Saturday, December 05, 2009

Yo, Dawg! Is it worth it?


The National Birdcage Liner introduces respected blogger Dr. Dawg to its readership by first apologizing profusely, and making it clear they won't be making a habit of supporting intelligent, thoughtful writing:

In the spirit of adventure for which the National Post is well known, we have (occasionally) welcomed contributions by supporters of parties that are not on our list of favourites, i.e. Liberals. This gets the socialists all stirred up though, and rightly so, since many of them don't much like Liberals either. With that in mind, Full Comment welcomes our latest blogger, John Baglow, well known as the author of the Dr. Dawg web site. Before everyone starts sending me nasty emails, think about this: There's nothing wrong with listening to other opinions; it's when you start agreeing with them that you need to worry.

At which point the NP editors throw down the drawbridge and let in all manner of ignorant, mouth-breathing cretin to the comments section:

... Oh good, another nihilistic satirist, merely delighted with the sound of his own voice, adding nothing of constructive value to any discussion.

... Thank you, Kelly...

A real socialist heh. A self admitted zealot. So what else is new. Hopefully you will do better next time other than this self-indulging drivel...

Welcome, legend has it that everytime a socialist is actually willing to debate or even listen an angel gets it's wings. Ironic isn't it...

And thoughtful, nuanced discourse wouldn't be complete without the ubiquitous "Sassylassie":

What does banning the minaret have to do with Free Speech? The Minaret is a sign of Islamic Supremacism and the abuse and subjugation of women's equality. Thus do you think it's okay for the Islamic Supremacist to place a symbol that screams, to me, burning cross and white hoods on their place of worship? Funny Neo Nazis bad but their brothers' in arms the Islamists are good.

I'll never understand the loopy upside down logic of the radical leftwingers, never.

They better be paying you for this, John.

AFTERSNARK: Unsurprisingly, some of the less biologically-developed of the Idiotsphere have some unfinished business with the Doctor, unable as they are to actually engage him on the contents of his, you know, column:

by Alexander (Sandy)
Dec 04 2009
3:11 PM


I gave up visiting Baglow's blog long ago. He bans commenters when they become too effective -- "You're a troll; so, off with your head!". Meanwhile, a chorus of trained seals adorn the perimeter of his echo chamber barking the most exquisite nonsense and abuse at all who dare challenge the dogma. Hopefully, this distasteful man's 'deal' with the NP does not include censoring commenters here.

Yes, Sandy, that's what we in the Progress-o-sphere are notorious for -- our iron-fisted, fascistic control of our comments sections. That's it exactly.

Join us next week when the Doctor writes eloquently on another topic, and Sandy drops by to bitch and whine about the Doc's blog again. We can see the pattern starting already.

They better be paying you for this, John.

JUST TO BE CLEAR, I'm not fundamentally opposed to Dawg writing for free. I'm offended by the freedom the NP gives commenters to ignore the substance of his post and write asinine, vacuous, offensive comments. If I were Dawg, my only non-negotiable dealbreaker of a condition would have been to not allow comments. At all. After all, what's the point when the majority of them don't rise above the level of Sassylassie's deranged drooling?

76 comments:

sooey said...

I wrote with a comedy team for the National Post a few years ago. The money was great. Then they fired everybody. Writers will work for free, it seems.

The comments on most mainstream news blogs detract from the writing in the worst way possible. Blog comment sections are the virtual equivalent of exiting a fine restaurant through the kitchen - where the dishwashers are having a poo flinging party.

L-girl said...

I refuse to believe that anyone, anywhere, is dumb enough to write for a commercial newspaper and not be paid for the effort. In this case, they should be paying him, doing his laundry and feeding his cat.

Cherniak_WTF said...

They better be paying you for this, John.
Dr. Dawg stated that they are not.

I would have refused out of principle.
Wonder what his motivation is?

The comments are hateful and full of demagogy. It's to be expected from the readers of that propaganda paper...

L-girl said...

Dr. Dawg stated that they are not.

OMG. That is just plain wrong. I write for no pay in some circumstances, and I understand the need to do so, but NOT for a newspaper! That is bad for Dawg and bad for all writers.

Cherniak_WTF said...

You'd think that Dawg with his union background would understand this...

I don't know the man personally, but at first glance there is a little hypocrisy there....
Newspapers are infamous for their ill treatment of journalist and how they want to own all content, reuse and reuse it but not pay journalists...

thwap said...

Seems like a waste of time and energy for the Dawg if the Aspers won't pay him.

And "Alexander (Sandy)" bitches about being censored, trained seals, blah,blah, blah?

Not "Raphael Alexander" by any chance?

Something about wasting your time and annoying a pig comes to mind.

Balbulican said...

Dawg is an activist, and he likes to write. Both good things. This is an opportunity to speak to a broader audience about things he cares about. How is that a bad thing?

sooey said...

Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

Marky Mark said...

What Balb said.

redsock said...

There's nothing wrong with listening to other opinions; it's when you start agreeing with them that you need to worry.

Translation:

"It is not necessary to shout "la la la la I can't hear you" when someone else is talking, but you damn well better keep your mind closed to what they are saying."

Cherniak_WTF said...

How is that a bad thing?
I don't know what you do for a living, but do you mind performing what you do for me free of charge?

At the same time, do you mind if I make money off what you do?

Marky Mark said...

He's blogging for free anyway-his posts are being re-published at another site with his permission. If it goes well maybe he will become a mogul and end up employing thousands of people!

Cherniak_WTF said...

Yes, he is blogging for free, but the National Post is making money from that now.

Cherniak_WTF said...

I'm wondering if Dawg feels okay being the equivalent of a scab... We decry that journalist are nothing but lazy stenographers and wonder why it is so when the NP uses this kind of free labour...

Balbulican said...

Chern, I doubt very much the NP is going to up its sales much by virtue of Dawg's contribution, much as I respect the man.

Are you suggesting that the folks who write Op Ed pieces now insist on being paid?

L-girl said...

He's blogging for free anyway-his posts are being re-published at another site with his permission.

When we blog for free, we do so at our own expense and our own profit, if we choose to sell ads. When we write for someone else, they are using our writing to sell ads, hoping to make a profit. Therefore, we should be paid for our work.

Btw, is Dawg actually re-posting blog content for NP or is he writing new material? I was under the impression he was writing original content, which makes doing it for free about a zillion times worse.

Dawg is an activist, and he likes to write. Both good things. This is an opportunity to speak to a broader audience about things he cares about. How is that a bad thing?

Because it is not only an opportunity, it is a business arrangement. When you write for a commercial enterprise, you are not just someone who "likes to write" - you are a professional writer, and you should be paid for your time and skills.

I don't know what you do for a living, but if your colleagues suddenly took a 50% pay cut, and this new salary became the standard, would you object? And after enough of your colleagues were working for 50% of the old standard, if your employers asked you to work for no salary whatsoever, and some of your colleagues accepted that "offer," and that became the new standard, would you object to that?

Or would you say, I enjoy what I do, so why shouldn't I do it for free?

L-girl said...

Are you suggesting that the folks who write Op Ed pieces now insist on being paid?

Op Ed pieces are paying markets! They always have been.

L-girl said...

Chern, I doubt very much the NP is going to up its sales much by virtue of Dawg's contribution, much as I respect the man.

Godalmighty, that is not the point. Would you like to get paid only if your company could show an increase in profits based on your particular work? Writing is a JOB. We are supposed to be paid for JOBs.

I am an activist, too, and I also write for no compensation when I feel it's appropriate. But for a commercial enterprise? I'd rather scrub toilets for a living.

Marky Mark said...

L-girl.

Dawg explained in the comments at the post that CC linked to that he isn't writing new material. The "Full Comment" editor picks and chooses among posts at various blogs and so now some of his may end up being reproduced there.

You'll see he also says he hasn't been paid for his op-ed pieces and he addresses the writing for free issue head on.

L-girl said...

You'll see he also says he hasn't been paid for his op-ed pieces

I did go to his blog, as we were talking about him, and should be courteous and talk to him as well. Your snarky comment over there implying people here won't speak to Dawg directly was uncalled for.

he addresses the writing for free issue head on

All the self-justification and rationalization in the world doesn't make up for slavery and scabs.

Regarding writing Op-Eds for free, he's being taken advantage of. Those are paying markets, and if you ask for your due, you will receive it. All newspapers pay for Op-Eds, anywhere from a token fee of $150 to $2,000 or more for a "name" writer.

L-girl said...

The "Full Comment" editor picks and chooses among posts at various blogs and so now some of his may end up being reproduced there.

What a racket. Free content for a newspaper that sells ads. And most people think that's just dandy.

Un-bee-leave-able.

Marky Mark said...

I did go to his blog, as we were talking about him, and should be courteous and talk to him as well. Your snarky comment over there implying people here won't speak to Dawg directly was uncalled for.

Good for you L-girl for being classy about it while disagreeing, as have some others. I was directing my comment to those who haven't extended that courtesy. Dawg is widely respected for his writing and how he debates, even by those who disagree with him. That's probably one reason he was extended this honour.

L-girl said...

Oh good lord! He was not "extended an honour"! He was offered a job!!

It's called re-sale. It's what writers live on. Because writing pays so badly, we try to re-sell the same story to several markets, to increase the earnings per story.

The NP is not a non-profit society that gives out awards. They are a commercial enterprise that offers jobs, or in this case, slavery.

Balbulican said...

"I don't know what you do for a living...'

Well, among other things, I write, and I edit. Sometimes for money, sometimes because I'm advancing a cause or an organization I believe in.

"Writing is a JOB. We are supposed to be paid for JOBs."

It's also a hobby, a habit, an activity that supports other activities - sometimes all of the above.

"I am an activist, too, and I also write for no compensation when I feel it's appropriate. But for a commercial enterprise? I'd rather scrub toilets for a living."

Cool. Your choice. And some would say scrubbing toilets is preferable to writing for Canwest as well.

Dawg is an ethical guy, and a unionist. I assume he has considered the implications of his decision, and decided that the importance of getting a progressive message out in a predominantly regressive venue is worth it. His choice.

L-girl said...

Of course it's his choice, and I'd never suggest otherwise. But the choices we make effect others as well. Not to mention that other people published on the same page as him are getting paid for their work while he's not! A choice from an ethical guy can still be ignorant - and unethical.

I haven't picked up my jaw yet from the comment about Op-Ed writers "insisting" they get paid. I had no idea that people thought Op-Eds were freebies.

Marky Mark said...

OK L-girl-well, knowing Dawg as we all do, I'm sure he will address this point. Idon't anything about how the biz works and you clearly do.

The "honour" is in being chosen from a pretty large number of independent political bloggers. I take your point about that being akin to being chosen for a job among a large pool of job applicants, but let's see how he addresses that point.

Ti-Guy said...

Everyone has their price. In this instance, it happens to be very low indeed.

If it were any other publication, I wouldn't care as much. But The National Post and the CanWest chain of screechy right wing rags ruined newspapers in this country. Ruined journalism, in fact.

sooey said...

To assume makes and ass of u and me, Balbulican. And that's just what we're discussing isn't it - his choice. This isn't personal, lots of writers make that choice. I believe, however, that if the media wants my work, it should have to pay me for it. So I question his choice because, like you, I assumed - but I assumed he shared my belief that the media should have to pay writers - and decently - for our work.

In any case, it's all good news for the commenters so despised by CC. Their commentary on the column is now worth just as much as the column itself. The National Post must be very pleased with that development.

L-girl said...

In any case, it's all good news for the commenters so despised by CC. Their commentary on the column is now worth just as much as the column itself.

Excellent point, Sooey. One of the downsides of the internet has been the devaluing of writing. (Everyone's a writer now, whoo-hoo!) CanWest gets to capitalize on that by getting the content and the commentary at the same price.

redsock said...

This point has probably been made above, but now the Post can say to future contributors: "Look, this guy wrote for free, why can't you?"

When we expect/demand compensation for our work, we help all writers, especially those who may not be so assertive when it comes to asking for a proper fee.

Dr.Dawg said...

Just a few points, now that I've been alerted to this discussion. (I was writing a blogpost about climate change, and it took much longer than usual.)

First, the terms of the "deal": no Full Comment blogger, so far as I know, is paid.

Secondly, I am not writing specially for the NP. As some here have noted, there is now merely an arrangement by which they surf my site and republish some blogposts.

Thirdly, I have written numerous op-eds for the Ottawa Citizen over the years, and for the defunct Ottawa Journal as well. A long time ago I was paid some trifling amount. Now no money is forthcoming. I might stand to be corrected here, but I don't think I'm being singled out. Op-ed pieces are contributed these days, not sold. (If I were writing an actual column, of course, I would obviously expect to be paid.)

Fourthly, and I mean this very seriously, f*ck off with this "scab" crap. There is no strike by the Guild going on; I'm no scabby replacement worker. Anyone who wants to use a word like that about me should have the courage to say it to my face.

Anyway, there really seems to be only one choice: be published in the NP, which is a bit of a lark, frankly, or not be published in the NP, by making some grand gesture of renunciation--over money, yet.

I'm not being treated any differently, as I said, from anyone else over there. Perhaps that's no excuse for not being paid, but I don't exactly have a lot of leverage in that respect. Neither do my unpaid blogging colleagues.

So the good outweighs the bad, at least in my opinion. I'm bearding the lion in his den, truly irritating the screaming meemies, and already discovering one or two people who seem more willing to engage. I'm getting the progressive word out to a wider audience. And I'm not doing anything, in any case, that I'm not already doing.

Carry on.

LuLu said...

Bravo, Doc.

Ti-Guy said...

Are they going to be "selective" in what they republish? Are you going to infuse your posts with more gratuitous Liberal-bashing to make sure they do? Will they publish a post on the basics of Marxism? Which you should write and they should republish, since it would do the wingnuts a world of good to learn something about the thing they accuse everyone else of all time.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Well Dawg, you may not like the word scab, but I do consider you an enabler that demeans the journalistic profession.
And, I certainly would not have any qualms about telling you that do your face. Although that little rant on your part does seem childish.

A few years ago, some writers at the Montreal Gazette fought for decent royalties on what they wrote, only to be replaced.
The Newspapers want to own and resell whatever you write in perpetuity...

Journalistic integrity is rather low at the moment, various public relations firms and marketing agencies seems to be providing content free of charge that is reproduced almost verbatim...


While you prattle on about this being a lark and what not, I see your attitude towards this as being part of the overall decline in journalism.

The National Post audience and the paper itself is unabashedly right-wing (it's when you start agreeing with them that you need to worry and we have (occasionally) welcomed contributions by supporters of parties that are not on our list of favourites, i.e. Liberals).


So enjoy being an enabler, but don't try to wrap it around some perceived noble cause.

Ti-Guy said...

it's when you start agreeing with them that you need to worry

Wasn't that insulting? It's like The Post is putting on a freak show featuring a two-headed Dawg. ;)

Marky Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sooey said...

I wrote at least 24 Op/Ed pieces for the Ottawa Citizen and was paid $200 for each piece, whether it ran or not. And if I hadn't been paid, I wouldn't have written more than one, I can tell you that much.

True, I guess that you're not doing anything you weren't doing already, Dr. Dawg. I didn't realize you were writing Op/Ed pieces for free as well.

But you hardly need to explain yourself to me or anyone else. Your choice wouldn't be mine, that's all.

Marky Mark said...

CWTF,

I don't know anything about the newspaper business, but this seems similar to what happens in other businesses. In law, for example, there are many for profit conference organizers who charge people to attend conferences but they don't pay the speakers who write papers and present them. The speakers choose to appear for no fee because they get profile out of it and the prospect for more real business down the line. Plus they get to give back by educating younger lawyers.

If a blogger can get extra exposure without having to pay for it, doesn't that give more people exposure to that writer/author/poet with the prospect of increased earnings? And, given that the blog is a political blog designed to win hearts and minds, wouldn't it be a bit odd to give up the opportunity to get one's arguments out there wherever possible?

Cherniak_WTF said...

Wasn't that insulting?
Yes. I saw it more as "come and see the token lefty"...



@Marky Mark
I understand the self promotion aspect, but would lawyers work free of charge for a Law Firm? (outside of articling).

Balbulican said...

I have had two op-ed pieces published by CanWest in the last two years (in both cases I was ghost writing for a client). NO fees were paid by CanWest, and that was fine with us: we were trying to draw attention to a specific issues that was going to be the focal point of an upcoming national conference, and this was free, high profile exposure of the issue.

This may all be an example of the law of unintended consequences - there is probably no action that any activist can take that doesn't rebound in some negative way. I can regret those unintended consequences without allowing myself to be paralyzed by them. Sorry.

(wv/ "preflapo" - Dr. Dawg's state before this discussion began.

Ti-Guy said...

but would lawyers work free of charge for a Law Firm?

If anyone should be working for free, *they* should. I think it's a travesty that justice and defending one's legal rights has to cost any money at all.

I probably would make the same decision as Dawg, by the way if I were interested in exposing my writing to a wider audience. But then the only thing I would be interested in writing about would be news media criticism and there ain't no mainstream media agency in this that would be interested in that. Even our public broadcasters are not keen on that subject.

I don't know how I'd feel subjecting myself to commentary from the bilious assholes who hang out at The Post though.

Dr.Dawg said...

Still trying to figure out what it is I'm "enabling."

What I can say, though, is that as an organizer and union activist, I've had a bellyful in my life of purists who do very little more than sitting around being pure and criticizing everyone else for being impure..

These aren't socialists. They're armchair liberals, fugitive and cloistered virtue intact.

Think how this debate would shift if I were being paid. Already we have had one or two folks state that I wasn't selling out because I was receiving no tainted money form the NP.

Want to engage? Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Finally, (although I do say it myself), my pieces have already helped to raise standards of journalism at the NP. Recall that they publish he who shall be nameless, who can't write a decent English sentence to save his life. Just sayin'.

Cherniak_WTF said...

I think it's a travesty that justice and defending one's legal rights has to cost any money at all.
That's another debate altogether... I saw some Liblogger trying to justify the fees charged by lawyers comparing them to Doctors... Ignoring the fact that a doctor's fee are from a pool of all taxpayers while a lawyer is a direct fee to the consumer...

@Balbulican
I'm assuming that someone did pay you for the work.
And you make it sound like you were lobbying. In a way, you received advertising for writing.

Ti-Guy said...

These aren't socialists. They're armchair liberals, fugitive and cloistered virtue intact.

Hey, that's a good one. Save it for The Post. You'll have Sassylassie eating out your hand.

Just kidding. It's complete nonsense.

Marky Mark said...

CWTF,

If we were talking about replacing staff reporters with non-paid freelance reporters, your comparison to a lawyer working for free at a law firm would be quite apt. But here we're talking about something available only in the online publication (at least I think that's the case) and there isn't really a model of a publisher hiring people to do that work. it's an add on altogether.

Balbulican said...

"And you make it sound like you were lobbying. In a way, you received advertising for writing."

Huh?

So...writing op eds as lobbying - i.e., to produce a social or legislative outcome - is okay, because one is getting rewarded somehow.

Cool. In that case, no-one should have any objections to Dawg's advocacy work.

sooey said...

Well, except maybe people who think writers should be paid for their work. With, like, money.

L-girl said...

The deciding factor isn't what the writer intends with her/his writing. Most of us have several overlapping goals - education, advocacy, entertainment, personal challenge, and so on. The deciding factor is what kind of enterprise one is writing for. A grassroots venture where no is paid and everyone contributes out of dedication to the cause - a nonprofit that sells ad space at 1/3 of the going rate, and pays writers accordingly - a media giant that sells ads to major corporations - ?

I've done a lot of wirting for nonprofits that pay me only a tiny per-word fee, but they would never ask me to work for free. They know that would be an insult both to me and to the quality of their publication.

Dr Dawg and I (and possibly others here) are writing for The Mark with no fees right now. They sell ad space, but they're a start-up. I asked for a fee, and was told that when they start making money, they will distribute some to their contributors. You can bet I will keep asking.

Most writing can be described as "advocacy work" on some level. It's ridiculous to think that people who care deeply about certain topics and use writing to advance their views should work for free.

sooey said...

I was making $300/week as a freelancer writing for the National Post. It was my job. Then they fired all their freelancers. I guess it was a good business move. There's apparently no shortage of people willing to provide newspapers with content free of charge.

L-girl said...

Although I did not find Dawg's explanation ranting or childish, this

I was making $300/week as a freelancer writing for the National Post. It was my job. Then they fired all their freelancers. I guess it was a good business move. There's apparently no shortage of people willing to provide newspapers with content free of charge.

is why the word "scab" is appropriate.

No strike? We don't have enough power to have a friggin strike. While you're busy raising journalistic standards at the NP, you're standing in solidarity with your bosses against other writers.

sooey said...

It will be interesting to see how high journalistic standards rise due to free content providers.

Dr.Dawg said...

You don't know what the f*ck a scab is, or you wouldn't toss that word around. Smarten up.

When they "fired all the freelancers," my bet is not a single one of them was a blogger on Full Comment. So keep comparing apples to oranges.

And if and when they pay me, watch the floodgates of the pure break entirely.

Stay pure, there, Tiggy. You know perfectly well what I was saying. After all, being pure like CWTF means you never actually have to do anything. In fact that would compromise your purity in and of itself.

And from the heights of your purity you can criticize all those who actually, you know, engage.

Dr.Dawg said...

Just out of curiosity, btw, were the freelancers members of SONG?

the rev. paperboy said...

Just to toss in my two cents -- how the hell can you be "fired" if you are a freelancer, which, by definition, means you don't work for anyone on a regular basis. You could I suppose have an informal arrangement with them that they would buy a certain number of pieces over a period of time.
Op-Ed writing is often done for free as a way to advance a political position - that has been true for as long as I've been in the newspaper business (over 20 years).
I agree that publishers love getting something for nothing and there is no shortage of people willing to work for nothing more than a byline, but as we all know, you get what you pay for, especially when it comes to journalism.

So, more power to Dawg for his attempts to reach across the aisle. It's not costing him anything and it isn't putting anyone out of work. Additionally, it saves us all from the NP polluting the intertubes with more spewings from Shaidle and Raphel and the rest of their regular commenters.


Are the "full comment" pieces even run in the NP's print edition or is it strictly an online part of the paper?

Dr.Dawg said...

Strictly on-line, so far as I know.

Incidentally, my question about SONG, I suspect, will be answered in the negative. Which makes an interesting hierarchy, doesn't it?

Freelancers do bargaining unit work, undercutting the Guild--the kettle, in other words, calling us bloggers black.

L-girl said...

You don't know what the f*ck a scab is, or you wouldn't toss that word around. Smarten up.

Whoa. Where does this come from? Who are you to tell anyone here to "smarten up"? You don't have a monopoly on knowledge. I and others may see this issue differently than you, but that doesn't mean we don't know the meaning of a word and need to be educated.

Dawg, I understand you might be feeling embattled here, but perhaps the course of action is to leave others to their opinions, not lord your supposed knowledge over the supposed ignorant.

I know what scab means as well as you. I've been around picket lines my whole life.

how the hell can you be "fired" if you are a freelancer, which, by definition, means you don't work for anyone on a regular basis.

Freelance does not mean that, and freelancers can be fired. Here's how it works. As a freelancer, you work regularly for said client. One day, said client says, We are no longer employing freelancers. Do not pitch us any more ideas, as we will no longer be paying for your services, goodbye. And that is how a freelancer is fired.

sooey said...

I had a freelance contract and was paid $300/week to produce material that ran every Saturday with a couple of other writers. It was humour-related. And like I said, my Op/Ed pieces were bought by the Ottawa Citizen for $200/piece whether they ran or not. They were also humour-related.

So... did you work in the recycling end of the newspaper business?

I can't speak for the other pure, but I believe the National Post SHOULD have to pay you to use your work, Dr. Dawg. Online or in print.

L-girl said...

Btw, I don't know where this "pure" trope came from, but it's the equivalent of "oh yeah? well you're not perfect either, so shut up!".

A writer is writing for a major corporate media entity without being paid. Some other writers disapprove of this and would prefer (1) he get paid and (2) he not do it. He disagrees.

Purity - moral or otherwise - is irrelevant.

Ti-Guy said...

Stay pure, there, Tiggy. You know perfectly well what I was saying. After all, being pure like CWTF means you never actually have to do anything. In fact that would compromise your purity in and of itself.

Huh?

Cherniak_WTF said...

Fuck you Dawg. Really.
You assumed that I don't do anything. Wrong, but don't let facts get in the way of your rant.

I find it ironic that you would continue to direct that kind of insult at me.

Doubly so because I did sent you an email outlining some of the causes that I have taken up before you continued with your little insults...

I value my privacy online, so I hope you respect that.


I think that some have outlined the reasons why you demean the writing profession better than I could.

You remind of those that say "do as I say, but not as I do"...

Balbulican said...

"Who are you to tell anyone here to "smarten up"? You don't have a monopoly on knowledge. I and others may see this issue differently than you, but that doesn't mean we don't know the meaning of a word and need to be educated."

L-Girl, I respectfully suggest you read your mock-incredulous and dismissive comments above when I talked about writing op-eds for free.

'perhaps the course of action is to leave others to their opinions, not lord your supposed knowledge over the supposed ignorant."

It's a bit rich to call or imply Dawg's a scab, then retreat, offended, when he takes exception to being labeled the vilest name you can call a union man.

"A writer is writing for a major corporate media entity without being paid."

Sure. And an activist has cracked what was primarily a conservative medium and is getting his message out to a whole new audience that needs to hear it.

Dr.Dawg said...

I read CWTF's email after I had responded above. I am now more mystified than ever.

Pretty hard to muck about in the trenches and remain unsullied. Catholic moralists talk about the "double effect," Balb referred to "unintended consequemces," but the person who put it best (name escapes me) said, "You can never do just one thing."

So you have to look at each situation concretely and weigh the pros and cons. Lenin said that the only principled question is whether a course of action moves the struggle forward. For all my criticisms of Lenin, and they are many, he cut through a lot of moralizing crap with that observation.

L-girl said...

L-Girl, I respectfully suggest you read your mock-incredulous and dismissive comments above when I talked about writing op-eds for free.

My comments weren't mock incredulous. They were sincerely incredulous.

It's a bit rich to call or imply Dawg's a scab, then retreat, offended, when he takes exception to being labeled the vilest name you can call a union man.

I'm not retreating. I found your "smarten up" comment and your let-me-educate-you-poor-ignorant-wrteches attitude offensive. But I'm still here.

And an activist has cracked what was primarily a conservative medium and is getting his message out to a whole new audience that needs to hear it.

We have all been around too long to buy this as a rationalization for not being paid for your work.

First: WAS primarily a conservative medium? Are you implying that the medium has now become liberal or more balanced because of your presence? You cannot be that naive.

Second: An audience "that needs to hear it"? Talk about arrogance! Neo-cons use that line on me all the time, but I expect it from them. Adults who choose to read the NP are not ignorant of our ideas, any more than we are of theirs. You're not going to change their views any more than they're going to change yours. What you're talking about isn't activism. It's street-corner preaching. The believers shout amen, the rest rush on by.

Third, and most importantly: What does any of that have to do with your being paid?? Even if you believe you are performing some kind of selfless public service, why is that mutually exclusive with payment for your time and talents?

You're a talented writer, one of the best bloggers in a crowded field. You deserve better than handing content (and a punching bag) to CanWest for free. Leaving the dreaded s-word aside, do you not see how a high-profile blogger accepting a gig at a commercial newspaper without financial compensation drives down the prospects for all bloggers?

L-girl said...

Lenin said that the only principled question is whether a course of action moves the struggle forward.

That's a very apt quote.

In my opinion, your choice does absolutely nothing for the larger struggle, since exactly no one will have their minds changed by your Full Comment pieces, the same way no one from the right has their minds changed by any of our blogs. And at the same time, you move writers' struggles, and by extension, all workers' struggles, backwards.

I do not need to "smarten up" in order to come to this conclusion. It's obviously different than your conclusion, but it's no less smart.

Balbulican said...

" My comments weren't mock incredulous. They were sincerely incredulous."

And mistaken.

"I found your "smarten up" comment and your let-me-educate-you-poor-ignorant-wrteches attitude offensive."

I made no "smarten up" comment. I think you've mistaken me for Dr. Dawg.

LuLu said...

My comments weren't mock incredulous. They were sincerely incredulous.

No doubt your snotty, holier-than-thou attitude was entirely sincere as well. Is anyone else as completely flabbergasted by the overpowering stench of judgmentalism in this thread as I am?

Bravo -- yesterday I would've freely said that none of you had it in you.

Today -- not so much.

Marky Mark said...

It seems to me that the attacks on DD are based on principles which he no doubt shares (and lives) but which aren't clearly applicable to these facts. Most important, I see no evidence that he has taken away some other writer's job.

Do you?

Full Comment is an add on to to the online edition and seems to be run by the editor, who I assume is paid. The whole point of this feature is to canvass some non-NP blogs and have a back and forth in the comments section.

redsock said...

It seems to me that the attacks on DD are based on principles which he no doubt shares (and lives) but which aren't clearly applicable to these facts.

You left out two words: "but which he believes aren't clearly applicable to these facts."

The whole point of this feature is to canvass some non-NP blogs and have a back and forth in the comments section.

And we all know how many times we have changed our opinions based on comments left under news articles by right-wingers.

Sooey had it right in the first comment: the all-CAPS yelling, misspelled spittle and 2nd-grade insults of online comments on mainstream news articles is "a poo flinging party".

Peter Burnet said...

As a conservative, I strongly support leftists' refusing to say anything unless someone pays them for it.

L-girl said...

Balb, my apologies, I did confuse those two responses.

L-girl said...

Most important, I see no evidence that he has taken away some other writer's job

I will ask you the same question I asked Dawg, above.

Do you not see how a high-profile blogger accepting a gig at a commercial newspaper without financial compensation drives down the prospects for all bloggers?

Writing for a commercial enterprise without financial compensation devalues the work of that writer, and all writers.

Re the stench of judgmentalism, political acts are all about judgement. To many of us, this is a labour issue.

Marky Mark said...

L-girl,

My understanding is that staff reporters and columnists who also blog at MSM commercial publications are not paid extra to blog or to engage in the comments sections of their blogs. You may not like how that works, but Dawg is not doing something that makes it hard for other bloggers to be paid by these news organizations.

L-girl said...

My understanding is that staff reporters and columnists who also blog at MSM commercial publications are not paid extra to blog or to engage in the comments sections of their blogs.

Your understanding is incorrect. All MSM columnists who maintain a separate blog are either paid separately for the blog, or with bonuses based on clickage.

L-girl said...

All MSM columnists who maintain a separate blog are either paid separately for the blog, or with bonuses based on clickage.

I should clarify. I mean a separate blog maintained on the company's website, such as Zerbisias' Broadsides. Obviously they are not paid to maintain their personal, unaffiliated blogs.

Marky Mark said...

L-girl,

I seem to remember AZ saying in the comments on her previous blog that she wan't compensated for the blog but she may have been referring to the time spent engaging in her own comments section.

I suppose if a columnist hired to write three columns instead works a change to write only one column plus a blog with X number of posts per week, then there is in fact no extra compensation for the blog. You clearly know more than I do about the facts in this business but I'm wondering if there aren't all sorts of different arrangements out there.

L-girl said...

There are all sorts of different arrangements out there. That's part of the problem with the business. It's often arbitrary or down to how much a writer will ask for, how hard she or will push. And of course, writers with bigger names, who actually bring the media outlet business, have more clout, and can help set precedent for everyone.

I'm pretty sure AZ is compensated for her blog according to click-throughs. I only used her as an example, of course. A columnist who once wrote a weekly or twice-weekly column who is now expected to write frequent blogs in addition to that is compensated for the additional work.