Monday, April 25, 2005

Blogs of the Rich and Famous

Not to sound like some kind of right-wing whackjob blogger or anything, but you seriously have to wonder if the mainstream media has a handle on the appeal and popularity of blogs even yet. By way of example, we have The New York Times reporting on an upcoming blog by Arianna Huffington, to be called The Huffington Post, which will be a sort of hangout for scores of blogging celebrities, including Walter Cronkite, Nora Ephron, Warren Beatty, David Mamet and the like.

First, we have doubts about what will be the authenticity of such an endeavor. Many of the celebs are likely to have their ostensible blogging filled by a ghost writer or some lackey whose other duties include answering fan mail and picking up dry cleaning. And the celebs who do blog, we suspect, will either lose interest quickly or be too aware of the possibility of pissing off their audience.

The New York Times' take on Arianna's new effort is particularly bemusing. Check out this oh-so-not-comprehending-the-blogosphere nugget from Times writer Katharine Q. Seelye:

"In some ways, Ms. Huffington's venture is a direct challenge to the popular Drudge Report. Started nearly a decade ago by Matt Drudge, the Drudge Report lifts potentially hot news from obscurity and blares it across a virtual "front page," usually before anyone else. While his squibs are sometimes cast with a conservative slant, his 'developing' scoops often send the mainstream media scrambling to catch up."

Um ... how would Huffington's blog be a "direct challenge" to the Drudge Report? How is that remotely akin to the function of the Drudge Report? We're no fans of Matt Drudge, God knows (unless we're talking about anachronistic hats), but Seelye's knowledge of blogs apparently stopped sometime in the late-Nineties when something called the Drudge Report was yammering on about Bill Clinton and blowjobs. With the exception of the occasional -- and often erroneous -- "scoop," Drudge offers a compendium of stories from other media outlets. What is the similarity, we ask, to celebrity bloggers waxing about the best place for tapas?

More likely, Huffington's "venture" will pose more of a challenge to progressive blogs, since that will characterize the vast majority of her contributors.


At 12:13 AM, Blogger Doc Hoc said...

Alas, the horror stories one can tell about the mainstream media's ignorance about blogs. Do these people never get online? Do they really read one another's boring, pedantic drivel in hard copy newspapers, and then consider themselves the enlightened ones in our culture?

Anyway, excellent post. It struck just the right nerve at just the right time.



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