Monday, November 20, 2006

Blurry lines

I just got back from the Nieman Foundation Conference on Narrative Journalism in Boston this weekend (more on that later), so I haven't posted on the internets for a few days. I stumbled on this little gem at hotpotatomash that is simply too marvelous not to take note. Judy Miller has opened her ghastly yap again and, within a few short syllables, managed to voice her fear of blogs because, why, they'll take rumours and quickly assert them as fact:
The blurring of entertainment and news and the relaxing of journalistic standards can be seen in online bloggers who are critical of people without giving them an opportunity to respond or who don't post corrections when they learn that what they have posted is wrong, she said. "I'm worried about bloggers," she said. "(A post) starts as a rumor and within 24 hours it's repeated as fact."
Let's just ignore Judy and her fine sense of irony regarding rumour and fact, already copiously noted elsewhere, and consider these other irony-rich words:
The blurring of entertainment and news and the relaxing of journalistic standards can be seen in online bloggers...
This weekend, we were treated to near continuous coverage of two major stories on television news networks: the "Tomkat" wedding in Italy, were hapless news network reporters gathered to stare at the wall of a castle and expound upon what they only imagined might be taking place inside. The place was lousy with celebrities. A coke-clouded bacchanal surely will be had. Hours of this.

The other story the newsies and "pundints" [a term for which I must give the only thanks I will ever give to George Bush] attended this weekend was the OJ Simpson interview and book. Oh, the outrage they projected. What an ignoble cad! was the general message. And let's all keep talking about how OJ is doing this for the money and attention, which we will happily deliver upon him and bitch about doing so the entire time. I actually heard a CNN anchor ask some blond talking head what she thought of this sordid situation to which she replied that, yes, it was all to horrible to believe that here we were talking about OJ ten years later. And so they kept talking about OJ, ten years later.

I haven't read a blog for three days, but I do know about the Tomkat wedding in a celebrity-filled Italian castle; how exciting and glamorous that must have been. And I know about how OJ is once again rankling society. And I know this because I watched CNN.


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