Last Saturday night we were watching Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion (Spoiler Alert: NOT A DATE MOVIE) and we were all quite amused when a research scientist (played by Elliott Gould) explained to a muckraking “blogger” (played by Jude Law) who maintained a conspiracy blog similar to Prison Planet that:
Blogging is not writing. It’s just graffiti with punctuation.
As the kids say: I LOL’d.
Which leads us to Michelle Malkin (whom you may remember as Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music made flesh, but without the charm) who lost her shit (again) last week and proceeded to serve up another one of her eye-rolling nostril-flaring teeth-baring sneering TV ragegasms when Juan Williams casually dismissed her as “just a blogger”.
This is not to defend Juan Williams, who for $2 million is not only the envy of bukkake* models worldwide but is also a saint for allowing the developmentally-disadvantaged Sean Hannity to flail wildly at him on a nightly basis … but the man has a point.
I will have been blogging for ten (10!) years this September and yet when I hear someone proudly identify themselves as a “blogger” I still inwardly cringe because it’s kind of a doofy thing to advertise, much like, say, telling strangers on the bus that you spend your weekends participating in Civil War reenactments or blurting out to your family and friends over Thanksgiving dinner that you’re furry*-curious.
Some things are best kept to yourself.
When I am put in the position where I have to talk about blogging (after someone has been pre-briefed on me and asks, “I hear you have a blog?” Ick.), I tend to mumble that I sometimes write for an “internet thing” and then I kind of trail off and change the subject to something more interesting like actuarial tables or, hey, whatever happened to that Soy Bomb guy?
Although I “write words” I’m not sure that qualifies me to be called a “writer” and, even though I “write words” about non-fiction real life events, it sure as hell doesn’t make me a “citizen journalist” which, I should add, is an even doofier name than ‘blogger’. Nothing amuses me more than when a ‘blogger/citizen journalist’ throws up a quick post about some late-breaking current event (Shooting In Nation’s Capital! DRUDGE SIREN!) with a copy-and-pasted synopsis and link to CNN where they got the information in the first place, with a promise to update … because their readers are too stupid to, you know, just go to CNN or MSNBC.com and figure it out for themselves. After all, how are we supposed to feel about this shooting in the nation’s capital unless we have former call center supervisor Cap’n Ed Morrisey or female-adverse shut-in Ace O’ Spades there to hold our hand and not only tell us what happened but also explain how will it affect future generations to come and, more importantly: who we can blame it on? (Hint: try liberals/Brett Kimberlin/gay marriage).
If we want to understand the great online journalism/writer/blogger debate there is no better place to start than with the wingnut welfare sinecure of Tucker Carlson’s play-date watering hole The Daily Caller where we have previously watched Jonathan Strong trying to prove that liberals and academics conspired to swing the election to Obama with their nefarious Journolist of Mass Destruction, Matthew Boyle threatening to make shit up when DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse wouldn’t respond to his requests for a date, and, of course Neil Munro’s Very Shouty Visit To The Rose Garden yesterday. If there is an age old question of ‘blogger’, ‘journalist’, or ‘writer’ Munro and the Tuckerettes seem to have answered it with a resounding: “none of the above – try ‘asshole’ “.
Of course we could talk about Dead Andrew Breitbart’s Big Dead blogs but, whereas the guys at the The Daily Caller are like Fratboys Of A Lesser College, the folks writing for Breitbart are the kind of people who aren’t even cool enough to write for Tucker Carlson. That has to burn.
So if we want a definitive answer to who exactly is a writer and who is a journalist and who is a merely a blogger and what is the future of this informational internet hybrid that will rule our world when the lamestream media is deader than Andrew Breitbart, we need only turn to media genius/futurist Tina Brown who has been hiring writers (and also Megan McArdle) by the buttload for her Island of Dr. Moreau old media/new media Newsweek/Daily Beast, um… beast because THIS IS THE FUTURE:
What say you, Tina?
You know what? Fuck it. Let’s just forget I even brought this up…
*If you don’t know what these are, DON’T GOOGLE THEM! Sometimes ignorance is bliss.