Unhappy Democrat Photo

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, who made his
fortune selling greeting cards and flowers online, gave a shout-out to
the blogosphere Saturday, giving it — and himself — credit for the
“demise” of traditional journalism.

“I have to say, that when we say, ‘Who killed the Rocky
Mountain News,’ we’re all part of it, for better or worse, and I argue
it’s mostly for the better,” Polis said at the Netroots Nation in Your
Neighborhood event in Westminster, according to a recording posted
online. The group supports progressive politics.

“The media is dead, and long live the new media, which is all of us,” said Polis, a Boulder Democrat.

The Rocky shuttered its operation Friday.

Polis also told those at the event that “since wekilled the newspapers” and “own the media,” bloggers and citizen journalists have a responsibility.

“We can’t just kill it and walk away,” he said. “It’s important for
all of us to reach out to some of those . . . on the other side and
present the progressive point of view,” he said.

Here’s the audio, which for whatever reason is refusing a link:


Well, that’s really awesome. I’m sorry, there’s a way to be a human being about this, and showing up at the funeral and jumping up and down on the body flailing with a big foam finger is NOT IT. Print journalists and bloggers get nowhere by pointlessly stoking hostility against one another in order to pump up their own egos and this is exactly what’s not needed right now. Especially when the body’s not even cold, I mean, come on.

You don’t “own” the media. Until you are Viacom, you can stop waving your pom-poms around. You didn’t kill newspapers. Massive mismanagement, greed, an enduring habit of ignoring trends until they couldn’t anymore, an inability to reorient sales forces, and most of all an unwillingness to do what was necessary to survive killed newspapers. You might have filled the void for particular kinds of information and commentary, and while that’s not nothing, it’s not everything, either. Calm down.

There are online operations that can truly lay claim to becoming independent news sources, doing original reporting. Talking Points Memo is one. There are financial models emerging that do challenge the traditional corporate media structure, like ProPublica and other nonprofit operations. There are changes happening in the way newspapers are funded and produced. But did you ever notice you don’t hear those people screaming at the top of their lungs that BLOGS IS TEH ROXXORZ and WE PWN J00 and whatnot? Probably because they’re too busy working. It’s not the people doing the job that feel the need to shove it in your face all the time.

We’re not THERE YET, and to proclaim that we are, to wave a candlestick around and say you killed the Rocky with it when there’s a knife sticking out of its back and you weren’t even in the same county that day, that just makes you look silly. And mean. And everytime somebody does this it just starts the whole stupid print-vs-online fight all over again and I have to listen to people dissing blogs for three days in order to prove Polis wrong, as if the one or the other is the point.


Via Romenesko.

Update: Oh God it gets worse. The press is now the“third estate:”

Indeed, some of the blame rests with new media. While there are many
other factors that have contributed such as the recession and a decline
in advertising, the very fact that we are discussing this issue here,
in the online forum of the DP, is demonstrative of the rise of new
media. The newspaper industry has yet to figure out how to monetize
online traffic, and until they do, I worry not only about the demise of
the RMN but I worry about the future of a strong third estate across
our great nation.

Somebody stop him beforehe talks again.



6 thoughts on “Unhappy Democrat Photo

  1. I have had a Jared Polis for Congress button on my backpack since the DNC in Denver last August. Think I’ll be taking that off now …

  2. Yeesh. Jared, honey, stop helping. (And, as an aside, perhaps you should have talked to John Temple before you shot your mouth off–I think he could have given you a very clear idea of exactly who killed the Rocky. And probably given you a nice, hot cup of STFU while he was at it.)
    Journalism is not dead. Journalism is not newspapers, or teevee, or any other medium. Journalism is the process of reporting news, and “traditional” is a stupid modifier for the term. When it comes to *journalism*, it doesn’t fucking matter what the medium is–the transition from the traditional dead tree approach to the new digital approach doesn’t change the meaning of journalism. The sooner everybody, whichever “side” they’re on, recognizes this, the sooner we can move past this shitty idea that blogs are killing newspapers and move on to journalists reporting the news again–through whichever medium they can make a living from.

  3. I always thought those who frequently slag papers (me!) are usually the people who love them the most but there is a weird strain of techno superiority on the internets that wants to not just introduce new things but kill old ones. That’s not cool. At all.

  4. Note – It’s not just on the internets, obviously (this guy is flesh and blood) but all around. I think when you get so caught up in replacing things sometimes you start to believe it’s the same thing as improving things and that’s just not true. The Politico may end up replacing The Hill or Roll Call but that’s not an improvement as the latter actually give a crap about policy and the former cares about ‘winning the day’ or some such BS.

  5. Well, there’s living proof being a Democrat isn’t automatically the same as being smarter or classier or more compassionate than being a Republican.

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