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February 25, 2005

Us Poor Bloggers Can't Get No Respect

In yet another media article blasting bloggers (in particular right-wing bloggers), Ted Rall had this to say:

Bloggers are ordinary people, many of them uneducated and with nothing interesting to say. They're sitting in their rec rooms, regurgitating and spinning what real journalists have dug up through hard work. They don't have sources, they don't report, and no one holds them accountable when they make mistakes or flat out lie. Yeah, there's a new sheriff in town. Unfortunately he's drunk, he's mean, and he works for the bad guys.

Does this guy have a hidden camera in my office? If I want to sit around and blog in my black satin jammies, smoke clove cigarettes, and drink merlot, that's my perogative, right? At least I'm clean. Granted, he's complaining about the nutcases who run right-wing blogs, and in many ways he's right. Those guys are downright insane. He mentioned that it's commonplace for the right-wing nutjob bloggers to post death threats against liberal pundits.

Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom brought my attention to right-wing talk show host Mike Gallagher, who also didn't have very nice things to say about bloggers. Goldstein said that Gallagher referred to bloggers as "geeky losers in their basements cranking out crap on a computer," confiding to his audience that he is "worried about this trend of legitimizing bloggers." Chief among blogging’s faults?  "Anybody can do it."

I don't blog in my basement. I have my own spacious office with lots of plants and cats who come by wanting lots of attention. I am the Queen Of My Domain, although the outside of my domain is currently buried under snow, and I can't walk the two blocks to the ocean without freezing to death. I'm perfectly content cranking out my jewels of wisdom for the masses. While I'm sure many bloggers crank out "crap" (see the rant about right-wing bloggers above), I put out quality material.

Ironically, Gallagher himself has a blog, but you have to pay to read it. I won't link to it. You have to pay for a Gallagher Gold membership, and you get the following. Bold my emphasis:

a) Stream the show live
b) Stream archives of the show
c) Stream interviews and show highlights
d) Access special email address that goes right to Mike
e) 10% off on Merchandise in Mike's Mart
f) Access to Mike's Blog
g) Access to the Gallagher Gold Photo Gallery

And he has the gall to whine about bloggers? He's just miffed that not more people pay to read his crap.

Posted on February 25, 2005 at 03:09 PM | Permalink


It amuses me that chief amongst Rall's and Gallagher's complaints are that bloggers are "ordinary people" and that "anybody can do it." What a horrifying thought! Ordinary anybodies expressing their opinions! A lot of it may, indeed, be crap, but when ordinary anybodies gathered around the watercooler to discuss politics, a lot of that was crap too. The crap just has a different distribution mechanism now. Some of it comes from AM radio, too, from those heroic somebodies.

Besides, in my defense, I want to point out that, although I freely admit that a lot of what I blog about is pretty meaningless and I'm not a great writer, I have neither a basement nor a rec room.

Posted by: Lesley at Feb 25, 2005 4:49:21 PM

"It amuses me that chief amongst Rall's and Gallagher's complaints are that bloggers are "ordinary people" and that "anybody can do it." What a horrifying thought! Ordinary anybodies expressing their opinions!"

Well that IS their main complaint since I guess prior to the internet and blogging, access was NOT available to disseminate ordinary people's interpretation of the news, other events or even just expressing an opinion...if you didn't have money or connections or some incredible good luck nobody EVER heard your opinion on anything...

That's what they hate...

It's anti-democratic really their objections...they ONLY want an elite to be able to express themselves publicly...

Next they'll be trying to pass laws to limit blogging to 'responsible' people' which, of course, will be all of them and their friends...and ordinary people will be restricted from starting up blogs w/o licensing or some such crap...so maybe our blogs will finally be worth something; like when they stopped issuing new medallions for taxi cabs...

Posted by: NYMOM at Feb 25, 2005 5:10:38 PM

I think Mr. Rall is referring to commenters. We're mean and usually drunk.

Posted by: Chris Rasmussen at Feb 25, 2005 5:55:56 PM

"We're mean and usually drunk."

Well then you can't be ALL bad...

Posted by: NYMOM at Feb 25, 2005 6:17:15 PM

Now that I know that dirty secret about the clove cigarettes, I will be de-linking you, Trish.


Posted by: Chloe at Feb 25, 2005 6:44:06 PM

Chloe, I only started smoking two months ago. If I'm inspired to quit cold turkey, I might do it. Save some money too. ;)

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Feb 25, 2005 7:13:26 PM

No one learns anything new if everyone does everything the same old way. Wah, wah. Did somebody say wah? I say wah. Come on, y'all. Wah. Uh huh. Say wah. Come on now.

(Pause, Breathe). I can't do it. Not alone. I better head back to my room and get real mean and real drunk. Maybe a little masterblogging.

If only I could be saved by reading the same old McKrap by guys who have answers before they ask any questions. What will I do?

If only the rumors were true, then I could be saved.

If only Kevin Dum were wrong, if only . . .

If only there really were a real a Real Live Poster Womanette for Women Who Blog in a Political Kind of Way . . .

Well The Heretik can dream

Posted by: The Heretik at Feb 25, 2005 9:53:01 PM

My office is crowded with paper, and I tend to wear sexy spandex stuff and just drape
more stuff over me if I feel cold. It's not really like being dressed, but it's not
really like being in my jammies, either, since I don't wear jammies. I put on clothes
that have pockets if I go outside, but that's a different thing.

But I've done my time in "real media" and the reason I'm blogging is because an awful
lot of real media is crap these days. That's the problem.

The right wing blogosphere doesn't mind Big Media being crap, they mind Big Media not
being crap enough. If they cared about the truth, they'd have respected Rather
for at least being better than the rest of the stenographers.

I do real research on my own subjects. I'm pissed off that the people who write our
"news" are unreliable about doing their research. Some of the most high-profile
voices in Big Media are people who only read the headlines, while I actually read the
body of the article. Or, worse, they only read the RNC talking points and White House
press releases. Yeah, there are good reporters out there, but even they get caught up
in it sometimes. Look how Josh Marshall got taken in about the whole Iraq thing and was
promulgating it until it was really too late.

Oh, yeah, I've been smoking Honeyrose Vanilla cigarettes, which cost half the price of
real cigs in the UK if you get them online.

Posted by: Avedon at Feb 26, 2005 9:45:47 AM

Chris, it makes sense he'd be referring to commenters. Yes, they (we? LOL) are mean and usually drunk. They're funny, too. I bet that's not what Billmon had in mind when he opened his Whiskey Bar. He ended up with High Noon.

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Feb 26, 2005 10:26:20 AM

Avedon, we must have the same closet. I have sexy velvet stuff that I wear frequently, and most of it is black. Spandex makes me sweat too much. You should see me when I'm blogging in my kimono and smoking my clove cigarettes through my cigarette holder. Someone should do an article about blogger fashion. It's more than dirty boxers and briefs. LOL

I've never worked in "real media," but I did work in progressive magazines. They're smaller, but they did research properly. The "real media" today definitely doesn't do its research properly, if at all, as you said. My area of focus is family, and the "real media" has promoted some really bad ideas that are not backed by proper research. They're promoting an ideology, not facts.

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Feb 26, 2005 10:32:02 AM

Well, if Everyone Can Do It, that means Teddy's Not Special Anymore.

Posted by: zuzu at Feb 26, 2005 1:31:58 PM

WTF? Beeyatch, quit the frig smoking. Besides, it's too expensive and the longer you smoke, when you quit, the more weight you gain. Get off them now while you still can!!! If I can do it anyone can, I was a die-hard for 20 years, menthol to boot (makes it worse). Did it 10 years ago and never looked back. Should I take you to visit my dad and my gf's mom so you can see them with their oxygen tanks because of their emphysema???

Now, as for the rest of it....lol....did anyone hear about this blogging magazine that's coming out?

Posted by: Moi ;) at Feb 28, 2005 1:08:40 PM

What blogging magazine?

Yeah, I know I should stop, but I don't want to yet. As soon as the cigs cut into my booze and party budget, they'll go. LOL

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Feb 28, 2005 1:21:27 PM