Saturday, July 09, 2005

CJR is holier than thou

Somebody named Samantha Henig posts on Columbia Journalism Review some rather idiotic remarks in defense of a position unfortunately held by many so-called professionals, which runs something like this: "YOU don't have standards, only I have standards, only I have the credentials and YOU don't."

Rather like a child deciding who's going to be odd-man out. But it looks like she's denigating bloggers, only in this case, it doesn't work.

"But if being a reporter has some journalistic standards attached to it, then only those upholding such standards should qualify for the title. (And if those standards don't exist, then, well, we better pack up and find new work.)

"The same goes for journalism. Just because citizens have a new way of recording and transmitting that fodder hardly means that it's time to call them journalists."

Journalists have traditionally never had credentials of any sort, other than the school of hard knocks. The awarding of a degree in "journalism" is a rather recent phenomenom; previously, a lad showed up in the city room, fetched ashtrays and ran copy, wiped up the spilled booze, ran out for cigars and to the supply closet for more typewriter ribbon, and then, after a year or so, he might be sent out to cover a flower show. Enough flower shows, then he might write an obit or two, etc., etc. That's how it was done for a very long time.

You're a journalist if you say you are. And since I wrote and published my first article when I was 15 and have been writing and publishing ever since, I've probably been at it a hell of a lot longer than Ms Henig. As a freelance photographer, I have worked for all the major newsmagazines. That I choose the electronic medium, rather than recycled bed linens to spread my views is neither here nor there. That I choose to call myself a "blogger" is neither here nor there. The product is what defines who is and isn't a journalist.


n 1: a writer for newspapers and magazines 2: someone who keeps a diary or journal [syn: diarist, diary keeper]"

Ms Henig bleats about "standards." Swell. Given the state of reportage in most corporate swill media today, from newspapers to magazines to (shudder) television, I can't imagine what she's talking about. Does she have any? Given the tone of her whining, I think I would much prefer to read Blame Bush or Newsfare or skippy or even some of my old stuff than her moaning. Certainly the tone, the breadth and depth of knowledge of these bloggers is by any standards professional.

Ms Hening needs to go back to fetching coffee.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Blog morphs to zine

Please don't pee in your pants, gentle readers; the blog will be changing its spots whatchamacallit will be morphing into a Prestigious Journal of News & Opinion over the weekend, hopefully making it easier to read and looking a little less juvenile.

Bear with us as we wack the daylights out of the new HTML.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Advise, yes. Consent, no.

To continue our theme of gushing patriotism this week, the brouhaha over the selection of a new Supreme brings to mind one of our favorite strict constructionalists/original intent subscribers, George "Father" Washington, on the "advise and consent" provision of the Constitution:

“Just as the President has a right to nominate without assigning reasons, so has the Senate a right to dissent without giving theirs.”

Sounds good to me. Next question?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Patriotic Bloodlust Orgy

In a post-4th of July orgy of Patriotism, I have been cruising the Net, seeking patriotic comfort from the bloodlustful rightwing war-dodgers. You know the saying: “Many are called, few are chosen”? Seems that these guys like to stand the call to action on its head, and just call call call and leave off the choosing part, at least as far as their tender bodies are concerned.

General JC Christian, War Hero and Heterosexual, has been leading a recruiting drive aimed at Young Republicans and isn’t having much luck, alas. Seems they have better things to do, like volunteer other people’s kids or hold endless fundraisers to generate funds to hold more fundraisers. Still, one can hope. At an average of 2.3 dead Americans a day, we might put a serious crimp in the Republican life-style, assuming we could get any of those assholes in uniform and over there.

Perhaps it’s the fault of the Liberal Media. You know, those guys who don’t report the body counts, the returning war deads’ coffins, the Downing Street Memo, stuff like that. As a remedy, perhaps better press would help, and the Pentagon may have found their recruiting salvation in the form of Good PR. Check this out.

Conservatives object to Lincoln video, claim it promotes homos

If this weren't so freaking ugly, I'd laugh.

Speaking of not so funny, go to Today In Iraq for the daily scoop from the men and women with their boots on the ground.


US Gov’t offers $50 Million reward!

For those of you slavering at the mouth (and other body parts) over the very real possibility of sacking the Rovster, let’s not forget the Guy That Got Away, namely and to wit, one Osama bin Laden, Criminal Terrorist Mastermind. Yep, the guy that brought America to its knees is still sunning on the Cote d’Azure, or mebee Tuscany. Nobody knows. The point is, everybody, and particularly the Bushmaster and His Cronies, seem to have written off his capture as a lost cause. Not to worry though, American Enterprise and the spirit of can-do are alive and well in the person of Duane “Dog” Chapman, Bounty Hunter .

I’m not kidding here, gentle readers, this guy looks like he can do the job. Previously, I had called for a real cop (instead of those befuddled Delta Force guys) like Melvin Purvis to go after the Mad Arab, but “Dog” looks like he might fit the bill. Only problem, he wants cash up front.

This does not reflect well on his patriotism, but who really understands these law-an-order types anyway?

Cry havoc! and unleash the dogs of war, I say.