"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you...

then they fight you, then you win," at least according to Ghandi

From the Wall Street Journal:

The Blog Mob
"Written by fools to be read by imbeciles."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

Blogs are very important these days. Even Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has one. The invention of the Web log, we are told, is as transformative as Gutenberg's press, and has shoved journalism into a reformation, perhaps a revolution.

The ascendancy of Internet technology did bring with it innovations. Information is more conveniently disseminated, and there's more of it, because anybody can chip in. There's more "choice"--and in a sense, more democracy. Folks on the WWW, conservatives especially, boast about how the alternative media corrodes the "MSM," for mainstream media, a term redolent with unfairness and elitism.

The blogs are not as significant as their self-endeared curators would like to think. Journalism requires journalists, who are at least fitfully confronting the digital age. The bloggers, for their part, produce minimal reportage. Instead, they ride along with the MSM like remora fish on the bellies of sharks, picking at the scraps.

More success is met in purveying opinion and comment. Some critics reproach the blogs for the coarsening and increasing volatility of political life. Blogs, they say, tend to disinhibit. Maybe so. But politics weren't much rarefied when Andrew Jackson was president, either. The larger problem with blogs, it seems to me, is quality. Most of them are pretty awful. Many, even some with large followings, are downright appalling.

Every conceivable belief is on the scene, but the collective prose, by and large, is homogeneous: A tone of careless informality prevails; posts oscillate between the uselessly brief and the uselessly logorrheic; complexity and complication are eschewed; the humor is cringe-making, with irony present only in its conspicuous absence; arguments are solipsistic; writers traffic more in pronouncement than persuasion . . .
So what you're saying is, effectively, we're just not as good as you are.

I'm willing to accept that not every blog is grammatically correct. Hell, this one has spelling errors! Not every blog engages in perfect logic, but then again neither does any politician. Our prose may not be top flight, but the President can't for sentences.

You're right, we do traffic mostly in pronouncements, we are reliant on the 'MSM' and we are more about opinion than we are about reporting. There's a good reason for that, though. We aren't being paid to blog. Sure, if I was making a good salary from blogging, I could quite my real job and make an effort but because we have other jobs (and no editor or other support staff) our ability to go out and investigate or conduct interviews is practically non-existent.

And Joe, here's the irony you can't find in our pitiful little blogs:

You just spent 1000 words in the Wall Street Journal making sure everybody knew that you were more important than us. You clarified, once and for all, that the writing in a respected daily newspaper (with 29 Pulitzers) is more closely edited, that the range of reporting is far broader, the topics more varied, the language more flowery, and the content more factual and less opinionated.

That's all well and good, but your paper is shrinking the size of its broadsheet to save money and my readership is still growing while my cost remain constant.

You work at the Wall Street Journal, surely you can figure out what that means.

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