Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Du Fresne on blogs

Karl du Fresne (the Dominion-Post's resident curmudgeon) takes aim at bloggers this morning, labelling the blogosphere as

barely literate rants written by angry, selfabsorbed no-hopers with too much time on their hands. They are often toxic, petty, juvenile and malicious.

Which is all too often an entirely correct description. Unfortunately, it's also an entirely correct description of du Fresne's regular column in the Dom-Post. The primary difference seems to be that he gets paid for it.


What I find funny is that journos always seem to equate 'blogs' with 'political/journalistic blogs' - as if there weren't any other kind. The same goes for a lot of political bloggers. I think it shows the kind of echo chamber they inhabit.

Get a life guys! There's more to the world than the goddamn media.

Posted by David Cauchi : 12/12/2006 03:43:00 PM

Ooh, I/S, that's actually a little bit unfair. Relevant quote in full:

Of course the internet is a fantastic creation. It has introduced a new, liberating dynamic to the democratic process. But it's a mistake to idealise all bloggers as heroes of this information revolution.

Some blogs are perceptive and well informed.

They keep the MSM on their toes and open debate to voices that might not find an outlet in conventional publications. But many blogs - both of the Left and Right - are barely literate rants written by angry, selfabsorbed no-hopers with too much time on their hands. They are often toxic, petty, juvenile and malicious.

To that I should add cowardly, since much of the personal abuse on the Net (and there is plenty) is anonymous.

I'd agree, but I'm a bit stretched to think of exactly what all those abusive local lefty blogs are hiding. And you've demonstrated that owning a pseudonym doesn't mean being a maniac.

Posted by Russell Brown : 12/12/2006 04:50:00 PM

... exactly what all those abusive local lefty blogs are hiding ...

"Where", dammit, not "what". And I even used the preview function ...

Posted by Russell Brown : 12/12/2006 04:51:00 PM

Russell: well, it does seem to be a case of the pot calling the kettle black. And like Morgue (linked above), I'm not particularly fond of newspaper curmudgeons.

I was also going to inquire about the whereabouts of all those MSM-hating lefty blogs, because I don't see a lot of them. In fact, the only people who seem obsessed with the idea that blogs will replace the "main stream media" are the sewer.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 12/12/2006 05:07:00 PM

Well, when we were a blog we were unashamedly juvenile and anonymous and lefty. But we were also funny and clever and the only bloggers with video content on TV3 Nightline, and we take that as strong evidence we were, in fact, "heroes of the information revolution." So screw Karl and his antediluvian apperception of the I-bahn (look it up, Karl)!

Posted by Anonymous : 12/12/2006 05:44:00 PM

really? i had assumed he was talking about commenters.

but now i think "bloggers - left and right - ..." is a line akin to, "i'm not racist, but".

maybe he's committed the same crime as ms. coddington, and is afearin' being caught out.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/12/2006 08:29:00 PM

The only blogs I've seen which are, on a daily basis, a magnet for misogyny, racism, bigotry and quite extraordinary vitriol, are located firmly on the right. To put it in American terms, Kiwiblog attracts, not just the Fox news, Bush-lovin' right (which at least is a sizeable constituency), but the head-for-the-hills, militia-mad fringe, way beyond any point occupied by a NZ political party, save the Christchurch Front. The readers' comments there can be stunningly obnoxious, and often.

The MSM would be doing New Zealanders a great service if they reported the blogosphere more fully (and no doubt they will, as time goes on). Better to know who's out there, and where they sit.

And if you think I'm biased, I am, but if you think I'm also unfair, then ... please point us in the direction of a left-wing blog that lives in the same sewer.

Simon G

Posted by Anonymous : 12/12/2006 09:10:00 PM

Turn any radio dial, and you'll hear more noise than signal. On the Interweb, the signal to noise is exponentially increased. First rule of GEEK 101. That's why Google etc is so bloody wonderful.

I credit Karl with enough brains to know this. Nah, he's just jealous. He gets paid for his, we do ours out of love.

Posted by Will de Cleene : 12/13/2006 12:00:00 AM

Well, back in the day, I got a very angry e-mail along the same lines after I wrote a disobliging blog post about her work. I said at the time, and maintain now, that I don't take responsibility for the whole blogisphere anymore than she'd accept the blame for Jayson Blair, the 'fake but accurate' Bush National Guard memos, the Operation Leaf debacle, etc.


I could point to any number of lefty blogs - both here and abroad - that "live in the sewer", or to be fair are remarkably tolerant of troll commentators all the way off their meds. But, in the end, why give toxic waste attention-seekers exactly what they're looking for? Just as I don't waste my time or money on the loony left or rabid right-wings of the MSM commentariat.

Posted by Craig Ranapia : 12/13/2006 07:59:00 AM

you could always name names without linking Craig...

I note that for some reason I've had quite a few click throughs from this precise page, i guess that's a bad sign.

Posted by Span : 12/13/2006 08:45:00 PM


I could, but that's just feeding the trolls again isn't it? Look, if folks want to stay in denial that there's plenty of trash all over the place - left and right, blogisphere and dead trees media, foreign and domestic - that's fine. Perhaps I'm getting soft in my dotage, but I'd like to point people to stuff that's actually worth their attention.

Posted by Craig Ranapia : 12/14/2006 12:15:00 AM

Craig, the claim being made is that most of the trash comes from the right. As well as kiwiblog we could go down the list of RW blogs to make our point. You could try Gen XY, The Whig, Sir Humph, Investigate's blog and so on and on and on.

Try doing the same with leftish blogs. Just about the only trash on those is from RW commenters who delight in leaping in and lowering the tone as fast as they can.

You claim this trash talking is about even but until you show us some evidence to the contrary the rest of us will rely on our own observations and call you up.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/14/2006 11:11:00 AM

Namesake, it would help if the right agreed by consent that Ian Wishart is a malodorous spotty little godbothack and resolved to starve him of publicity. I think Richard Long has the right idea, which I wish the rest of you would follow...

Craig Y.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/17/2006 03:25:00 PM