If you've been anywhere in the sports-blogosphere you've probably read this quote:
"I understand with newspapers struggling and hoping to hold on to, or possibly expand their audiences, I understand why they do what they do," Costas said. "But it's one thing if somebody just sets up a blog from their mother's basement in Albuquerque and they are who they are, and they're a pathetic get-a-life loser, but now that pathetic get-a-life loser can piggyback onto someone who actually has some level of professional accountability and they can be comment No. 17 on Dan Le Batard's column or Bernie Miklasz' column in St. Louis. That, in most cases, grants a forum to somebody who has no particular insight or responsibility. Most of it is a combination of ignorance or invective."
What bothers Costas -- and he's not alone -- is Internet and talk radio commentary that "confuses simple mean-spiritedness and stupidity with edginess. Just because I can call someone a name doesn't mean I'm insightful or tough and edgy. It means I'm an idiot.
"It's just a high-tech place for idiots to do what they used to do on bar stools or in school yards, if they were school yard bullies, or on men's room walls in gas stations. That doesn't mean that anyone with half a brain should respect it."
I'm supposed to be outraged by this, but I'm not. For one, who cares? And for two, I can read
. And because I can read I know that Bob Costas isn't talking about me or any of the bloggers I respect. He's talking about the rather massive group of bloggers who are
losers, who do
you use the access and anonymity the internet provides to be jerks and who don't
have responsibility to an employer, or code of ethics or even their own name. If HawkPunch69 thinks "Timmay" Ruskell is an idiot and an ahole and cheaper than Carl Weathers and wants to share his misspelled, illogical opinions to the world, the internet allows that. And calls it blogging. I'm cool with that, but he is not me, is not any of the hundreds of skilled, intelligent writers
who run blogs.
Maintaining a hive mentality, thinking an attack on any blogger is an attack on all bloggers, no matter how ignorant or puerile those other bloggers may be, is not the path to respectability. Respect will be earned writer by writer, post by post. So can we call off the blogger-Jihad? Calling someone an "asshat" every time they criticize bloggers for being "school yard bullies" is sort of self-defeating, don't you think?