Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Humor

From Anonymous:

Out with mainstream media; in with blogs
Des Moines Register March 28, 2005

By KEN FUSON
REGISTER COLUMNIST


Among my many goals as a fledgling columnist - can you say "worldwide syndication?" - the most important is to keep my loyal readers ("Hi Mom!") informed about the latest developments in the always exciting world of journalism.

Dan Rather of CBS News gave up his anchor chair a couple of weeks ago, signing off by saying, "Courage," which disappointed me. I was hoping for, "What's the frequency, America?" Or even, "Why do I have to go? I'm better-looking than Bob Schieffer."

But that's not the big news. Blogs are.

Perhaps you have not heard of blogs. The name derives from a combination of "blather" and "logorrhea."

One of the unexpected benefits of the Internet, other than the ability to look really busy at work while filling out your NCAA tournament brackets, is that people can design their own personal Web sites and then report and comment on the big issues of the day as often as they want. These are called blogs.

This has proved to be a boon to people who apparently are (A) unemployed, (B) independently wealthy, or (C) no longer content to wait on hold to get their daily fix of attention from a radio talk-show host.

Let's put it another way: You know those people who like to write letters to the editor? A blog allows them to write letters all day long, on any subject they choose, without worrying about having the profanity removed or having any of their lunatic rants checked for accuracy.

Write all you want? No editors? More profane than a David Mamet character? We reporters have a word for this: E-mail. No, wait: Heaven.

That's one way to look at it. The other is that bloggers perform a valuable public service, uncovering scandals that your average newspaper reporters don't have time to find, because they're too busy reading blogs to see if anyone has written something nasty about them.

For example, the bloggers are credited with first raising questions about the authenticity of the documents CBS News relied on last fall to report that President Bush did not fully complete his National Guard service. Apparently they were tipped off by the phrases, "This is a forgery!" and, "Let's see if we can get Dan Rather to buy this" stamped on several of the suspicious papers.

The bloggers' success has caused much fretting and gnashing of teeth in what's referred to as the Mainstream Media. Editors figure that if the blogs ever figure out a way to reprint Jumbles, we're all going to be toast.

They also are raising serious concerns about whether a person who could be sitting at home in his underwear, writing on his blog while watching "The Price is Right," should be able to call himself a journalist.

And the answer is no. True journalists would be watching "Jeopardy!," dreaming they will win as much as that little geek (term of endearment) Ken Jennings, which would allow them to quit their dead-end jobs and launch their own blogs.

But the great thing is, if you're a blogger, you get your rants linked to by other bloggers who agree with you, or other bloggers who disagree with you. Before you know it, you've taken more "hits" than Cheech and Chong, and you will achieve your dream goal: Being invited to appear on a Mainstream Media news show to explain why the Mainstream Media no longer matter.

Eventually, everyone will have a blog, writing for an audience of one. Or two (You still there, Mom?).

All of this only confirms what I've suspected for some time. In the entire country, there are about six reporters who actually interview people and write stories that reveal new information.

Then the bloggers and TV talk-show hosts move in, attacking the stories either as biased or not biased enough. Then the media critics weigh in on whether the blogs are performing a public service or just littering the information highway. Then journalism professors devote their ethics classes to whether the media critics are giving enough respect to the bloggers.

And many confused citizens eventually conclude that it's easier to watch "The Price is Right" in their underwear than try to stay informed.

As for anyone else still willing to wade through today's news swamp, I offer a word of advice:

Courage.


Comments:
...and the point is...?
 
Ah, yes. There is always one in the crowd who needs to have the concept of "humor" explained. No small surprise he comes from Los Alamos.
 
So I guess you're saying that anything stamped with the heading of "humor" is something we're suppposed to laugh at like crack-addled jackasses just to prove that we are not geeks and "get it"? Okay, I see. Thanks for explaining it to me. Hee haw! Hee haw! C'mon, lemmings, join in, it's humor! Hee haw! Hee haw! Hee haw! Hee haw! Get it? Hee haw! Hee haw! That's the funniest goddamn thing I've ever read! Hee haw! Thanks for putting it here so I could enrich my life! Oh, it's slaying me! Hee haw! I get it! I get it! Hee haw! Hee haw!
 
Ignore 9:02. We have another fool in our midst. Funny thing is, people like him don't realize how stupid they appear to others.
 
7:53 pm checking in.

I still don't get it. There are several factual inaccuracies in the piece. (Perhaps this doesn't matter to Labbies if it's labeled humor.) On the issue of that CBS-acquired document being a forgery, for instance, see the latest issue of New York Review of Books.

It seems to me that this is one more example of a "tin ear" on the part of contributors to this blog. Some of it actually knocks blogs. Oh, I see: that means that Labbies are humble, too.

There's much better commentary than this in the blogosphere.
 
Some people don't think Dave Barry is funny either. There is no accounting for taste.
 
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