here a blowhard, there a blowhard
Norah Vincent (L.A. Times): Putting the Brakes on Blowhard 'Bloggers'
But there's a flip side to this. As much as the blogosphere is full of brave and vital input, it's also full of the careless, mad and sometimes vengeful ravings of half-wits who will say anything, especially about established journalists and writers, just to attract more attention to their sites. This can get ugly when content is unregulated. (emphasis mine)
Note to those "established journalists and writers" who feel picked on:
Being an established journalist or writer does not exempt you from being ripped apart by the general public, bloggers included.
Being an established journalist or writer does not necessarily mean that your words aren't full of smug, self-righteous bullshit and should be torn apart mercilessly by those who posses more wits about them than you will gather in your closed-off brain in your entire lifetime.
In the major media world, editors and fact-checkers try to catch inaccuracies, excise lies and slanders and print corrections and retractions for mistakes that slip into print. But few bloggers follow this protocol. What they say, however outrageous or unfounded, tends to stick.
Is she saying that the words of half-wits and blowhards carry more weight in the world of the written word than the established journalists and writers themselves?
Blogging is one of the best things that has ever happened to freedom of expression and the press, and we should make every effort to protect its scrupulous practitioners. But freedoms come with responsibilities. Common journalistic standards of accuracy and fair play exist for good reasons, and bloggers, like the rest of us, must abide by them.
No, they don't have to. They should, but they don't have to. If that were the case, there would be a lot of blowhard, half-witted bloggers out there having to defend their mad and vengeful rantings on a daily basis.
Besides, I could probably name more established journalists who do not engage in standards of fair play and accuracy than I can bloggers. But I guess that's the benefit of being paid to be a paid blowhard. It creates a certain smugness when a paycheck lets you call it journalism instead of blogging.