judy feels free to push unconfirmed information from Drudge, and remind viewers of the time that Clinton held up traffic at LAX for hours. She didn't say that he held up traffic, of course, but that's the only reason it was a story at the time. Except that, it wasn't actually true.

Then, of course, we're chastized for spreading rumors. Who remembers this?

BLITZER (question to King, Wednesday, 3/24/04): What administration officials have been saying since the weekend, basically that Richard Clarke from their vantage point was a disgruntled former government official, angry because he didn't get a certain promotion. He's got a hot new book out now that he wants to promote. He wants to make a few bucks, and that his own personal life, they're also suggesting that there are some weird aspects in his life as well, that they don't know what made this guy come forward and make these accusations against the president. Is that the sense that you're getting, speaking to a wide range of officials?

Blitzer later offered up a bullshit non-excuse excuse for that, which you can read about at the link.

So, what's the media's next step? Well, shower a lot of attention on a self-described gossip blog which sometimes makes things up (Wonkette). Look, I like Wonkette and enjoy reading it, and given the many many media interview requests I've blown off trust me I'm not envying the attention. It's just Wonkette isn't really representative of blogs in any meaningful way. Happy for Wonkette getting attention as Wonkette, rather silly that she's getting attention as a "blogger."

And, then, they start their own blogs which have only the absolute worst aspects of blogs -- overly self-referential, no original content, an obsession with unfunny snark, and an adulation of uber-hip cynicism.. You know, sort of like Kausfiles. See CNN and MSNBC.

It's sort of funny seeing the media try to grab a medium, insult all the people who are currently doing it, and then turn around and do it really really really badly themselves. But, hey, I'm not sure why blogging should be much different...

(sightky edited, 7/28)