Without question, this is an exciting/nerve-racking time for journalism (or anything that closely resembles it). But when South African Sunday Times columnist David Bullard took a swing at the blogosphere last Sunday, some top bloggers hit back with a vengeance.
Here’s a taste of what Bullard had to say:
It’s comforting to know that, should…I decide to take a sabbatical, there’s no shortage of people available to hold the fort. The only snag is the quality, or lack of it.
Allow me to explain… I used to play air guitar with a band called Deep Purple. My playing was perfect, I had attitude and I even smashed my air guitar at the end of the number. The reason I played air guitar is that I couldn’t play real guitar very well so I was forced to dwell in this fantasy world where my guitar playing meant something only to me. I should point out that this was years ago when I was still young and foolish. These days I play air tenor saxophone, which is far more challenging.
Most blog sites are the air guitars of journalism. They’re cobbled together by people who wouldn’t stand a hope in hell of getting a job in journalism, mainly because they have very little to say. It’s rather sad how many people think the tedious minutiae of their lives will be of any interest to anyone else.
It’s even sadder when someone reads them.
Can’t you smell the smug? Or is that cigar smoke? Either way, Bullard’s blog-bashing was a massive success.
What’s Next Blog called Ballard a “yellow journalist” as well as–my personal favorite–a “dead tree journalist.”
Eric Berlin responds, insisting Bullard should have “turned on his brain” before attacking the blogosphere, calling the piece “hateful” and “condescending”:
The column turns nearly xenophobic at its end, referencing “some anonymous, scrofulous nerd pumping meaningless drivel into cyberspace at all hours of the day and night simply because he can’t get a girl to sleep with him.”
Bullard’s column is called “Out to Lunch.” Indeed.
In all fairness, Berlin’s blog is called Online Media Cultist–which no doubt would only make Bullard snicker that much more.
Things took a turn for the hilarious today when What’s Next Blog followed-up with Bullard’s YouTube response to his blogger critics.
Is this link-baiting, though, or just an example of two sides trying to frame the argument in his own language (i.e., the “link-baiters” vs. the “wannabe columnists”)?
As a music journalist-turned-marketer/blogger (who also plays a mean air guitar), I find this especially tragicomic. It also evokes Jeffrey Eisenberg’s post about L.A. Times columnist Joel Stein‘s insisting he doesn’t care to see readers’ comments. On the contrary; not only does Bullard want to read your comments, he’s now got retaliation fodder–a columnist’s/blogger’s best friend.
Still, all the publishing of editorial content online… The scouring of blogs near and far to find related opinions… The YouTube posting… Sounds like blogging to me.
Should we assume that Bullard’s in sad shape, or has hit a dry spell in his personal life? Nah…
Welcome to the blogosphere, Mr. Bullard!