More reactive than flourine. Funnier than boron.
Buggy Whip Salesman Says Beware of Horseless Carriages!

Here’s another one from last April that I really like. As I read the column that is referenced in my post I couldn’t help but think: “The mainstream press will go down shouting about its own moral supremacy over the Internet.” What most in the media seem not to realize is that their supposed objective wonderfulness represents about 50 years in the history of publishing, and only publishing as it is practiced in a flourishing democracy. A year later, a year which saw the mainstream media ignore or overlook dozens of stories first broken by Internet reporting, the post still seems relevant.

Here’s an opening sentence that tells you everything you need to know about the piece that will follow it:

“No one can deny the Internet is a life-changer.”

In one sentence it says, “You are about to be treated to the blatherings of a person so confident in her opinion that she will start her piece by speaking for the entire human population.” It is straight out of a high school journalism class. (I wonder if she tossed out the original opening, something along the lines of “Webster’s Dictionary says “change” is….”)

It comes from this fluffy piece of opinion at US News. It is so very, very bad for so many, many reasons. It boils down to the shockingly new argument that (get ready!) the Internet and bloggers are (here it is!) destroying newspapers and respectable journalism! (Grab the smelling salts.)

Here’s a sample:

“[The Internet] is causing the demise of American journalism—as we know it or have known it for centuries. The Internet is single-handedly responsible for the death this year of the Rocky Mountain News of Denver, and the conversion to online publishing of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Christian Science Monitor.”

Get that? The Internet is single-handedly responsible. That’s right: The Internet did it. It walked up behind the Rocky Mountain News while it was straightening a picture and shot it in the back. The Rocky Mountain News never had a chance. Shame on the Internet! (I also love the line about the centuries old history of American journalism. I can picture a young Ben Franklin being taken to task by a hard-driving editor for not have two sources for his story.)

Here’s the best part:

“[Bloggers] are the technology age’s equivalent of reporters and columnists, but without the degree of separation that used to protect readers and consumers from being targeted for commercial or political purposes, that old-fashioned edited newspapers and magazines used to (and to a limited extent, still do) provide.”

and later:

“Consumers need a filter.”

Isn’t that great? Consumers need to be protected! They don’t know when they’re being manipulated. It’s up to the sage warriors of journalistic truth to protect them.

And here’s the punchline: This wonderful insight is being written in a blog! (“Only other bloggers are unreliable. Not me!”)

I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to find out it’s a parody.

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