The case is a startling illustration of how blogging, already implicated in destroying friendships and ruining job prospects, could interfere in other important arenas.Wow, sounds really bad. Care to elaborate, Boston Globe? Oh, wait, this is the Boston Globe we're talking about. The paper of record is also the paper of reporting innuendo and baseless crap. Quite frankly, I'm sick of all this business. It was another front-paged article on why blogging is bad, evil, controversial or any other term they're either writing or implying!
How about some front-paged articles on the Massachusetts Fifth Congressional Race - fair coverage this time, not just a Niki Tsongas love fest? The blogosphere is setting up a big health care forum for the democratic candidates - anyone care to place bets on the Globe being there? How about coverage on the Dem State Convention, which didn't even receive AP story-type coverage in the Globe? You only read about those things in the blogosphere - or, maybe, local papers... if you're lucky.
The blogosphere is way ahead of the main stream media on thousands of stories that impact people every day. The main stream media is a dying mess of stink more preoccupied with pretty blonds than actual news. I wonder if there's a connection there?
Then, in the rare case that media actually follows up on a story that originated on the blogosphere or was driven by blogo-coverage, do reporters give credit or make mention? Absolutely not. Apparently, journalists never took the same classes that preached against plagiarism that I did. Readers will note I take close care to follow the ethical guidelines of always leaving a source and not over-quoting.
Also telling is the one instance I can think of when the Globe actually quoted from a blogger in the front page of their newspaper (when there wasn't some compromised blogger from a site I've never heard of) - of course, it happened when David and Charley over at Blue Mass Group had something bad to say about Deval Patrick. Notice how the Globe didn't mention any of David's coverage of the Killer Coke scandal last summer, in the heat of the primary campaign. The only serious Globe reporting of that whole incident - which was a huge frakking deal - came from Joan Vennochi, a columnist... and even she didn't mention the blogosphere's coverage, some of which must have helped inform her opinion on that subject.
Does the blogosphere complain? No. Quite frankly, I don't care about that. I do this because issues are important to me and I want the media to cover them - so I wouldn't care if I were just being ignored. However, the Globe (and company) goes out of its way to cover us when some fringe blogger does something stupid (although, in this case, not illegal). We do their work for them, then they attack us because they're afraid of losing revenue and readers. So sorry they can't be kingmakers, but people crave the facts and when the public isn't getting them from the main stream press - they'll get them elsewhere.
Heck, there have even been tries by bloggers to bridge this media gap. There have been several "new media" conferences around the state - where bloggers and newspapers were both invited - and guess who shows up? Bloggers. It's as if newspapers were trying their damned hardest to die out - during a time where we need serious journalism more than ever. It makes my blood boil - I can't even be witty; I'm so pissed off I have to use shameless cliches.
If some fringe blogger decides to make a poor choice, that's not front-page material. It's a hell of a lot less important than the State Democratic Convention, which received no press in the Boston Globe. The state dem party voted in favor of resolutions to end the war and impeach the Vice President and President... and the Globe didn't care. If a blogger digs up key information on a "lobbyist" that's essentially calling Deval Patrick an accomplice to Coca-Cola murder plots - finding out the lobbyist was basically a one-man front who had zero credibility - that is front-paged material, especially when they spent inches quoting the front-man in a previous, prominent article in their very own paper. It's telling which stories the Globe decided to actually put on the front page, because it's usually not the important ones.
So, today's story should surprise no one. Bloggers are bad. If you make a blog, you may never get employed; your friends will hate you and your life will be ruined. That's the Globe's story and they're sticking to it.