The EU

Google says the EU requires a notice of cookie use (by Google) and says they have posted a notice. I don't see it. If cookies bother you, go elsewhere. If the EU bothers you, emigrate. If you live outside the EU, don't go there.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bloggers Chided

Last evening, on "Beat the Press" the panel was talking about the 30 layoffs at The Boston Globe this week.  Truthfully, I missed it.  I am sure The Globe buried it, and my normal source for Globe news either didn't notice it or didn't bother to mention it.  But, she is distracted by developing a paper topic for her Continuing Ed course.

We can all scoff at the press, and talk about this or that fisking of The New York Times (or other news sources), but there are folks out there who already fear the "new media."

For example, the Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, sees "powerful bloggers" as being responsible for the failure of the appointment of Chas Freeman to the National Intelligence Council.  This is from a transcript of a press conference held by Admiral Blair
On the Charles – on the Chas Freeman appointment, I am happy to say that looking around this room, there was pretty responsible reporting on Chas, but apparently you guys aren’t bloggers, as – (laughter) – or you guys aren’t as powerful bloggers as some that I discovered when I made the announcement.  I thought he was a good pick, I still think he’s a – still think he would have made a great National Intelligence Council Chairman, but it wasn’t to be, and so we’re – lesson learned, moving on.
I found this at Ben Smith's page on Politico.  Hat tip to Instapundit.

The problem with the analysis by Admiral Blair is that it is either blatant pandering to the MSM or it confuses the message with the political reality.  There is, of course, the John J. Mearsheimer view that it is all about a very powerful lobby.  Here is one version, from NPR's Web Site, of how these things get intertwined.

The problem is, making good intelligence assessments requires:
  • the facts,
  • an understanding of the facts,
  • the ability to do "lateral thinking" (thinking "outside the box"), and
  • the belief on the part of the political principals receiving the analysis that it is being provided by a fair-minded analyst
Which brings us back to blaming the blogs, rather than looking at Mr Freeman's previous comments and relationships.

I worry about the MSM going away.  I would missed it if it were to disappear.  That said, let us not blame "the blogs" for outcomes we don't like.  It is a free marketplace of ideas out there.  The blogs are part of that marketplace.

Regards  --  Cliff


Craig H said...

Statements like this are consistent with the increasingly-common peevishness among message-spinners that they no longer can corner the market on information distribution by bribing the opinions of a reasonably-finite list of media outlets. However, that being said, I feel there IS a reasonable point to be made about the disturbing absence of fact-checking among bloggers which would threaten to imperil the whole process if it weren't for the balance provided by MSM.

Here's the danger: If MSM can't find a way to monetize their fact-checking and related masthead credibility, they won't be able to afford to stay in business, and then we'll certainly be worse off than we are today.

I would think the old strategy of certain literary magazines, to serve as a "review" and compendium of available material, might serve everyone nicely. Bloggers (some, anyway) value "reach", which inclusion/reference in something like the NYT certainly provides, and MSM values content that their subscribers like to read, and which sells advertising. Win/win. Except everybody thinks they're in competition, which is the exact recipe for disaster we're seeing now.

Airplanes didn't displace automobiles, and airports spend a lot of money making themselves auto-friendly. Even products as similar as baseball games enjoy simultaneous sellout streaks in both Boston and Lowell, only a few miles apart. The key is in knowing what you're selling, and connecting with people who want to buy.

The New Englander said...

Cliff and Kad,

I definitely like the balance in the post and the comment. Yes, the MSM has its faults..but like anything that's taken for granted, it will be noted most starkly in its absence...As Kad said, sometimes you want to drive, and sometimes you want to fly -- the two don't always have to be in direct competition...I love blogs for the commentary and local news, but if I really want to know what's going on in the world, I'm glad there are things like the NY Times and Washington Post out there..