Journalists say that they don''t like bloggers.
Well, they don't like most bloggers. They like the kind that post lots of statistics and expertise information that they can use in their articles. But they don't like kind that critique their articles and op-ed pieces. I interviewed reporters a couple of years ago about that. One reporter compared them
to “barnacles on a ship".The best grouchy quote that I got was,
Talk is cheap. Everyone's got an opinion. Just because you know
how to use the Internet doesn't make your comments any better than the wiseacre
at the end of the bar. In fact, give me him: at least he's accessible for
On the other hand, while they complain about bloggers, they sure do read them a lot.
Maureen Dowd writes about Internet abuse.
If I read all the vile stuff about me on the Internet, I’d never come
to work. I’d scamper off and live my dream of being a cocktail waitress
in a militia bar in Wyoming….
“The velocity and volume on the Web are so
great that nothing is forgotten and nothing is remembered,” says Leon
Wieseltier, the literary editor of The New Republic. “The Internet is
like closing time at a blue-collar bar in Boston. Everyone’s drunk and
ugly and they’re going to pass out in a few minutes.”
She writes about the skanky blogger controversy. And basically called pseudonymous bloggers cowards.
There are a lot of excellent bloggers who shield their names. They might have to protect their identities, because their workplace would frown on their blogging. Maybe it allows them to speak some hard truths.
This just feels like a lot of whining to me. If you're on the opinion page of the New York Times, you have to be able to take the heat. It's part of the game. If you're not up for it, then I've got a waitress job for you.
UPDATE: Hysterical response by Tim Burke. An excerpt:
The conversation about anonymity, pseudonymity, real names and
reputation capital is a long-running one in online discussion, with
thoughtful contributions on all sides of the debate. Here comes Dowd,
acting like she just crashed into Hispaniola and planted her flag on
terra nova. That’s a fabulous example of amnesiac fogginess. If Dowd’s
column were a blog entry, she’d have to cover her ears to drown out the
roar of the yawns at so elementary a restatement of the basics of this
long-standing debate. Anybody with skin in that game has gone beyond
just noticing that the issue exists.
And Dan Drezner channels his inner-Maureen Dowd with the finesse of a drag queen and translates her prose.
“The velocity and volume on the Web are so great that nothing is
forgotten and nothing is remembered,” says Leon Wieseltier, the
literary editor of The New Republic. “The Internet is like closing time
at a blue-collar bar in Boston. Everyone’s drunk and ugly and they’re
going to pass out in a few minutes.”
Translation: "You know how, later on in this essay, I say
that insulting individuals on the Internet is rude? That's only if you
do it badly. If you insult broad swathes of people in a charming
manner, that's just witty banter."