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We are Nincompoops Ranting

That's what Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten says about bloggers.

Ace's title captures the real tone of Weingarten's whine at his University Maryland's Journalism School commencement address: Sedate, Sober Media Professional Calls Bloggers "Stupid Poopypants Fartheads."

This is what Mr. Weingarten said:

I want to congratulate you all upon your graduation from the University of Maryland College of Journalism, and wish you luck as you prepare to embark on exciting careers in telemarketing or large-appliance repair.


My point is, this is a challenging time for journalists.

And because you are word people, you understand that "challenging time" is a euphemism often used to describe disasters of epic proportions. For example, Richard Pryor was facing a "challenging time" when he ran down the street half-naked and on fire.

What are your challenges, specifically? Let us begin with, quote unquote, getting a job. Good jobs in journalism have become scarce as newspapers shrink and die, broadcast media fragment to smaller niche audiences and the public appears more and more willing to receive its "news" online from nincompoops ranting in their underpants.

Mr. Weingarten isn't pleased with blogs or bloggers because they are creeping into his journalistic turf. What Mr. Weingarten seems to have missed is that the news reading public has been given an alternate source for their news and information, and they're choosing blogs, hence the moniker "alternate media." It's the free market of ideas, and traditional, liberal leaning news outlets are losing.

Michelle Malkin has more bad news for Mr. Weingarten: his own Washington Post has hooked up with Technorati to connect its readers with *gasp* bloggers.

Wake up and smell the new, alternate media.


Comments (24)

The first syllable of his s... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

The first syllable of his surname says it all.

"For example, Richard Pryor... (Below threshold)

"For example, Richard Pryor was facing a "challenging time" when he ran down the street half-naked and on fire."

And that's a pretty good description of the MSM today.

Congratulations on the accu... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Congratulations on the accurate title to this post. at least you got that right! *wink

The Universe bombards each ... (Below threshold)
Semanticleo:

The Universe bombards each of us with hundreds of millions of sensations each second, from radio waves
and gamma rays to the scent of sweaty socks.
Millions of years of developmental specialization
has formed filters for the brain which extract
the chaos of our world and make functionality
possible by limiting our attention to those activities which are relevent to our lives.

The internet has no such filters but bombards us nevertheless with waves of irrelevency. Worse,
we have people who are willing to distort the
natural world of raw data and use it to drive
their own created reality.

Yes, you can argue that the liberally biased news
media have been doing this for decades without
any real challenge, and with limited success.

But the real state of pre-internet journalism had
it's foundation in real facts. Just as the law
has justice as it's ideal and falls short, so too
journalism is subject to it's human failings.

Don't forget, most bloggers use journalistic principles in much of their work. The internet
and blogging is just a new wing of an old house
and is not better, or worse; it just needs time
to mature. Being a smartass new kid on the block
makes it just a little too cocky for old-schoolers, that's all.

There are major protests on... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

There are major protests ongoing in Iran.

The WaPo has room for Whinegarten's kind of tripe but no space for Iranian protests.

Blogs are the meteors that are striking the journalistic earth and causing the eventual extinction of Tyrannasauris Wapostis and the Slimus Newyorkis.

We scientists call this natural selection.

We scientists call this ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

We scientists call this natural selection.

The rest of us call it nutcakes in their PJs. Thanks for the perfect examples, I'm sure there will be more to follow.

Geewilickers Mr. Winewarten... (Below threshold)
virgo:

Geewilickers Mr. Winewarten that was so heartfelt and passionately delivered. Now can You put Your pants back on!

What's lost on Weingarden a... (Below threshold)

What's lost on Weingarden and others is that bloggers are some of the most voracious readers of news out there. We question shoddy reporting, inaccuracies, and other things that the paid professionals are supposedly capable of avoiding because they're the experts.

Bloggers aren't the enemy of the media, but the enemy of the bad media types who push their agenda over actually reporting news. You know - like pushing bogus information as fake but accurate, adding opinion to what should otherwise be straight reporting of news, and deemphasizing or holding back on details that would undermine the narrative, etc.

So, is Weingarten saying th... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:

So, is Weingarten saying that he doesn't wear underpants? Ewwwww...

Wapo just accelerated retir... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

Wapo just accelerated retirements of nearly 200 people due to decreased revenue and low circulation.

Perhaps writers such as this gent should start paying attention. If they were the Titanic and had just struck the iceburg it's writers like this one who would standing on the sinking ship denying the iceburg even existed.

What Mr. Weingarten seem... (Below threshold)
mantis:

What Mr. Weingarten seems to have missed is that the news reading public has been given an alternate source for their news and information, and they're choosing blogs, hence the moniker "alternate media."

Well, sort of, maybe. It's important to keep in mind that the vast majority of news people get from blogs comes from links to traditional news media. What bloggers do is opinion about the news, or more likely, opinion about the reporting of news, or sometimes just a "heh, indeed." Without the "traditional, liberal leaning news," you guys would have nothing.

It's also important to keep in mind that the large majority of people don't read blogs, and not all of those who do read political or news blogs. The rest of people still get their news, such as it is, from TV, newspapers, radio, and their friends and neighbors.

Newspaper readership is down though. Good work! Now there will just be even less quality reporting for you all to editorialize.

The WAPO is on it's last le... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

The WAPO is on it's last legs and idiots like this are digging the grave. Even the most idiotic left winger has figured out that 99% of the 'stuff' coming from the antique MSM is wrong or total lies. I will cheer their death but won't attend the funeral.

BUt rather than address why... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

BUt rather than address why readers are leaving, issues like low confidence, folks like Weingarten would rather blame one of the symptoms. Blogs in this case are an effect, not a cause.

For every true citizen journalist, like Mike Yon, there are how many hundreds or thousands of citizen editors and op-ed writers? Simply put, there really aren't many news sources on the blogosphere.
When the older media outlets get back to reporting things fairly and without undisclaimed editorial, they'll see their circulation/ratings rise. Assuming they haven't euthanized themselves first.

@Ward Churchill! weve found... (Below threshold)
virgo:

@Ward Churchill! weve found Your mate..

Mantis,Regarding the... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Mantis,
Regarding the decrease in quality reporting...... The newspaper of local record in the large northeastern US city where I live pulls most of its "reporting" of national and international from the major wire services. Most of these strories begin on page 2. The major local byline on today's front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer was about the RV folks this week at Dover Downs for the NASCAR event. The gist of the story was that they give little thought to driving these gas guzzlers when they follow their passion. I have no interest in NASCAR nor the RV life but it was quite easy to discern that this was a condescending opinion piece on what the newspaper itself considers part of the "rube" nation. A "front page" type of article? I think not. However, if the article was a focus on the local elites riding on of their Lears to a trendy spot for recreation there is little doubt the article would have been placed in the Style Section. At least in Philadelphia the quality of local reporting is amusing. No different than your vision of blogs.

So we bloggers rant in our ... (Below threshold)

So we bloggers rant in our underpants, while Weingarten rants fully dressed.

I never would have guessed it made that much of a difference what one wears to rant.

"...the mainstrea... (Below threshold)

"...the mainstream media's monopoly on information is over." --Peggy Noonan, WSJ, Jan. 13, 2005

"Sept. 9, 2004, will be remembered as a paradigm-shifting day in media history. That was the day the 'blogosphere' took down CBS News" -- James Pinkerton, Newsday, Sept. 14, 2004

"The New York Times' account of the [CNN chief] Eason Jordan resignation provides a general recap of the story they didn't cover, along with a good dose of excuses and justifications ..." -- Lorie Byrd, Polipundit, 2-12-2005

"I would not be fooled by the old myth that reporting is about objectivity. Deciding what is news is the most subjective of acts and it is probably the most important thing that we do." -- Carl Bernstein

"Is there any more cowardly class of Americans than journalists? ... the nation's media professionals have lately demonstrated a kind of courage rarely seen outside a hamster cage." -- Tim Cavanaugh

"Sometimes the fourth estate seems more like a fifth column."-- Dr. Thomas Sowell

"Muslim Community Leaders Warn of Backlash from Tomorrow Morning's Terrorist Attack" -- parody of a Guardian headline written by a commenter on Tim Blair's website in Australia

"Journalists are no better than other liberal-arts majors at doing regression analysis with infinite variables." -- P.J. O'Rourke, WSJ, 4-16-02

-- Lots more where those came from

Continuing to call the medi... (Below threshold)

Continuing to call the media liberal, considering the lack of investigative and solid reporting for the past 5 years (to this administrations benefit), is like saying the plausibility of intelligent design is intelligent.

Outside of that, the (supposedly liberal?) professor needs to wake the hell up.

We are Nincompoops Ranti... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

We are Nincompoops Ranting

I think that describes a lot of people in here, don't you?

We are Nincompoops Ranti... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

We are Nincompoops Ranting

I think that describes a lot of people in here, don't you?

Well, you maybe.

Continuing to call the media liberal, considering the lack of investigative and solid reporting for the past 5 years (to this administrations benefit), is like saying the plausibility of intelligent design is intelligent.

I guess they were too tired trying to say Bush had a role with Enron's collapse and forging documents to attack Bush to investigate.
-=Mike

Semanticleo has one thing r... (Below threshold)
GoldenGreg:

Semanticleo has one thing right, when I was growing up, even though ther media was liberal, it at least occasionally checked its facts. But... the blogsphere developed more because they (Old Media) NO longer check their facts, not because of the bloggers. In other words, bloggers did NOT stop the checking of facts, they came out because of the LACK of checking facts which is so prevalent these days. As some have said, the MSM seems to be a megaphone of talking points, all without checking the actual facts before publishing. Then correcting on page 19....

"(Old Media) NO longer chec... (Below threshold)
Rob in LA Ca.:

"(Old Media) NO longer check their facts"

"the MSM seems to be a megaphone (FOR DEMOCRAT) talking points"

SIMPLY PUT THEY BECAME THE WILLING AND ENABLING PARTNER OF THE PERPETUAL FRAUD, AKA THE DEMOCRAP PARTY.

@RobSIMPLY PUT TH... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

@Rob
SIMPLY PUT THEY BECAME THE WILLING AND ENABLING PARTNER OF THE PERPETUAL FRAUD, AKA THE DEMOCRAP PARTY.

Actually, I think it happened that they fed off each other. I don't think the Dems would be so brazen if they didn't have the media going soft on them. And the media wouldn't have been so out of whack if the republicans held their toes to the fire on the worst of their BS.
But the Reps have a real lack of spine when the camera turns on, too afraid to look hostile or mean, forgetting that they will be portrayed that way anyway...
If you are going to do the time you might as well do the crime, so to speak.

Yes exactly, and I for one ... (Below threshold)
virgo:

Yes exactly, and I for one am not AFRAID to say that Islam is a religion of violence!

FU MSM




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