This is my Buzz Bissinger “pisses the shit out of me” moment, but it’s well overdue. The Senator hits it on the head. Bloggers, for the most part, do not gather this information. As the Senator says;
Quite a few things, since you ask. But let’s just start with the basic premise. For the most part, these “little nuggets” make it out into the square of public discourse because the media, of which Mr. Barnhart is a prominent member, reports them.
For example, I haven’t sat in a single Vol booster meeting. Everything I’ve posted about Lane Kiffin has come from media reports. Lots and lots of media reports. If this stuff is as irrelevant as Barnhart insists it is, then why the barrage of info from he and his peers?
We pull it from other media sources where we put it in a format that allows the general public to as you say “poke and prod”.
The sad thing is that I typically respect Tony Barnhart and I even defended him over at the Senator’s site recently. This is such a weak cop-out from the sports journalists. Of course we don’t sit in these meetings, but someone had to report it initially for us to see it.
The problem I have with the journalists that take shots at blogs is that they just assume either (a) we make crap up, (b) since we didn’t graduate with a journalism degree from Northwestern/Columbia our opinions are inherently wrong, or (c) we are the prototypical “unbathed basement dwellers”.
Sports journalists can’t accept that there is now a free forum to do what columnists such as Terrence Moore have been doing for years. We can take a look at the situation, assess the situation, and say what we think about it. It doesn’t take a journalism degree from Northwestern/Columbia for me to watch a Braves game and say “Boy, Derek Lowe looked tired in the 8th inning, Bobby Cox should pull him”. All that takes is me having watched baseball my whole life.
I think that newspaper writers in general find it easy to blame the rise of the blogs as the reason why they’re losing their jobs left and right and don’t really sit back and see what is really wrong with their industry. The reason these guys are losing their jobs is because the people that run their newspapers promoted poor business models (i.e. let’s completely ignore this whole Internet thing because it will never be the primary method that people gather their news…) and in their industry the most expensive fixed costs are the salaries of the writers, so the easiest way from a business standpoint to cut costs is to cut head count.
Of course there is some truth to the “uninformed, unbathed, basement-dwelling blogger argument”, but I believe there are plenty of great blogs out there that are thoughtful, insightful, and those tend to be the most populated as well.
To steal a page from Orson’s book, this is who I am as a blogger:
I’m a 25 year old male, born and raised in Augusta, Georgia. I spent the best five years of my life in Athens, Georgia attending the University of Georgia. Four of those years were undergrad, one year as a grad student. There are many nights I don’t remember about my time in Athens, but I assume they were all good times. I hold an undergrad degree in Accounting and a Master’s in Accountancy. I will be a CPA sometime in August 2009. I like to play golf and drink a few beers with friends. I do not live in my parent’s basement, I bathe at least once a week, and I’m nothing more than a fan of the Atlanta area teams and the University of Georgia. I don’t claim to report the news and I don’t want to report the news. I enjoy blogging and meeting new people that care about Georgia sports and whatever else is on my mind as much as I do. If the Buzz Bissinger’s, Tony Barnhart’s, and Jason Whitlock’s of the world can’t accept that, then they kiss my “unbathed, basement-dwelling” ass.