5.99 All You Can Eat

Roll out the barrel

We’ll have a barrel of fun

Roll out the barrel

We’ve got the blues on the run


Next item on the buffet of stupid that is Romenesko today:

Web loggers, or “bloggers,” have been shaking up our politics and news media ever since. Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi, for instance, resigned as Senate Republican leader in 2002 after bloggers raised the roof when he made a racist remark in a speech carried on C-SPAN.

More recently, bloggers hastened Dan Rather’s retirement as CBS news anchor by questioning the authenticity of documents he had relied on in a report critical of President Bush. Blogger agitation also led CNN News Chief Eason Jordan to resign last month for supposedly stating without evidence that U.S. troops had, in effect, executed journalists in Iraq.

There is no denying that the bloggers are a powerful force in the information world.

But at least for now, they are no substitute for mainstream journalism, despite its flaws. A great many bloggers are either too self-absorbed to focus on keeping the public informed or too skewed by ideology to put factual accuracy front and center.

Go read the whole thing, just for the chuckles.

My favorite part is when he suggests bloggers “earn” their influence. I’m tempted to write him a letter asking who might be put in charge of the blue-ribbon panel determining how much influence we’re entitled to and giving out pretty certificates we can wear around our necks. Would influence be determined by a number of years’ work, number of high-profile stories either broken or developed further, or by the percentage of posts about assfucking? Really, I’d like to know. Perhaps I’ve been claiming more vast and terrible power than I’m due, and Lord knows how I hate offending people.