I just read a great post by Jon Weisman on Dodger Thoughts commenting on Buzz Bissinger’s beratement of Will Leitch (and all sports bloggers) during last night’s debate on “Costas Now”. Weisman’s assessment was clear, reasoned, and (refreshingly) fair. He also made a literary reference. Nice. He summed up my feelings on the subject pretty well.
To me, the crusade of the “old-guard” journalists against bloggers seems little more than a matter of protecting their turf (or more importantly, their livelihood). For Bissinger to call bloggers “scum” or “full of shit” reeked of self-righteousness and hypocrisy. (umm… Jayson Blair, anyone?) The age-old friction between “high brow” and “low brow” culture always seems unneccessary, and at times, counter-productive. (Wallace Shawn’s “The Designated Mourner” is a great meditation on this friction in the extreme.) In my opinion, one feeds the other; the high feeds the low, and vice versa. To be fair, I share Bissinger’s fears when he states that he worries that his sixteen-year-old son will one day only read stuff that is “glib, mean, and quick.” But unfortunately his actions on the show undermined his high-minded argument. I also agree that Mark Cuban does not have to allow any “Joe” into his locker room, but at least he recognizes the potential for some quality writing to emerge from the blogging world. That is the same point that Weisman makes and he is good example of this potentiality (and a Dodger fan to boot!). Unfortunately, Buzz Bissinger’s apparent aneurysm prevented him from seeing it the same way.
My closest clash with “Old” media: An man appeared at my front door before I could slam it shut and dive behind the couch. “Hi! Would you like to subscribe to the LA Times?” he says. “No thanks, I read it online.” “Why?” “Umm.. to protect the environment?” “Well, we print on recycled paper.” “Still. No thanks.” “Really?” “Yeah.” “Why?” “Actually, I just hate the way that black ink gets on my fingers and then I get smudges all over my pants.” “Oh… kay… then…”
Burn… take THAT Buzz.