[UPDATE, Sat, Apr. 1: So far, not a peep out of the Globe regarding Smith's asinine column. I'm guessing this is the beginning of a really depressing trend at the Globe -- say stupid things about bloggers without giving them a chance to read and respond. I'm shocked. Well, no, no I'm not. Anyone who would publish Mark Steyn has clearly chosen their intellectual level.]
[UH OH: I just got a reply to my email to the Globe, stating that it was rejected due to delivery failure. Has anyone else seen this?]
[UPDATE: According to this page, you can reach Gorham here, so I'm going to give it another shot.]
Just now, I expanded on my snotty remarks directed at Globe And Mail media person and frustrated wannabe journalist Russell Smith here, and it occurred to me that there was one point I wanted to follow up on.
I find it particularly galling that someone would take the time to write an entire article slagging bloggers, and then not make that article available online so that bloggers could respond. That strikes me as cowardice of the lowest form so here's what I'm proposing.
I suggest we all send a short note to the Review Editor, Andrew Gorham, and ask him to make Smith's article freely available online, along with a completely unmoderated comments section so we can all give Russ the benefit of our collective wisdom and experience in Blogland.
If Russ wants this to be a useful experience, then when he attacks an entire demographic, he should be prepared to suffer the slings and arrows of return fire. So that's the challenge to my readers -- take a minute to send Gorham a note about this. And be polite. There's no need to refer to Smith as a cowardly little weasel or anything like that.
Wait for the comments section to open first.
OK, I'VE DONE MY JOB: My request is now in Gorham's mailbox. Now it's your turn.
OH, THE IRONY. Perhaps the funniest thing about Smith's entire piece is this bit, which I will graciously reproduce for you 'cuz that's just the kind of dude I am:
A recently published study by the U.S. Project for Excellence in Journalism, The State of the News Media 2006, commented on this. The report analyzed seven political opinion blogs in the United States for one 24-hour period to determine how they compared to the mainstream media in various areas. The study looked particularly at how much blogs added to the news that was factual. And guess what they found? Not much. "Very little of what a journalist would call actual reporting was evident."
It goes on but ... what's missing here? Why, a link to the study! Gosh, what if we wanted to follow up on that study to see how seriously we should take it? Which blogs? And what exactly did they have to say? But, darn it, Smith omits the URL that would allow us to make up our own minds. In fact, in Smith's piece, there is not a single online link to anything, despite his writing:
The report also noted that any conventional sense of sourcing was missing from many discussions. "Bloggers link to others but tell readers very little about who those fellow bloggers are, their backgrounds or what if any expertise, relationship or bias they may have on the subject at hand..."
No fucking shit, eh, Russ? Kind of like basing a large part of an article on a "study" without giving readers a link to it. Sort of like that, Russ?
Somehow, the word "wanker" just doesn't suffice here, does it?