Finding a notch and filling it?

Via Glenn Reynolds, here's a quote I am unable to resist:

some bloggers are just self-important ranters who seem to wake up every morning convinced that the entire Free World awaits their opinions on any subject that's popped into their heads since their last fevered post.

-- David Shaw

Funny, but all these years I thought the above sentiment pretty well characterized news anchors or mainstream journalists. Shaw, of course, is the latter, and I find myself wondering whether he might be projecting just a little.

Of course, news anchors and mainstream journalists typically have larger audiences than bloggers. The "entire Free World" might not await their opinions, but I think it would naturally tend to be easier for them to become deluded and let it go to their heads than it would for most bloggers. Sure, I don't doubt that there are a few bloggers suffering from delusions of grandeur, but I think your typical daily blogger does things like check his comments, links, and the omnipresent Site Meter. I don't do as good a job as I might, but I am at least aware that if I'm lucky I'll get 1000 hits a day, and from the links and comments I have a fair idea of who might be reading.

And much as I hate to admit it, my audience does not consist of the "entire Free World." Not even a small fraction of it. I'm glad to have the readers I have, and I try to get something posted every day in the hope of keeping all of you interested. I don't know how "fevered" my posts are; often I don't feel like posting at all, but I try to treat blogging as a daily exercise. Like doing pushups or running. I have yet to see any relationship between how I feel and how well the posts are received. Sometimes I think a post is great and no one seems to like it, while other times I'll crank out something almost as an afterthought, and it will strike a nerve.

Were I looking for the daily shot of megalomania Mr. Shaw describes, I'd have probably done better to go to journalism school.

What most fascinates me about Shaw's analysis is the title: "The blog squad can add another notch to its belt."

Seriously, precisely how did bloggers (either individually or as a group) bring down Eason Jordan?

Might it be at least worth considering whether CNN -- certainly no loyal friend of the blogosphere -- might have been delighted to have Jordan resign? What if Jordan wanted to resign anyway? Why did he seem in such a hurry? The tape hadn't even been released, and if it in fact exonerated him, that would heighten my suspicions all the more.

Interestingly enough, Shaw himself expresses puzzlement over why CNN "caved" so quickly:

Although the official word is that Jordan's resignation was voluntary, I have to believe that the top brass at CNN, instead of rejecting his resignation, as they should have done, gave him a not-so-gentle push toward the door to defuse the increasingly nasty controversy.

What I don't understand is why they and he caved in so quickly. I wish he'd asked begged, demanded that the organizers of the Davos forum release the videotape of his panel. I can only assume that he said what he's accused of saying and that he doesn't want those remarks in the public domain, even if they were followed by his quick backtracking.

Blaming the blogosphere for the decision may be what Shaw thinks the "entire Free World" needs, but I hardly think it answers the questions Shaw has asked.

UPDATE: Professor Bainbridge thinks the MSM is trying to avoid the need for introspection by shifting blame:

Blaming others for one's misfortunes is always easier than considering whether one's own conduct may have caused them. So I expect the MSM to go right on whining about blogs, even if those of us in the blogosphere really don't have anywhere near the amount of influence we would like to think we possess. (Via Glenn Reynolds.)
It should be remembered that Eason Jordan's remarks started this uproar, most of which involved bloggers simply wanting to ascertain exactly what he said (which would have been on the tape). If attempting to verify someone's remarks causes that person to resign, then either he was culpable or the resignation occurred for reasons other than those stated.

So why did Jordan resign, anyway? Because bloggers asked him exactly what he said? Come on!

(I'm beginning to smell an aroma.)

AND MORE: (More CNN monkey business, that is.) In this case, CNN appears to have violated several federal firearms laws.

Via Glenn Reynolds, some of whose readers note that the concerns may be premature.

Gee, maybe some bloggers should ask CNN to explain the underlying facts.

NO! Scratch that idea!

I mean, if someone resigns after bloggers ask questions, it would be the bloggers' fault!

Wouldn't it?

posted by Eric on 02.20.05 at 03:22 PM


To paraphrase Ezra Taft Benson and Dr. Barney Finkel, I wish every citizen of every country in the Free World, and every slave behind the Iron Curtain, might carefully read this blog so that they will become aware of the forces which often attempt to manipulate them.

Hey Eric do you know anything about Jeff Gannon and his connection to G.Gorden Liddy? I heard on he is his mentor. Thats a topis for discussion that isn't getting talked about by the media. How do people get press passes with fake names? I really don't care what kind of guestions the guy asked or who he worked for but he should be honest with the secret service because of security.

Jeff Davis   ·  February 20, 2005 5:25 PM

Steven, I don't deserve such flattery - but thanks!

JD, from what I understand, the Secret Service has its own security standards independent of other White House protocols. I very much doubt they'd allow anyone access without knowing exactly who he is. Whatever nom de guerre Gannon might choose to give himself, the Secret Service would ascertain his real identity -- and I'd be willing to bet they did just that.

Eric Scheie   ·  February 20, 2005 6:45 PM

Now if I were Eric Alterman or Juan Cole, I'd blame the CIA because "It's possible". At the same time, it could be Aliens or God's will at work, or a form of Gaia's Justice. Or perhaps merely Voo-doo or a Witch, or "The Jews" who engineered Jordan's demise.

That the "Bloggers" could achieve such status in this short of a time must be some kind of record, if true.

But, truth be told, I am the one running things and demand the credit due, or else. I'm getting pretty sick of all this stripping off of my back the worth of my wonderous acts. Must be a bunch of Capitalists, all, behind this plot against me. Did I mention George The Boosh and Haliburton?

J. Peden   ·  February 21, 2005 2:57 AM

That right! Keep talking about the "liberal media" so that they can keep burying the lies and crimes of Bush! What lies and crimes, you ask? I'm not surprised that you are not informed. If you get your news from Instapundit, I wouldn't expect anything less than the tunnelvision incompetence that you display every day.

These media "scandals" are just the thing that the administration needs to bury the sexual assalt scandal, the killing of civilians scandal, the torture scandal, the press credentials scandal, etc.

Instafaggot   ·  February 21, 2005 5:26 PM

All is as per My Will, Instafaggot. Your future will be as your present.

J. Peden   ·  February 23, 2005 2:59 AM

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