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The spit fight that ended my career at MSNBC


They want reports on what moderate left and right wing bloggers — "Nothing out of the mainstream," the producer told me yesterday — say about a "major" topic. What the hell does that have to do with blogging? And when two of the producers yesterday independently suggested that I report on the blogosphere's reaction to a Vietnam veteran spitting on Jane Fonda, I blurted out — because the flu had lowered my normal Walls of Timidity — that this wasn't a job I'm comfortable with.

What makes the blogosphere interesting to me is not that there are moderate left and right voices talking about mainstream topics. Mainstream major stories are about issues such as freakish celebrity pedophiles, a spit match over a fight from 30 years ago that the press is hoping to revive, and whatever unfortunate child has been reported missing and presumed (better for the story) murdered. I'm in the blogosphere to escape from this degradation of values.


So, fuck it. I quit.

I can't begin to imagine how hard MSM'ing about blogs is. It reminds me of the line from Jon Stewart on his show about blogging, "And that's CNN reporting on why blogs are much more interesting than CNN." (The quote from memory might be slightly inaccurate.)


Joi, that was a good quote, but I thought this daily show video did perhaps the best job of capturing what's wrong with not only CNN, but news in general(starts about 1 minute into the video). Here's a new classic quote for you:

"What is their job?! Are they reporters or are they just sitting there in their Pajamas -- drunk -- yelling at the TV?!" - Jon Stuart on the commentators covering the election of the new pope.

While I would certainly agree with David that focusing on only one group or groups of bloggers is mismanagement of the news, I would also see the desire to look at "middle of the road" bloggers as a good thing. Too much MSM and blogger focus on blogs has been on the extremes. This is perhaps more "newsworthy" but it gives a misrepresentation of blogs and leads to unfortunate articles like this one in Darwin Magazine - - that portray a limited view of blogs as a strawman to discredit the use of blogs in business. There is much misinformation in the Darwin article but it is feed by a focus on extremes. This focus also unnecessarily inhibits the use of blogs for business and the many opportunities the transparency, ease of use, and broad reach of blogs offer business. A more balanced view of blogs would expand the vision of opportunities offered by this potentially breakthrough technology.

Bill, I think that a lot of people in the blogsphere are also advocates of the decentralization of misinformation! ha, ha, you can quote me on that. Basically, the refreshing thing about blogs is that they do not focus on stupid stuff like some vet spitting on Jane Fonda. Blogs allow people with something to say to say it! The main stream media would rather foster a blogsphere that promotes the crappolla that they propagate! They report something, we blog about it, their ratings go up. David Weinberger does not share their view of things and thinks blogs have a more important role to play in the world.

Corporations will adopt blogs because of the business applications they provide. This is inevitable so no one needs to focus on boring, middle of the road blogs that parrot the mainstream media to get this done.

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I think that is the case, atleast. Nonetheless you have to read this. This is ballsy. Read More