Sat in the bathtub last night reading a week-old New York Times Book Review section (yeah, it's not doing the crossword in bed, but still...) The cover review, by Ian Buruma, is for Frank Rich's The Greatest Story Ever Sold on how Bushco convinced everybody, but particularly the MSM, that invading Iraq was a good way to get back at terrorists after 9/11.
I'm always looking for print articles that are bloggable, and "Frank Rich" and "NYT" and "Iraq" ring all the appropriate blogger bells. But here's what caught my eye and my typing fingers this morning:
Newspaper editors should not have to feel the need to prove their patriotism, or their absence of bias. Their job is to publish what they believe to be true, based on evidence and good judgment. ...That more people than ever are now able to express their views, on radio shows and Web sites, is perhaps a form of democracy, but it has undermined the authority of editors, whose expertise was meant to act as a filter against nonsense or prejudice. And the deliberate confusion, on television, of news and entertainment has done further damage.
I can hear the whoops behind me. As the blog ~have skunk~ says, "Don't hate the media, become the media." The blogosphere, like any group of young white males, just loves to "undermine authority." And we've seen plenty of nonsense, even from the New York Times, supporting this administration's lies and corruption. Prejudice? In the mainstream media? Fox often? Hmm.
Yet these words caught my eye for another reason. Mr. Blue Gal, decidedly not a blog believer (he thinks if I wasn't blogging so much, the house would be cleaner. Can you imagine?) made the same point to me a couple days ago. The problem with the blogosphere is a lack of editors, he said. Any schlub can write a blog, and they don't have to fact check or spell right or even make sense.
Well, that's true. But let's fall back on that Neocon Rock of Gibraltar, the "marketplace." There are, I suppose, several marketplaces of the blogosphere. There are the big name blogs, the bloggers who get to wave their b-cups in President Clinton's Harlem office*** or appear on Countdown or are continually referred to as, and continually deny that they are, King of the Blogs. Those bloggers blog under the constant threat of becoming what they claim to critique, i.e. the mainstream media.
Then there are the bloggers who don't spell correctly and spit at the President and post naughty photoshops and last about three months. There are lots of those clogging up the servers, and while one could complain about them, I don't. Hey, blogging isn't for everybody, and good for anyone who tries. It certainly gives you a better understanding of what those of us blogging daily have to do, than some comment troll who has never written a single post of their own.
The bloggers I admire know how to write. They know how to be funny and sharp and biting when it's called for. And they're in it for the long haul. And guess what? The only pay they get for it is readership. To my mind that is the "marketplace" that provides the editor to the blogosphere.
I would like to see what would happen if one of us fabricated a quote for, say, Russ Feingold, in total support of Donald Rumsfeld's handling of the Iraq War. How many nanoseconds would it take for Blue Gal to wind up on Blogenfreude's Wingnut Round-up? Hell, if I posted that Laura Bush's hair was pretty, I'd get more comments than I could handle, and I'd lose readers in the bargain. Ain't gonna happen. My readers keep me honest.
I'm not saying Blue Gal, the blog, would not benefit from a second set of eyes checking out the posts. But there are ten thousand sets of eyes checking out the posts every month, and many of them are happy to email me when I have a typo, let alone a lapse in linkage or judgment. I think that's what Mr. Blue Gal and other MSM fuddy-duddies, who, surprise, don't blog, don't understand. (I'd say sorry, honey, but he doesn't read my blog.)
One more thing. When I see a good blogger, "one of us" I flatter myself, I like to celebrate them. Lambert is a recent find, and he's fab. ***"My friends call me Nikkos" has the best and final post on the whole tittie blogger brouhaha. And I hope to get to my blogroll and spruce it up this week, hopefully I'll find a few new ones in my travels.
Keep blogging, and keep the faith.