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Beware the host of babbling bloggers
Columbus Dispatch ^ | December 29, 2005 | Kathleen Parker

Posted on 12/31/2005 6:38:42 AM PST by Loyal Buckeye

Of all the stories leading America’s annual greatest-hits list, the one that subsumes the rest is the evolution of information in the Age of Blogging.

Not since the birth of the printing press have our lives been so dramatically affected by the way we create and consume information.

What is wonderful and miraculous about the Internet needs little elaboration. We all marvel at the ease with which we can access information, whether reading government documents previously available only to a few, or tracking down old friends and new enemies.

It is this latter – our new enemies – that interests me most. I don’t mean al-Qaida or Osama bin Laden, but the less visible, insidious enemies of decency, humanity and civility: the angry offspring of narcissism’s quickie marriage to instant gratification.

There’s something frankly creepy about the explosion we now call the blogosphere – the "electroniverse" where recently wired squatters set up new camps each day. As I write, the number of blogs (Web logs) and bloggers (those who blog) is estimated in the tens of millions worldwide.

Although I’ve been a blog fan since the beginning, and have written favorably about the value added to journalism and public knowledge thanks to the new "citizen journalist," I’m also wary of power untempered by restraint and accountability.

Say what you will about the mainstream media, but no industry agonizes more about how to improve its product, police its members and better serve its communities. Newspapers are filled with carpal-tunneled wretches, overworked and underpaid, who suffer near-pathological allegiance to getting it right.

That a Jayson Blair of The New York Times surfaces now and then as a plagiarist or a fabricator ultimately is testament to the high standards tens of thousands of others strive to uphold each day without recognition. Blair is infamous, but also gone.

Bloggers persist no matter their contributions or quality, though most would have little to occupy their time were the mainstream media to disappear tomorrow. Some bloggers do their own reporting, but most rely on mainstream reporters to do the heavy lifting. Some bloggers also offer superb commentary, but most buzz and blurt like caffeinated adolescents.

Even so, they hold the same megaphone as the adults and enjoy perceived credibility owing to membership in the larger world of blog grown-ups. These effete and often clever baby "bloggies" are rich in time and toys, but bereft of adult supervision.

Spoiled and undisciplined, they have seized the stage, a privilege granted not by years in the trenches, but by virtue of a three-pronged plug and the miracle of WiFi. They play tag team with hyperlinks ("I’ll say you’re important if you’ll say I’m important") and shriek "Gotcha!" when they catch some weary wage earner in a mistake or oversight. Plenty smart but lacking in wisdom, they possess the power of a forum, but neither the maturity nor humility that years of experience impose.

Each time I wander into blogdom, I’m reminded of the savage children stranded on an island in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Without adult supervision, they organize themselves into rival tribes, learn to hunt and kill, and eventually become murderous barbarians in the absence of a civilizing structure.

What Golding demonstrated and what we’re witnessing as the blogosphere’s offspring multiply is that people tend to abuse power when it is unearned and will bring down others to enhance themselves. Likewise, many bloggers seek the destruction of others for their own self-aggrandizement. When a mainstream journalist stumbles, they pile on like so many savages, hoisting his or her head on a bloody stick as Golding’s children did the fly-covered head of a butchered sow.

Schadenfreude – pleasure in others’ misfortunes – has become the new barbarity on an island called Blog. When someone trips, whether Dan Rather or Judith Miller, bloggers are slavering for a public flogging. Incivility is their weapon and humanity their victim.

I mean no disrespect to the many brilliant people out there – professors, lawyers, doctors, philosophers, scientists and journalists who also happen to blog. But we should beware and resist the rest of the egogratifying rabble who contribute only snark, sass and destruction.

We can’t silence them, but for civilization’s sake and the integrity of information by which we all live or die, we can and should ignore them.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bias; bloggers; columnists; internet; jaysonblair; kathleenparker; msm; weblogs
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From the article:

Say what you will about the mainstream media, but no industry agonizes more about how to improve its product, police its members and better serve its communities. Newspapers are filled with carpal-tunneled wretches, overworked and underpaid, who suffer near-pathological allegiance to getting it right.

We can’t silence them [bloggers], but for civilization’s sake and the integrity of information by which we all live or die, we can and should ignore them.

Have at it.

1 posted on 12/31/2005 6:38:43 AM PST by Loyal Buckeye
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To: Loyal Buckeye

April Fool's Day isn't until April.


2 posted on 12/31/2005 6:39:57 AM PST by Crawdad (So the guy says to the doctor, "It hurts when I do this.")
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To: Loyal Buckeye

More babbling by people who babble for a living. I'd suggest that she get some people on the record to support her wishes.


3 posted on 12/31/2005 6:40:47 AM PST by Paladin2 (If the political indictment's from Fitz, the jury always acquits.)
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To: Loyal Buckeye

Another frustrated 'J' School graduate.


4 posted on 12/31/2005 6:41:33 AM PST by Semper Paratus
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To: Loyal Buckeye

"I mean no disrespect to the many brilliant people out there – professors, lawyers, doctors, philosophers, scientists and journalists who also happen to blog."

Good. We have all of those here ar FR.


5 posted on 12/31/2005 6:42:29 AM PST by Crawdad (So the guy says to the doctor, "It hurts when I do this.")
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To: Crawdad

"I mean no disrespect to the many brilliant people out there – professors, lawyers, doctors, philosophers, scientists and journalists who also happen to blog."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`
We truly do mean disrespect to the many average intellects, schooled for 4 long years in the challenging liberal j-school environment, who can't get simple facts right.


6 posted on 12/31/2005 6:44:51 AM PST by sgtyork (If Osamma calls someone in the US, should the NSA hang up?)
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To: Loyal Buckeye

I guess Kathleen Parker does not like competition.

But loves people like DanRather and MaryApes.


7 posted on 12/31/2005 6:45:06 AM PST by conservative barking moonbat
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To: Loyal Buckeye
>Newspapers are filled with carpal-tunneled wretches, overworked and underpaid, who suffer near-pathological allegiance to getting it right.

And look where it got em.

8 posted on 12/31/2005 6:45:18 AM PST by hemogoblin
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To: Loyal Buckeye

" I’m reminded of the savage children stranded on an island in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Without adult supervision, they organize themselves into rival tribes, learn to hunt and kill, and eventually become murderous barbarians in the absence of a civilizing structure. "


Sounds like she's been to DU


9 posted on 12/31/2005 6:45:27 AM PST by Brooklyn Kid (What's it to ya? ) ((....west of the Jordan, east of the Rock of Gibraltar.................))
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To: Loyal Buckeye
She must be friends with Mapes.

How about THIS Ms Parker, if you GD journalists are so GOOD at what you do, why do us "amatuer" bloggers SCARE YOU TO DEATH?

If you do the work a jounalist is SUPPOSED to do, ie present us the facts, well researched, we'll have nothing to pick apart now will we. ;) Have a good day!

10 posted on 12/31/2005 6:46:52 AM PST by mosquitobite (As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.)
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To: Loyal Buckeye
The LSM is on the offensive towards the new media.

There's no place for them to run or hide. They know their time is short. Their credibility is in flames and the new media is like a host of ants picking away at a rotten piece of fruit.

The new media is freedom as our founders envisioned it. A million voices speaking their own truth, not corporate media conglomerates driven by their particular agendas, monopolizing the voice of the people into a neatly packaged product.

Say what you will about the new media. It is the future, unless the forces of evil can extinguish the flame of freedom that drives it.

11 posted on 12/31/2005 6:47:21 AM PST by Caipirabob (Democrats.. Socialists..Commies..Traitors...Who can tell the difference?)
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To: Loyal Buckeye

Better put some ice on that, Kathleen.


12 posted on 12/31/2005 6:47:26 AM PST by prion (Yes, as a matter of fact, I AM the spelling police)
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To: Loyal Buckeye

Beware the babbling Kathleen Parker


13 posted on 12/31/2005 6:48:35 AM PST by i_dont_chat (Bush lied, people dyed. Their fingers. [Stolen from Mark Steyn].)
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To: Loyal Buckeye
"I mean no disrespect to the many brilliant people out there – professors, lawyers, doctors, philosophers, scientists and journalists who also happen to blog. But we should beware and resist the rest of the egogratifying rabble who contribute only snark, sass and destruction."

That's the first time I've seen them actually admit it in print....It's them,(the intellectuals), against us. Or Blue vs Red, as the more common term now....Let's finally have that fight!
14 posted on 12/31/2005 6:51:04 AM PST by whitehair1961
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To: Loyal Buckeye
Newspapers are filled with carpal-tunneled wretches, overworked and underpaid, who suffer near-pathological allegiance to getting it right.

I think she meant "left".

15 posted on 12/31/2005 6:53:23 AM PST by Jim_Curtis
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To: Loyal Buckeye

Author can be reached at:

kparker@kparker.com


16 posted on 12/31/2005 6:53:42 AM PST by jimbo123
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To: Loyal Buckeye

she's worried because bloggers are making traditional columnists more irrelevant every day. She actually makes me want to start my own blog, thanks Ms. Parker ;-)


17 posted on 12/31/2005 6:54:40 AM PST by guinness4strength
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To: Loyal Buckeye

Kathleen Parker has sure changed her tune from a year ago. Sounds like Hitlery's goons paid Ms. Parker a visit...


http://www.michnews.com/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/114/5124

All of which brings me to my premise that the blogosphere isn't just a challenge to journalism in its currently stagnant state, but a potential boon to problem-solving of a higher order. The beauty of the blogosphere is that it is self-igniting, self-propelling and self-selecting, a sort of intellectual ecosystem wherein the best specimens from various disciplines descend from the ethers, converge on an issue and apply their unique talents.

Though virtually newborn, the blogosphere has blossomed exponentially in a matter of Earth-time seconds, from a few random voices to a mighty and diverse chorus of sometimes spectacular talent. Bloggers are the Big Bang of the Information Age.


18 posted on 12/31/2005 6:59:24 AM PST by jimbo123
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To: Loyal Buckeye
Newspapers are filled with carpal-tunneled wretches, overworked and underpaid, who suffer near-pathological allegiance to getting it right.

Parker is usually pretty good. Maybe she got hit in the head.

*Every* news story I've ever had intimate knowledge of had some fact wrong. Be it dates, names, actions, etc., something in the article was wrong.

19 posted on 12/31/2005 7:02:39 AM PST by VeniVidiVici (What? Me worry?)
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To: Loyal Buckeye
Say what you will about the mainstream media, but no industry agonizes more about how to improve its product, police its members and better serve its communities. Newspapers are filled with carpal-tunneled wretches, overworked and underpaid, who suffer near-pathological allegiance to getting it right.

I guess he's talking about those alternative-universe newspapers. You know, not the kind we have here in this universe.

20 posted on 12/31/2005 7:04:29 AM PST by yankeedame ("Oh, I can take it but I'd much rather dish it out.")
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To: Loyal Buckeye

"people tend to abuse power when it is UNEARNED..."

In other words, do NOT fear the MSM, and do NOT fear the government. It is only these new people who need to be feared. EARNED power is NEVER abused. Stupid slut whore.


21 posted on 12/31/2005 7:05:00 AM PST by RayStacy
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To: Loyal Buckeye

This guys a genius


22 posted on 12/31/2005 7:07:41 AM PST by Vision (“We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the duty of intelligent men")
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To: conservative barking moonbat
I guess Kathleen Parker does not like competition.

That is precisely the point. Accountability and power has shifted from the editor to the reader. As the Guttenberg Bible (and the printing press) changed the world, so will the blogosphere and the internet.

23 posted on 12/31/2005 7:09:29 AM PST by Dark Skies ("A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants." -- Churchill)
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To: Loyal Buckeye

Jealousy is an ugly emotion Kathleen


24 posted on 12/31/2005 7:11:27 AM PST by apackof2 (You can stand me up at the gates of hell, I'll stand my ground and I won’t back down)
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To: RayStacy
Stupid slut whore.

I completely disagree with her, but you proved her point about decency and civility.

25 posted on 12/31/2005 7:13:21 AM PST by Dark Skies ("A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants." -- Churchill)
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To: Loyal Buckeye

We're just doing the jobs the journalists don't want to do.


26 posted on 12/31/2005 7:14:40 AM PST by festus (The constitution may be flawed but its a whole lot better than what we have now.)
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To: VeniVidiVici

B I N G O !

27 posted on 12/31/2005 7:17:20 AM PST by StACase
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To: Loyal Buckeye
Say what you will about the mainstream media, but no industry agonizes more about how to improve its product, police its members and better serve its communities.

And Dan Rather and Mary Mapes of See-BS, and Jayson Blair and Howell Raines at the NYT are great examples of this? Not to mention the NYT editing a dead Marine's posthumous e-mail home to his girl to fit their bias? Pshaw!

28 posted on 12/31/2005 7:19:40 AM PST by Rummyfan
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To: Loyal Buckeye
Say what you will about the mainstream media, but no industry agonizes more about how to improve its product, police its members and better serve its communities. Newspapers are filled with carpal-tunneled wretches, overworked and underpaid, who suffer near-pathological allegiance to getting it right.

The Liberal Media cannot stand it when Americans go to thinking for themselves. They along with our bastions of higher education are afraid they are losing their propaganda machine and may have to go work for a living. For most of my life I took what the media said as the gospel. Now they have been revealed for what they are and that is lying traitors.We must reveal what they are. Our greatest challenge is to win the uneducated who know no better and follow them like sheep. American tabloids are more ethical than the media of which this person speaks.
29 posted on 12/31/2005 7:23:34 AM PST by gunnedah
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To: gunnedah

Here is some of what the Media wants you to buy.
NBC Draws Fire for Book of Daniel ^see article on this site.


30 posted on 12/31/2005 7:25:33 AM PST by gunnedah
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To: jimbo123
and she also wrote then ...
Such was the spark (bloggers) that began the flame that grew into the wildfire that became the conflagration that threatens to consign journalistic credibility to history's ash heap.

looks like sumb'dy squeezed her balllllls! He, he
So much for the ratssssy "credibility"

31 posted on 12/31/2005 7:28:48 AM PST by Leo Carpathian (FReeeePeee!)
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To: Loyal Buckeye
We can't silence them [bloggers], but for civilization's sake and the integrity of information by which we all live or die, we can and should ignore them.

From the article, I'd change your substitution to "We can't silence them [egogratifying rabble who contribute only snark, sass and destruction], but for civilization's sake and the integrity of information by which we all live or die, we can and should ignore them."

Fortunately, what the author advicates happens naturally, as most readers DO dismiss the snarks, sasses and twits. And so, the force of cross checking and citaton holds both the legacy media and the new media accountable for accuracy of fact, and intellectual honesty in analysis. Everybody wins!

32 posted on 12/31/2005 7:28:54 AM PST by Cboldt
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To: Loyal Buckeye

The overall impression I have with this article is that the author feels blogs are putting journalists under a very powerful microscope and she doesn't like it. However, examples of blatantly bad journalism from people like Dan Rather, who have a reputation of being at the top of their field and at the pinnacles of their careers, shows the bias this author really has. I sense journalist frustration with the intense scutiny of the blogs as legitimate. No one wants their job to be under that level of scutiny, nor will any professional, regardless of their field, ever be error free. A true professional should take such criticism in stride and endeavor to correct his mistakes and improve their trade. Complaining about being 'caught' in a mistake is not a professional response, but an emotional outburst. With that in mind, if a journalists corrects their mistake, then a professional blog that spotted this mistake has the responsibility to acknowledge that correction. Overall, I hope that the dynamics of the blogs helps both evolve to higher standards.


33 posted on 12/31/2005 7:29:47 AM PST by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: Loyal Buckeye
Say what you will about the mainstream media, but no industry agonizes more about how to improve its product, police its members and better serve its communities.

This is from scrappleface, right?

34 posted on 12/31/2005 7:31:16 AM PST by Brett66 (Where government advances – and it advances relentlessly – freedom is imperiled -Janice Rogers Brown)
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To: Loyal Buckeye
Stumble? Do you mean like attempting to peddle "fake but accurate" data?

Stumble? As in revealing national security measures being used to keep the American people safe?

Stumble? As in revealing to the enemy the existance of prisons where the most dangerous terrorists are being held so the terrorists can mount attacks against the countries that are holding them?

35 posted on 12/31/2005 7:33:43 AM PST by McGavin999 (If Intelligence Agencies can't find leakers, how can we expect them to find terrorists?)
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To: Crawdad
"April Fool's Day isn't until April.

Some people are fools year 'round.

36 posted on 12/31/2005 7:34:15 AM PST by Klickitat
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To: Loyal Buckeye
Newspapers are filled with carpal-tunneled wretches, overworked and underpaid, who suffer near-pathological allegiance to getting it right.

I have not found this to be the case. Neither with the MSM nor with my limited, but personal, experience with the local media.

37 posted on 12/31/2005 7:34:33 AM PST by knuthom
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To: Loyal Buckeye

For your information, Cathy dear: The Media that survive in the age of bloggers, will be those who print the unvarnished and unspun, truth.


38 posted on 12/31/2005 7:38:36 AM PST by F.J. Mitchell (Maturity has brought me the wisdom to realize just what a world class dumb ass I really am.)
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To: Loyal Buckeye

How dare we of the bloggosphere throw stones at the almighty journalists of Mount Olympus?

===

[That is what the MSM 'journalists' seem to think. They don't like being challenged -- by the Pajama Brigade sitting in from of our computers. They don't like being questioned about the accuracy of their reporting. They don't like being called to task when their reporting is so overtly biased. After all, as ole Dan cried: It is fake, but accurate!!!]


39 posted on 12/31/2005 7:39:06 AM PST by TomGuy
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To: Loyal Buckeye; conservative barking moonbat; jimbo123
Kathleen Parker appears to be an inconsistent copy of Dan Blather, Mary Mapes, Helen Thomas and others in the MSM. Working journalists make hay by copying others who made hay copying what others were doing. Most are not the least bit original.

I just performed a Google search on the subject and found over 116,000,000 blogs out there. They range in interest from personal, cooking, gardening, pet care, weather and political commentary. Using key words like "breaking news" and "news + blogging + links" I located over 32 Million Blogging Sites in cyberspace. Thank God for bloggers.

40 posted on 12/31/2005 7:39:45 AM PST by ex-Texan (Mathew 7:1 through 6)
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To: Loyal Buckeye

We are bloggers, hear us roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And we know too much to go back an' pretend
'cause we've heard it all before
And we've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep us down again

CHORUS
Oh yes we am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, we've paid the price
But look how much we gained
If we have to, we can do anything
We are strong (strong)
We are invincible (invincible)
We are bloggers


41 posted on 12/31/2005 7:42:38 AM PST by TomGuy
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To: Crawdad
"I mean no disrespect to the many brilliant people out there – professors, lawyers, doctors, philosophers, scientists and journalists who also happen to blog."

And yet 'journalism' is still one of the few 'professions' that has no standard certification or educational requirements. Many known-names in the field of 'journalism' and 'media' were school/college drop-outs.
42 posted on 12/31/2005 7:46:19 AM PST by TomGuy
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To: Loyal Buckeye

I thought that she had more sense than to write something so inane.


43 posted on 12/31/2005 7:46:22 AM PST by Thebaddog (K9 4ever)
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To: RayStacy

"Stupid slut whore"

That really improves our credibility!!

I thought only the liberals resorted to gutter name calling when they realize they lost the debate... Please, let's not start playing by their rules...


44 posted on 12/31/2005 7:49:21 AM PST by whitehair1961
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To: TomGuy

I hope you're wearing your flame-retardant suit. Many on this forum scream that the 1st Amendment is all the certification one needs to print treason. I, like you, am not among them.


45 posted on 12/31/2005 7:50:01 AM PST by Crawdad (So the guy says to the doctor, "It hurts when I do this.")
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To: hemogoblin
Newspapers are filled with carpal-tunneled wretches, overworked and underpaid, who suffer near-pathological allegiance allergies to getting it right.
46 posted on 12/31/2005 7:53:03 AM PST by Maceman (Fake but accurate -- and now double-sourced)
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To: Loyal Buckeye
Blogs are to the MSM and its presses what citizens' guns are to the government and its armies.
47 posted on 12/31/2005 7:57:36 AM PST by JCEccles
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To: Loyal Buckeye
It's hard for me to peg this lady ... sometimes she comes down on our side and others (like this lame article) she sounds like a whining, MSM elitist snob.

Get over it, Mz. Parker.

And FR is not a "blog". It's a forum.

And get that STUPID SMIRK off your face.

48 posted on 12/31/2005 8:07:06 AM PST by manwiththehands (My wish for the new year: I wish Republicans were running the country.)
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To: jimbo123
Seems as though this is directed at you, and the information you posted in #18:

We all marvel at the ease with which we can access information, whether reading government documents previously available only to a few, or tracking down old friends and new enemies.

It is this latter – our new enemies – that interests me most. I don’t mean al-Qaida or Osama bin Laden, but the less visible, insidious enemies of decency, humanity and civility: the angry offspring of narcissism’s quickie marriage to instant gratification.

49 posted on 12/31/2005 8:08:15 AM PST by Balding_Eagle (God has blessed Republicans with political enemies who have dementia.)
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To: Loyal Buckeye
These effete and often clever baby "bloggies" are rich in time and toys, but bereft of adult supervision.

'Bereft of adult supervion', huh. And the old media wonders why their readership is leaving in droves. That 'adult supervision' always seems to bring it's biases to the table, and vociferous protestations to the contrary may be safely ignored.
If one wants left-wing spin- there's no need to pay money for it.

Say what you will about the mainstream media, but no industry agonizes more about how to improve its product, police its members and better serve its communities. Newspapers are filled with carpal-tunneled wretches, overworked and underpaid, who suffer near-pathological allegiance to getting it right.

'Getting it right' and 'better serving its communities', judging by the end product, usually seems to consist of attacking worthwhile things that Americans cherish, and parroting Democratic Party talking points. Take almost any article concerning any hot-button political issue- and it will be full of half-truths, bad research and Lefty spin. Especially egregious examples of this are any article having to do with firearms.

One needs only some critical thinking skills and the ability to do some verification homework. On this one forum alone- it isn't unusual that we'll have a poster or two who can look out the window and see whatever newsworthy event is taking place, and report their observations. Since the poster/correspondant is someone that we probably already know, we can make an informed assessment of the validity of the report.

Jayson Blair wasn't the problem- he was a symptom. You old media people -with your demonstrated arrogance- have dropped the ball. The days of the greats, the Edward R. Murrows' and Ernie Pyles, who were Americans first and Journalists second, are long gone. You want to 'better serve your communities'?
-Dump the social engineering. It isn't your job. Your job is to report news. Do that.
-Getting it right' means, well, actually getting it right. Do the homework.
-Opinion belongs on the op /ed page- not subtly woven into the piece. This may surprise you people, but when your photographer goes to a press conference and takes five hundred pictures of George Bush with an autowinder, and you pore over the contact sheets looking for the one where he has a stupid look on his face because he is about to sneeze and you run that picture, you make a political statement. We 'unsupervised children' aren't so stupid that it isn't obvious to us. And you bleat about how impartial you are.
-In any particular area of expertise, a segment of your readership will know a lot more than you do. Write as if you were actually accountable for the accuracy of the product.

People who constantly extoll the worth of the free flow of information, carping and complaining that the flow of information now bypasses their 'gatekeeper' role. It's 'free-er' now. What's wrong with that?

50 posted on 12/31/2005 8:08:24 AM PST by Riley ("Bother" said Pooh, as he fired the Claymores.)
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