My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad

May 2005

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        

« New Music Service Needs More Tunes | Main | Congressional Blue-Noses in Destruct Mode »

February 16, 2005


Sid the Fish

It's actually pretty hard to get much out of this comment if you don't link to (or even mention) any examples of these so-called thin-skinned bloggers.

Derek Willis

Agreed. It's hard to see how it's proper and fair to criticize the media for its excesses without applying the same critical eye to bloggers. Names and examples, please - otherwise the vaunted fact-check capability is wasted.


I'm not so sure that it's a matter of thin-skin as a matter of every field has their powerhouse players that think that they can't be toppled and everything that comes out of their mouths is in the name of the cause and the "Truth". While the two quotes are from Winer, I find that he thinks similarly to myself and his thought process on the world is a bit more cynical, like myself. Perhaps Dave can correct me if I'm wrong in thinking this, but I look at it as cynicism rather than thin-skinned fury.

Did I mention that I'm in the telecommunications industry? *grin*

Derek Willis


Certainly Dave and other critics can be cynical, and that's fine. But I think some of Dave's recent statements go far beyond that, having been on the receiving end of some rather rude emails from him when I had the temerity to object to some rather nasty attacks He wrote last month that "reporters don't do in-depth reporting, they don't have a passion for truth, they serve some other cause, a cynical and self-preserving one." He didn't name any reporters in that piece, and I objected, saying that there are many examples of good in-depth reporting by people who do have a passion for truth. His response? "Shame on you." That's not cynicism, that's mean-spiritedness.

We can have a good discussion between the media and bloggers, and we should, but it can't be done when there are people out for blood - on either side.


I belive that Dan has a point that bloggers are not really critical about themselves and what they blog. However, if one is to curtail their freedom of blogging, then it becomes an infringment of the 1st kind. I think, that bloggers will make mistakes, they may not imply what the say and mean what they say.. this has to be acknowledged as a converage /learning of soceity at grassroot level too.


We can have a good discussion between the media and bloggers, and we should...

Where is a general "shortcomings of the media" discussion happening, with civility, and with the media's participation? And, ideally, with a problem-solving attitude...

("shortcomings" isn't meant in a pejorative sense here - rather, all designs/processes have weak areas and addressing these spots is likely to give maximum benefit.)


And, in the "we're building a culture" vein -

Names and examples, please - otherwise the vaunted fact-check capability is wasted.

What should the norm be, when: you're calling for "better behavior" and you have a particular instance(s) in mind, but you consider the problem to be a more general one? Is it better to point (thereby making it clear to the pointee, but also shaming/attacking) or to speak generally and un-pointedly (thereby giving your readers less info, and risking that the [non-]pointee won't "get" that you consider their behavior to be part of the problem)?

no answers, just questions, which are probably rhetorical...

Derek Willis


I wish that discussion was taking place somewhere, but I can't find it, either. I thought that Jay Rosen's PressThink might have been one place for it, but increasingly that's been dominated by political discussion and Jay, to my disappointment, has been in my opinion too silent as people pile invective on the media.

How do we have a better conversation? One way is to acknowledge both weaknesses and strengths within the media and blogs, to build on a sense of progress rather than deconstruction. But really, all sides need to take a step back from self-importance (if newspapers catered to bloggers we'd confuse or lose a lot of readers, and the media has to realize that the balance of information ownership has changed) and talk about the steps - the small, slow and sometimes painful steps - of making something out of what we have today.

Sid the Fish

Ah. Dave Winer. Yes, the skin appears to be no more than a few molecules thick.


"Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity" is formally called "Hanlon's Razor".

For all that Dave Winer might have contributed to weblogging, he really is a huge sissy and an unexceptional thinker.

Dave Winer

Derek, I've found sometimes that people think I'm nasty when I don't agree with them. That's not nasty, imho, maybe you could say "disagreeable" but that isn't the usual use of that word.

Dan, the bit you pointed to was ironic, not furious. I've been called names by pros so many times, all the emotion is out of it for me. I was simply playing back what they were saying about us, so you could get an idea what it sounded like, when the subject isn't bloggers.

Today, when they reduce the discussion to name-calling it isn't the blogger's problem, it's theirs. I have no doubt that blogging is here to stay. But with attitudes like we've seen from NY Times reporters over the years, I'd worry if I were betting heavy on their future.

I was at a meeting earlier this week with a dozen editorial people at a small town newspaper. At the beginning of the meeting they were cracking jokes about bloggers, to my face. In the end, they were good human beings, and good journalists, once I showed them my self-respect, it was easy for them to see that I was also a good human being, and that a lot of what I value in journalism is what they value as well.

One of the conclusions we reached was something that seems to be in the air these day. At least the bloggers are the most interested users of journalism. Of course there's more to blogging than that, but at least reporters ought to care about their users, the same way it would be unwise for a software developer to not care what their users thought of their product. I'm pretty sure, based on your writing, that you'd agree with this Dan. It's kind of the point I've been trying to make with you for years -- your profession has users. And your profession has very little patience for them. Carry that message to your colleagues in the professional press, and you'll be helping them enormously.

Just my $0.02...

Dave Winer

Dan, Peggy Noonan noticed that the name-calling has gotten out of hand...

And that's just the beginning of an incredible, wonderful essay about why blogging is so great. Savor every word.

"Freedom envy!" Wow.


Dave: if a discoursed is reduced to a emtional level and name calling. Whats the point of a discourse ? The value paradigm is that the MSM need to get off their High horse, scale dow from their ivory towers and understand that grass root level reporting is just as effective as them . In fact, imho, more effective !!

Alice Marshall

Anyone who thinks blogging can replace establishment media should try to do some original reporting-

it will give you new respect for anyone who can make a deadline.

Daniel Conover

Two observations:

1. The general tone of internet communication, be it on chats, boards or blogs, tends to run snarkier and more personal than the more processed voice of mass communication. So no surprise that the give-and-take on blogs sometimes seems a little shrill.

2. My guess is that the best way to thicken up the skins of MSM journalists is to give them the means and freedom to communicate with their critics. While a TV station or a metro newspaper is a great way to talk to 100,000 people, it's a lousy way to have a one-to-one conversation. We've got you on artillery, but in hand-to-hand combat you've got the advantage.

CALLER: "I'm sick of your Godless, liberal-biased, Saddam-kissing, gay-loving newspaper."
NEWSPAPER EDITOR: "Well, first of all, thank you for calling and caring so passionately."
CALLER: "You don't mean that. You're a liar. Let me ask you a question: Who did you vote for for president? Are you a Christian?"
NEWSPAPER EDITOR: "Say, look over there... is that the Hindenberg?"

I always hated dealing with those calls because I knew that honest answers and honest debate on the person's points could get me in hot water with my company. it stuck me in the role of talking like a corporate shill. But the more freely i can respond, the less sensitive i become to what others say.

Derek Willis


Disagreement (and being disagreeable) is one thing - and I'm not asking for your agreement. But should I really be ashamed to defend demonstrably good work done by journalists (including some by the largest papers)? I was trying to see if you had any acknowledgment of in-depth reporting, since your piece declared that it did not exist. You chose to respond with "Shame on you." Surely there are better ways to discuss things, ways that are less nasty. Again, it goes back to the ability to have a conversation without questioning each other's sincerity or integrity.

I was asking you to defend your assertion, and you basically declared me unfit to ask it - not very far from some of the media behavior you decry.

I'm very glad that your meetings in the Carolinas went well, and I hope they showed you that not all reporters are without integrity. You seem to grant them that in your comment above. My question is why you continue to write just the opposite on your weblog.


Dave Winer

Dan, hi, great to see you here! (Dan is from the lowlands of South Cackalacky, I met him in Spartanburg.)

Derek, it's great that you care so much to take the time to help me improve my manners. I will try to learn from your lessons, and shining example.

/pd, yes! Amen.

Derek Willis


No, thank you for completely ignoring the substance of what I wrote!


Rodger Morrow

Thursday morning, I received an email from one of the readers of my blog pointing out the remarkable similarity between the lead of Peggy Noonan's column and this item I posted Tuesday night. I believe the commonalities are more than accidental.

James Taranto brought to my attention last October the fact that both David Brooks and John Podhoretz had aped another post of mine, which was featured in Best of the Web Today. I had hoped his newspaper's own columnists would be more responsible.

Blogging, Ms. Noonan writes, changes how business is done in American journalism. Unfortunately, blogging hasn't much changed plagiarism—except to make it easier.

dave Hume


main stream media (MSM...)

i found there are two other meanings currently for MSM
1. men who have sex with other men
2. Muscat Securities Market

see referecences here:

HIV and LGV in MSM
Metro Weekly - Feb 17, 2005
... Within the MSM (men who have sex with men) community, however, the
news this month has had less to do with Cupid and roses than with
infections and "purulent ...

MSM index up a tad - Oman
MENAFN, Middle East - Feb 15, 2005
MUSCAT — The Muscat Securities Market (MSM) saw a marginal 1.3 points,
or 0.04 per cent, gain in its general index as it ended the trading
session at 3584.31 ...

The comments to this entry are closed.