Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Media Hates blockers. Here's Why.

A media low-life - I will not bother you with his name because he was a co-host on CNN's Crossfire which means that he is a sub-human partisan and they are only identifiable by the pattern of barnacle on their hides - was quoted as referring to bloggers as people "with no credentials, no sources, no rules, no editors and no accountability."

I am sure that lots of digital ink has been spilled over what a crap-factory this guy is but since numerous other media "journalists" (read as Bachelor of Arts drop-outs) hold this opinion, I thought I would sputter a bit about this comment.

1) No credentials - Many journalists have demonstrated that their credentials are not worth the matchbook cover they are advertised on. Objectivity is old fashioned to them and they would have to look up the word research to know what it is; they would probably cut and paste the definition from Wikipedia if they thought they needed it. Bloggers generally care about what they are writing about and make an effort to do it well. While some blogs are the equivalent of the Weekly World News, many are of such quality that there is no mainstream media publication to compare them to.

2) No sources - Most blog articles link to mainstream media or the same news feeds that the media use. The media are effectively saying that they are not accurate or trustworthy sources. Sounds right but it is strange to hear the media owning up to it.

3) No rules, no editors, and no accountability - He is still speaking about bloggers is he? Because I find most mainstream media content to be high in speculation and slander, low in spelling and grammar (I know I am not perfect but even I can use a spell checker F.F.S! My local paper often misspells the name of the our city!), poorly researched (especially in science and technology issues) and I have never seen a retraction that was given the same prominence as the original article or broadcast. In fact most retractions only come when a media outlet is forced by a court to do so.

People "with no credentials, no sources, no rules, no editors and no accountability." Hmmm. Would that not make a good description of a citizen? No wonder the media has such contempt for bloggers. Citizens are supposed to sit down, read the paper, watch the T.V. and keep their mouths shut. They are sometimes allowed to contribute to the op-ed page or a call in show but those are managed and screened. Blogs are a nightmare for journalists because it allows ordinary people to both communicate and publish and succeed or fail on their merits. How are the media supposed to compete based on their merits? They have none! Citizens are supposed to respect the free press, not participate in it as far as the media is concerned. Maybe we owe our "journalists" an apology. Does Hallmark make a card to apologize for doing someone else's job when they won't and making them look bad?

If these "blog-mobs" are so lacking in any content and credibility, why is there so much fallout? Why do the media not continue to ignore what these people are saying and the questions they ask. If the
Raelians accused Lou Dobbs of being involved in witchcraft would CNN have him dunked to test the theory? These issues have consequences because they are real and ignoring them does not make the questions go away. Blaming people who ask the questions does not make them go away either. Even some third world dictators are beginning to learn that. Whether you call those who are asking these questions people or blog-mobs or troublemakers, the questions can not be deleted. It is too bad journalists have stopped asking questions and started blaming their failings on others. It must be caused by all those credentials.

P.S. Some of the points made here may have been made in articles I have read elsewhere. There was no attempt at plagiarism and you should take it as evidence that your points are so valid as to seem self evident after being read. The media serves up the same warmed over news stories over and over while parroting each other; why can't I?

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