Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Blog are Worse than the Traditional Media?
Jesse Taylor at Panadong has this to say:
The problem with blogs isn't gossip and innuendo. The problem with blogs is the goddamned triumphalism that pervades many of them on a roughly biweekly basis every time they find a story that they think isn't being covered enough and pound the hell out of it. Sometimes it's deserved; much more often, it's not.

And, to be quite frank, much of that comes from the right, largely because they've build up an entire separate media sphere which prides itself on not being the mainstream media.
(bolding added by me for emphasis)

Now I like Jesse's writing - he's clearly an articulate fellow. But while the blogsphere clearly pounds a story into the pavement, can anybody honestly say that the traditional media does not do the same thing?

In Jesse's defense, he does say mostly the same thing:
The mainstream media screws up a lot. And it's good that bloggers are there to call them on it - when they do a fair and accurate job of it. However, "the media sucks" doesn't imbue a blogger with righteousness and validity in their pursuit of stories the media isn't (and shouldn't be) covering. It shouldn't be a badge of honor that the nonsense you're peddling isn't being covered by people who have professional credibility to maintain.

The question then is whether the old media is any different in its triumphantalism then the new. Does anybody honestly think that the editors of the NYTimes won't be celebrating in the event of a Kerry win? That glee will not be detectable the day after in their stories? That the reporters will not take it as a "badge of honor" that they have made a difference?

Now I may have misread Jesse's argument. I frequently do that in my absent mindedness. But I think Jesse and I disagree on this point. And I don't think it is a trivial one either. It goes to the heart of whether the old Media is as neutral as many would like to believe it is.

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