Bloggers: Skube didn't
Some initial responses to Michael Skube's Blogs: All the Noise That Fits from this Sunday's Opinion, starting first with the bloggers he name-checks in his piece:
I sent Skube an email telling him that I found it hard to believe he was very familiar with TPM if he was including us as examples in a column about the dearth of original reporting in the blogosphere. [...]
Not long after I wrote I got a reply: "I didn't put your name into the piece and haven't spent any time on your site. So to that extent I'm happy to give you benefit of the doubt ..." [...]
This seemed more than a little odd since, as I said, he certainly does use me as an example -- along with Sullivan, Matt Yglesias and Kos. So I followed up noting my surprise that he didn't seem to remember what he'd written in his own opinion column on the very day it appeared and that in any case it cut against his credibility somewhat that he wrote about sites he admits he'd never read.
To which I got this response: "I said I did not refer to you in the original. Your name was inserted late by an editor who perhaps thought I needed to cite more examples ... "
And this is from someone who teaches journalism?
The widespread availability of a vast sea of armchair analysis and commentary on the internet will, over time, force large, professionalized news organizations to focus on their core, hard-to-duplicate competencies -- and spend less time on the sort of fact-averse punditry Skube's doing right here.
The Grand Inquisitor of Serious Journalism deigned to speak to us about the evils of the blogosphere but... had no examples in his article? Or at least, not enough to satisfy his editors?
And this is the great advantage of Serious Journalism? That it has an editing, vetting and fact checking process?
Among the reaction from those sites not mentioned:
If you're going to extol "thorough fact-checking and verification" over the blogosphere's "potpourri of opinion," you really ought to fact-check your assertions first. Otherwise you're just making things too easy for us.
Dear Michael Skube,
Take a deep breath and repeat after me: Bloggers do not want your job.