La! La! La! I’m not listening!

Nick Coleman: Blogged down in Web fantasy (via Blogads blog)

A writer in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has it all figured out.

Even David Broder, the Washington Post’s dean of media, is worried. He says, “News organizations on which people should be able to depend have been diverted into chasing sham events.”

Yes, David. But one of the shams we’re chasing is the supposed threat of the blogs, who are to journalism what ticks are to elephants. Ticks may make the elephants nuts, but that doesn’t mean they will replace them. You can’t ride a tick.

But, of course, the ticks will survive in places and times that elephants cannot manage. Maybe I’m wrong.


Bloggers are hobby hacks, the Internet version of the sad loners who used to listen to police radios in their bachelor apartments and think they were involved in the world.

Hmm. I don’t recall any stories of police scanner listeners breaking open big cases and getting the police departments to take notice. Maybe I’m wrong.

And especially

We are dealing with Internet chat rooms: sleazy and unreliable, with no accountability. Most bloggers are not fit to carry a reporter’s notebook.

Maybe not. But many reporters have a notebook with a silver spiral holding pieces of paper together. Many bloggers have a notebook with a wireless connection to millions upon millions of instantly-searchable pages of information. Maybe I’m wrong.

Mr. Coleman explains how he learned some valuable lessons from his dad, paid his dues covering all things at all times, and how he’s been a professional journalist longer than most bloggers have been alive. That’s all well and good.

But most bloggers are talking about the next ten years when they discuss Big Media and the blogosphere. Mr. Coleman apparently prefers to discuss the past four decades when comparing Big Media and the blogosphere.

He writes

So, how is it that nakedly partisan bloggers who make things up left and right are gaining street cred while the mainstream media, which spend a lot of time criticizing themselves, are under attack?

Actually, isn’t it the nakedly partisan mainstream media who make things up left and right (or at least pass on obviously made up stories) which is under attack? I know I’ve never attacked the self-critical segment of the mainstream media even once, and I don’t know that anyone else in the blogosphere has, either.

Of course, I’m not really sure where I’d find the self-critical segment of the mainstream media. Certainly not at Mr. Coleman’s desk at the Star-Tribune, it seems.

Of course, the blogosphere gets stories wrong. And there are more than a few extremists and wackos out there. But all in all, I think most news bloggers are open and up front about their political preferences, use the resources available to them in the most efficient way they can, and truly are self-critical and self-correcting.

I don’t see that in Big Media, and that’s why they’re under attack.

Mr. Coleman can blow off the blogosphere. He’s earned his stripes and paid for his wisdom. If he thinks blogs are a fad, fine.

I think he’s wrong. I think this tele-vision thing might catch on. I think guitar bands might make a comeback. I think this internet thing is here to stay. I think Big Media needs to undergo major changes or it is going to continue to lose credibility and the respect of the public.

I might be wrong.


  1. When (which is rarely lately) I read Drudge I know to take him about as seriously as I do the National Enquirer. When I read Instapundit, and many others, I know that if he errs he will correct himself openly, transparently, and quickly. When I watch CBSNBCABC News, I am not given information about the sources for the stories, any kind of context, a list of resources for further study, or an opprotunity to review quotes beyond the very short, itsy-bitsy soundbite that they put on air. The prsumption is that the reporters and anchors are professionals and would never lie. And that when mistakes are made, they are not deemed important enough to merit a correction with the same amount of emphasis that the original story was given. I can fact check bloggers and verify their stories within minutes. Bloggers fact check the hell out of each other and give corrections the same prominence, if not more, as the original story. And they don’t cover up their mistakes. I no longer trust organizations that don’t allow us viewers to fact check their ass. Whether bloggers wear boxers, briefs, panties, pajamas, robes, or the suit they were born in doesn’t really matter to me. People who only get their news from Tom, Dan and Peter, Time, Newsweek, or other publications where the reporters are expected to wear clothes, don’t know what is going on in North Korea, Iran, Sudan, about the UN Oil-for-Food scandal, what Arafat says to the Arab press versus the Western press, or the true facts behind the building of the Israeli wall. I’ll take the guys in PJs over the guys in suits every time. If what I am saying is not clear to you Tom, Dan and Peter, here is a quick soundbite: ‘I don’t trust you guys.’