"Bloggers are hobby hacks, the Internet version of the sad loners who used to listen to police radios in their bachelor apartments," grumbled Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Nick Coleman last week, who touted his "professional journalist" experience to declare "I didn't just blog this stuff up at midnight." This, in a column where one could find no evidence of him making a single phone call or any other professional-journalist research-other than Web-surfing.
Where to begin? "Professional journalism"? No one carries a license. And: Much of today's best commentary comes from actual professional-journalists-cum-bloggers such as Mickey Kaus or Andrew Sullivan. And: The typical daily newspaper is a juggernaut of tedium. And: Old-school print-folk howl that bloggers would be nowhere without mainstream news sources like the Associated Press or the Times-but the same's true for most American newspapers.
The Buzz kiboshes both sides, pledging allegiance to the 99% rule, which holds that 99% of anything is worthless. This applies equally to newspapers, bloggers, TV and Chinese restaurants. And to media-on-media columns. Especially media-on-media columns.