Why did I stop reading the newspapers and watching the news? Because of bullshit like this.
Two days from now, some asshole columnist will write a bitchy column about how bloggers aren't real journalists. Bullshit. These Powerline guys, for instance, are better journalists than most of the idiots writing for the big newspapers now. And they have to be, they're on their own. Most of the big-name "bloggers" left and right, write circles around the big papers AND have more credibility, why? Because if they screw up, they lose it. Totally.
Remember back in the nineties, there was talk radio. Many people were turning to talk radio to filter the leftward spin out of the news. (Go on, tell me there's no leftward spin of the news, and I'll tell you the truth. You are an idiot. If there was no leftward spin of the news, there would be no talk radio as we know it. Period. People would see stuff on the news and it would completely jibe with their experience of the real world. They would agree with it. As it turns out, moron, that a lot of people out there think that welfare reform is a good thing, that they pay too much in taxes, that gay marriage is an oxymoron, that should be able to drive a truck if they want to drive a truck, happen to like the fact that Wal-Mart's open twenty-four hours and sells everything really cheap and in addition provides a good source of steady income for Mom who has to pay rent on the trumpet her tone deaf kid has to have because the school system cut buying Math texts instead of the part-time music teacher, and, instead of cutting music and saving the taxpayers some money, they raised a bond-issue that the freakin' gray pony-tail set somehow got voted in to build a Center for the Arts two miles down the street from the school to foster creative energy outside the high-stress atmosphere of the school environment, of course you have to pay a little extra tax on your electric bill to pay for the bus, and your kid only has 20 minutes a day for lunch, but are you telling me you don't think art has a place in your child's education? They didn't have art classes in Nazi Germany either, you evil, evil man. You have no heart, all you care about is money. Besides, how are Bruce and I supposed to make a profit on our restored Victorian in the charming downtown if the school district sucks? Honestly, do you have any idea of what a school with a good arts program can do for your property values? I heard a great story on Morning Edition, Bruce and I sat in the Prius for oh, must have been an hour outside of Whole Foods and listened to the whole thing, I'm surprised we were able to start the car and drive away. . .I was
!) You started seeing a lot of these talk radio hosts on TV and writing Op-Eds in mainstream papers, especially after Heath-care reform died on the vine. Then came the rise of the conspiracy theorists who started talking about how Bill Clinton was selling drugs out of an airport in Arkansas, and personally killed forty people with a pen knife he keeps on the chain of a watch Sen. Fullbright left him in his will. Talk radio, even good talk radio, lost all credibility. Lost it, will never get it back. Period. Talk radio will never have the power it had during the Contract With America days. It's over.
The big-name bloggers know this, and they know that their fall will be faster than talk radio if they don't fact-check and immediately correct misstatements. And it's not real hard, all they have to do is avoid the outright lie, left and right. And most do a good job. Not newspapers, not TV news, those guys cover up, defend the indefensible and attack critics personally and with a good old-fashioned yellow journalism lack of restraint. And they have a much bigger audience, an audience who thinks that they are smarter and more well-informed than the rest of the country. It's kind of sad when you look at it, because most of the big time bloggers, you know the guys in pajamas spouting uninformed opinions about stuff they couldn't know anything about, are professionals, lawyers, doctors, engineers etc.. And most journalists are ... Well, reporters. I'm a communications major, I know of what I speak, and what I hold in contempt.
Anyway, I don't think most of these big-time guys are really bloggers anyway, they're way past it, they are a media enterprise unto themselves now. Real bloggers are guys like me, who have a blog because it's hard to get the word "cocksucker" through most companies spam filter. Most people who blog, like me, use it to rant, post pictures and things that they are proud of, they use it as an e-mail replacement. A way to get their own ideas down on "paper" and in front of their friends and whoever without having to argue. Until it's time to argue, that is, go ahead, I've got Comments enabled and anyone can read them, just like the New York Times.
Oh, wait. . .