September 06, 2004

Old Media's Death Throes

I missed this last week, since I was working my job job, but Baldilocks saved the day with a link.

Remember that incident wherein a Chinese newspaper used The Onion as a source for a story about American legislators insisting that a new Capitol building be built—or they were going to leave Washington, D.C.? Funny, that. But who expects the Chinese to "get" American humor, right? It's a different culture, and we must make allowances.

Salon just did the same thing. In a story Mark Follman wrote about credentialed bloggers covering the RNC, he cherry-picked a few "frivolous"-sounding quotes from a handful of RNC bloggers, and discussed Protein Wisdom's tidbits about the party surrounding the convention. The problem, of course, is that Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom was home in Colorado, and his articles about such things as literal pissing contests, dwarf-tossing competitions, getting drunk with Ann Coulter, and Michael Moore eating an entire elk were actually, um, a joke. In other words, the Bush twins weren't really taking part in a dwarf-tossing event. Fancy that. And Coulter didn't really write "Joos for Bush" on Jeff's forehead with a lipstick.

The beautiful part is this: after Jeff blogged about Follman's colossal stupidity (my words, not his), Follman actually showed up in the Protein Wisdom comments section to claim that he was in on the joke all along, and was just "playing along" in order to make an obscure point about other bloggers at the RNC. Uh-huh.

The Captain has a nice takedown of Follman's article in which the Goldstein gaffe is mentioned in passing; it's clear that mainstream journalists (besides being sloppy and literal-minded) can't understand that blogging is a different medium entirely than what they're used to.

One of the Captain's commenters, Kris, offers this small glossary:

A 'Lapham' is time-travel journalism, so it doesn't really fit. Perhaps 'Follman' could be coined to mean something else.

Reporting on something without being there? No, wait, that's a 'Blair.'

Falling for a farce or hoax, and then when called on it, pretending you were 'in on the joke' the whole time?

Bingo!

And, of course, there's the original Alex Beam hatchet piece to consider. It's a scary time for Old Media. They are losing readers and viewers by the minute.

And I wonder why.


Posted by Attila at September 6, 2004 02:34 PM
Comments

Hey Attila...what's the deal on blogads for your site? I couldn't find you on the blogads site.

Posted by: David Foster at September 6, 2004 08:33 PM


I'm "in process" there, since they are a little backed up. I'll check back with them to remind 'em to finish adding me, and then I'll send you a note. Okay?

Posted by: Attila Girl at September 6, 2004 10:04 PM


cool...

Posted by: David Foster at September 7, 2004 09:55 AM




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