Skippy vs. Shaw

Skippy at The American Street writes:

don't fear the blogger - a skippy rant

david shaw's media matters column in sunday's latimes makes a quick mention of the fact that bloggers are at the convention this week.

after commenting that the networks are scaling back their coverage to three hours a week (when in the old days it used to be gavel to gavel), mr. shaw then spends one paragraph on blogging:

yes, i know. bloggers are the wave of the (not-too-distant) future, the unfiltered voice of true democracy, the one opportunity for the independent little guy to have a say in a world increasingly dominated by massive, nameless, multimedia conglomerates. but too many bloggers sound like a cross between a guy in a barroom and a guy on a soapbox. or maybe a guy on a soapbox in a barroom. this isn't to suggest that they don't have value. many do, whether as simple tip services or as the expression of intelligent, provocative, unique (if often stupefyingly solipsistic) viewpoints. but bloggers are more the cyberspace equivalent of columnists than reporters — opinion-mongers, not news-gatherers. and at a convention, i'm more interested in news and insight than i am in opinion and outrage.

well, where do we start?

yes, we're on a soap box in a bar room.  but if that's so, the national news media are the pr firm for the soap company, doing ads for the bar.

please, mr. shaw, give us an example of a national news "reporter," a "gatherer," who isn't an "opinion-mongerer."  cnn's william schneider, who gets air time continuously?  msnbc's lisa myers, who said she was fact-checking michael moore, when all she did was disagree?  anybody on fox news? 

no sir.  by choosing what facts to present to the american public, the national news media are themselves "opinion-mongerers."  it's been years, if not decades, since two sides to a story, conventions included, have been presented on the nightly news.

no wonder we bloggers are outraged.  apparently the exclusive club of news "reporters" can only be attended by the rich and well-connected, as opposed to those of us who want to hear as many facts as obtainable.

the news media is actually quite fearful of the blogging phenomenon.  not because we present opinion with our facts, because, after all, the news media does it daily, just far more subtly than we care to (they've got the bucks to hide their agenda so much more effectively than we).

no, it's because a huge part of the facts and opinions that bloggers are spreading around call into question the competency and indeed, very veracity of the mission statements of the news media.

they don't like us because we're holding them up to standards that they've let go of sometime in the last century.

anecdotal proof of our premise can be found in mr. shaw's own column.

he starts out by presenting two recent announcements about how the conventions will be covered:

one, the networks will cut back, and two, the bloggers will be there.

then, in the next 23 paragraphs he uses to analyze these two announcements, 22 of them are devoted to television cutting back.

1 paragraph, the (rather condescending) one we quoted above, is devoted to the bloggers.

out of sight, out of mind, eh, mr. shaw?

Skippy the Bush Kangaroo


Showing our credentials posted by Kevin Hayden

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