Monday, August 20, 2007

Ignorance of the blogosphere gem of the day

Here's Michael Skube, someone who obviously doesn't know anything about the blogosphere, writing about it on the opinion pages of the LA Times:
And to think most bloggers are doing all this on the side. "No man but a blockhead," the stubbornly sensible Samuel Johnson said, "ever wrote but for money." Yet here are people, whole brigades of them, happy to write for free. And not just write. Many of the most active bloggers -- Andrew Sullivan, Matthew Yglesias, Joshua Micah Marshall and the contributors to the Huffington Post -- are insistent partisans in political debate.
Emphasis added. Um, dude, Sullivan, Yglesias, and Marshall are some of the few bloggers who actually do make a living at blogging, or at least get paid substantially for it. To imply otherwise reveals a pretty astonishing ignorance. Heck, even Internal Monologue generates a wee bit of ad revenue: I'm up to about $147 over the life of the blog, and I actually received about $122 of it already. So even I don't write "for free", and I'm about 28 rungs lower on the blog food chain than the folks Skube mentions.

It gets better: Skube apparently didn't write those blogger names--they were added in by an editor at the LA Times. So the opinion editors at the frickin' LA Times think its plausible that Andrew Sullivan doesn't get paid for blogging. Or think it's OK to strongly imply that. And Skube apparently signed off on it.

The fact that all of this takes place in an editorial decrying the low standards of the blogosphere and touting the virtues of establishment journalism is a rather too heavily ironic. If I were to encounter such a thing in a piece of fiction, I would roll my eyes and silently chide the author for being so obvious.


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