Monday, November 14, 2005

Should have "We charge 50 bucks a year for our opinions" as a subtext

I was going to overlook the latest "Those Damn Blogs" article from the Times, but this link from Atrios caught my eye:

Shorter New York Times

Why can't Blogs be more like Time magazine?

Anyway,the latest round of judging all blogs by one blog, or in this case oneset of stories on a blog. It's like passing judgment on the medium of"print publishing" by focusing on an issue of Juggs magazine.

And sure enough, the NY Times oraculates:

Any time any medium attempts to find humor in darkness, it can sometimes clank one off the rim. "Not every Onion story is a gem," said Jeff Jarvis, who blogs at and has served as a consultant to The New York Times on Web matters. "And I've been offended by plenty of stories ripped from the headlines by Dick Wolf or Commander in Chief. Do we dismiss print? Do we downgrade all TV? Or do we blame the writers who missed the mark?"

Choire Sicha, a senior editor at The New York Observer and a former editor of Gawker, said the architecture of most blogs -items piled on each other in a chronological manner - made nuance difficult.

"The Web format gives equal weight to everything," he said. "You can't signal a story's gravity or lack of gravity, so you can't differentiate between the item about what Anna Wintour wore to her last escapade and someone being terrorized in their home."

Blogs can be serious enough and conventional enough in execution to fit in with mainstream media (as will be the case when will begin running in January). But because blogs can be amended or erased, the people who write them tend not to be held to account. The expectation is that bloggers will transgress lines in terms of efficacy and tone and anybody who complains is viewed as a weenie.

I for one take neither Jarvis nor Sullivan that seriously, and the fact that both have had connections to the New York Times itself says "conflict of interest" to me.

Look, Times, it was good you got rid of Miller and Blair and Raines. I never heard about Gawker till I saw it on your site. Atrios is right: there's a universe of blogs out there, and I guess that by your logic, we should place more cred in Weekly World News; it after all is above board in its fakeness.

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