Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Late Night" with Reed

Normally at this time on a weeknight, I'd be asleep. Lame, I know, but I run every morning at 6, so I try to go to bed at around 10:00 p.m.

This morning I didn't run because I think I'm developing or have developed a stress fracture in my right foot. The top of my foot hurts considerably when I run or walk. My plan is to take a few days off and see if it gets better. If not, I'll go to the doctor and take some time off from running and just swim.

But back to why I'm up so late.

It's not that I'm not tired. I'm exhausted. I'd like to go to sleep. I can't.

I have a pie in the oven.

It's a pumpkin pie that I'm baking for an office pie-baking competition being held tomorrow. This is actually the second pie I've baked tonight but I was afraid that I'd ruined the first one so I started making the second before the first was done baking. I didn't realize that the "easy-bake" pie filling that I'd bought already had water mixed into it so I added more milk than was needed. As a result, the pie filling was the consistency of soup rather than of custard.

As it turns out, it turned out. The first pie was delicious. Oh well, I guess that means my coworkers get one pie and I get the other!

Anyways, I know that the following quote has already been thrown around the blogosphere more than a few times today, but I thought I'd add my two cents:

"The fact is that (Moulitsas is) not a journalist in terms of someone who knows how to do reporting, someone who reflects balance in what he portrays. To the contrary, he engages in the kind of hyperbole and extreme statements that are represented by that crass and I think offensive statement that he made about those dead people. But you know what? I think that’s just what’s going on in journalism. I think that there’s more and more opinion, less and less people who know how to do the job. All you gotta do is shout, say something on the blog that offends and attacks the other side and suddenly you have the credentials and you’re said to be a journalist. I think it’s a great lie.”

- "Liberal" FOX news commentator Juan Williams

I got it from Talk Left ( It was linked there from (

All I want to say is that even if that's what blogs do - which is an enormous concession - shouting something on a blog, even if that something offends and attacks the other side, allows the other side to respond. There is reciprocity. I don't know whether or not it makes you a journalist, but what is a rose by any other name? Would the discussion be not as enlightening? Would the issues raised be not worthy of consideration? And would each side not gain insight into the other?

I don't think it matters if you call the person a journalist, blogger, or something in between. All that matters is the advancement of the public discourse.

Blogging is a conversation and - in my opinion - is the most effective way to achieve that level of discourse. Although I have enormous respect for most of the journalistic community (and hope perhaps one day to join it) journalism isn't necessarily a conversation. Most journalists are far harder to reach than most bloggers and thus it is more difficult to have a conversation with them.

That doesn't mean that both journalists and bloggers, even if they merely "offend and attack" the other side, can't start the conversation. Even if they don't themselves listen to the responses, others will. And so we can stand on the shoulders of giants (or perhaps of giant assholes).

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