The circle widens: Hill attacks bloggers, saying Rush is better. Lileks responds, quoted by many including OTB. Rush responds to Lileks. Don Sensing now responds to Rush. A taste:

Not content to stop there, Rush careened along, offering sarcastic definitions of blogging and bloggers. Bloggers , he said, are “nerds” who “have a journalism degree” and wish they had the influence of major media, but instead email each other and pretend they are having an effect. That’s not precisely what he said, but it it pretty close, and it wasn’t the only thing derogatory he said about blogs or blogging.

But Rush, think this through. Only a few bloggers have journalism degrees: Jeff Jarvis and Bill Hobbs, for example. I have a diploma from the Defense Information School, whose journalism curriculum is accredited by the same outfit that accredits Notre Dame. But the vast majority of bloggers don’t have a J. degree.

Unlike you and radio, Rush, we are not making a living blogging, except maybe Andrew Sullivan. I have made a grand total of maybe $500 in donations, blogging since March 2002, and am darn grateful for every penny. Before you slash your razor tongue at us, consider that you are a mercenary, bloviating for money. We are what people used to praise world-class amateur athletes for doing: being in the game for the love of the game. We blog for the love of it and you commentate for money, yet you decide we are the ones who deserve scorn and ridicule. No wonder so many people think you’re a windbag. As Lileks says, your show “is three hours of shoveled coal” but your “scope is narrow.”

I have never considered blogs, my own or another’s, as a competitor to mass media like radio. People can listen to radio anywhere – in the car, at work, at home, on the beach. But for now, reading blogs chains you to specific locations. Perhaps news technology, better than WiFi, will break those chain, I dunno. But it doesn’t matter anyway. You are not my competitor, and I am not yours.

This is exactly right. Bloggers are an adjunct to the mass media, not a replacement.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, Science & Technology, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. John Lemon says:

    It took trillions of electrons to realize that?

    Next time anybody wants to wax eloquent on a new internet trend, they should check with me first and I will set them straight.

  2. Leroy says:

    No, not a replacement, not at all for most folks will still prefer to click on the tv or maybe the radio, rather than actively seek out a wide range of weblogs. For the purpose of providing a wider range of coverage though, the internet in general, and blogs in particular, does a much better job of providing that additional information. Of course it still requires a good bit of reading…

  3. Guy Cabot says:

    Much ado about nothing.

    After all, conservatives who listen to Limbaugh are by and large illiterate. And conservative bloggers spend their time worshipping Glenn Reynolds.

  4. bryan says:

    Limbaugh vs. Lileks, et. al. should be titled “When Egos Collide.” As much as I enjoy reading Lileks, he has an ego to nurture just like Limbaugh, else he wouldn’t put his picture in the pages of the Minneapolist S-T. And Limbaugh’s whole schtick is ego. It’s an elevated form of professional wrestling.

    Well, we know what happens when you mix that formula.

  5. Rhesa says:

    Guy, obviously you don’t read too many conservative blogs.

  6. Guy Cabot says:

    Rhesa, like rubbernecking at fenderbenders, I can’t help it. I know I shouldn’t, but I do.

    And really, there’s little difference in the audience or the message. Conservative bloggers just haven’t come up with the equivalent of “mega-dittoes” for Reynolds.

  7. John Lemon says:


    I haven’t read Glenn Reynolds in months, in part because I’m illiterate I guess.

  8. TK says:

    Can anyone take seriously anyone named Guy Cabot? Wasn’t he on Family Affair?