A Series of Rubes

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As far as inside blogball arguments go, this is one of the greats. "Greater Boston," a newscast on Boston's WGBH public tv station, sent media analyst John Carroll off to report on these "political blogger" types, after a flawed New York Times op-art linked some of them to big money from political candidates. Jonathan Singer at the liberal blog MyDD responded to that op-art with this blast of sarcasm.

Chris, Matt and Jonathan do not exist, despite any previous claims. He got me. We're all the same person. I (Jerome) have been writing under these aliases the entire time I have been working on other campaigns. I also used to write under the name of Scott Shields until I got hired under that pseudonym by another campaign. Thought you met Matt, Chris or Jonathan at Yearly Kos or some other event? Most likely you met one of the young fellows I paid to play those roles. They're just out of work, dime a dozen actors from Los Angeles. Anyone could have played them.

Raise your hand if you get that Singer is joking. Hey, John Carroll—put your hand down. The "media expert" took Singer seriously and reported his "scoop" about the blogger masquerading as many bloggers for the show. That led to this hilarious segment, featuring serious media analysts discussing these terrible bloggers who masquerade as other people to get money from politicians.

I have an actual degree from a journalism school stashed away somewhere, so I wince when I see journalistic "watchdogs" getting their shit wrong in such a slanderous Emily Litella manner. The problem with political blogging, including paid political blogging, is only that it's turned blogs from the interesting, amorphous status of 2000-2002 into a red team-blue team wrestling circuit. Ethically there's no problem with political blogging, and journalists routinely make themselves out to be morons when they suggest otherwise.

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9 responses to “A Series of Rubes

  1. I feel like I’m living in a different country from these people sometimes. Remember “the internets?” The series of tubes? I saw Teddy K. on local cable access asking his crew to put somebody’s “web number.”

    It’s like striking a match in front of cavemen.

  2. My media relations teacher works part-time at the Miami Herald and started off a rant by asking “what is the problem…which some people might say with the idea of blogs?” And then went on a long rant with backasswards logic about how blogs are evil because their are so many of them or something. I think most of this just stems from the fact that all of the other news outlets (except, for some reason, cable) are pissy over the fact that they are getting MORE compitition in a crowded market.

    I’ve always seen blogs as a batch of screeching monkeys, but at the same time they are screechy, whiny (really whiny) monkeys that just happen to be jumping up and down to call your attention to the fact that their is a fire in the next room.

  3. Their = possessive pronoun

  4. Terrific Emily Litella reference.

  5. Journalism degree? What do you have to study to get that? Reading the newspaper? Grade school writing skills? Washing the ink off your hands?

    I think the news industry would be in better shape if they hired people who had actually studied a particular area and could write a little.

  6. ROFL, that really reminds me of being quoted in TNR as a hybrid driver!

    Em, wait, it is not quite the same as the statement attributed to me was fabricated.

  7. Serious question: why does anyone give a rat’s ass what a bunch of talking heads in the MSM think of blogs? No one who reads a blog is going to be shamed into not reading it because some guy on channel two or some other opinion columnist for the newspaper thinks bloggers are crummy journalists. Last I heard, the average American’s opinion of journalists was right up there with politicians and used car salesmen. Do bloggers actually want to be respected as peers by these people? From my perspective, the whole debate is like arguing over which flavor of Kool Aid is the best. Am I completely missing the point?

  8. Mad Scientist,

    You may have touched on something with the Kool Aid. The popular press seems to drink a lot of it without any heed to what it may contain.

  9. Then again, MSM journalists speak to the public, whereas bloggers mostly speak with one another. Thus far, the blogosphere is a mostly incestuous affair.

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