Monday, April 09, 2007

To Write This Wrong with Blinding Speed Goes Underblog

A quick word on why it's good to have blogs--because people outside the usual media channels can have a voice and be read. Clearly there's been a huge failure over the past few decades (probably longer): what's offered to consumers as news often isn't really news (anybody read a story about Anna Nicole Smith lately?) and then there's the whole ridiculous notion that a story without two "sides" is instantly biased (as if we need to quote the Flat Earth Society if there was a story on global rounding). Blogs rarely break news, sure--you need actual reporters and some funding to do that--but they do help keep stories alive that need to be kept alive (just look at Talking Points Memo and the US attorney firings) and also allow for some rumination before we run off and chase the next shiny bauble (and to think of all those editorials that claimed 9/11 beat the "summer of the shark" stories out of the press).

All that said, I find this entry from Santa Barbara's Blog to be most distressing, and not just for its smug, self-congratulatory tone:

In her A-2 column on Sunday in the Santa Barbara News-Press, Dr. Laura Schlessinger acknowledged the Blog for doing the right thing. Niceness aside, the Blog will continue to offer a voice to all in the community. The goal…a multiplicity of opinions, and quality interactive discourse.

Dr. Laura wrote: “And a thank you: It is a pleasure, and a surprise, to find a nice blogger in Santa Barbara! The editor of, has offered to run 150-word posts on a variety of subjects affecting our local community. ‘Dr. Laura’s voice deserves to be heard in Santa Barbara, but she often takes a lot of undeserved flack, especially in the local blog world.’

Thank you, (Editor Bird), I am grateful for your invitation and your positive, fair spirit. Now, we need to clone (the Blog) to uplift the S.B. blog quality of discourse.”

The 150-word post(s) noted by Dr. Laura, is the same, open invitation offered to all media personalities, newsmakers, local leaders, and dignitaries.

Exactly why does Dr. (of Physiology) Laura need a platform on Santa Barbara's Blog, too? Isn't her column in the News-Press (and radio show, and books) enough local exposure? Of course, she doesn't get much web exposure, given the News-Press doesn't let non-subscribers get anything for free, so maybe that's her concern.

And wouldn't someone with her ideas probably be against cloning? OK, seriously, do we want all blog voices to be the same? Schlessinger probably does--they should all say she's wonderful! She's all for a multiplicity of opinions as long as they all agree with her.

Which, of course, is where the paper she writes for and defends stands right now. If I shipped in a letter to the editor with content like my entry the other day decrying her praise for Rudy Giuliani (assuming I cut it down to the proper letter-to-the-editor length), would it ever run in the News-Press? They didn't even cover the NLRB findings as news, let alone allow any nay-saying words to be heard in their letters section.

I've heard plenty from "all media personalities, newsmakers, local leaders, and dignitaries." It's time to hear from those of us who just want to live our lives, who aren't necessarily experts (with our without doctorates in the fields we purport to be authorities in), but who have thoughts, think them through, and hope to be heard above the din of others' axes grinding.

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Blogger Banjo Jones said...

you can't stop Dr. Laura, you can only hope to contain her!

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't stop her, she WILL STOP YOU, if you're not a loyalist. Remember art galleries need to censor peace exhibits in order to keep peace. In her world it's not the violent threats, art galleries need to do better censoring. She and Wendy will do wonders for blogs. She was successful with her library project. Now she's working on Leslie Bennetts new book. She is out to change the world and she'll do it from Santa Barbara.

1:03 AM  

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