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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

The Rime of the Ancient Sportswriter
2008-04-29 23:27
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Alone, alone, all, all alone
Alone on a wide wide sea!
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony.

Old media faced new media tonight on HBO's Costas Now on a playing field about as level as the Swiss Alps. Considering how the debate was framed, with the most controversial Deadspin posts that Bob Costas and Buzz Bissinger could find facing off against the great W.C. Heinz, Deadspin editor Will Leitch ran into an avalanche yet came out spun around but standing strong.

I have always had tremendous respect for Costas, whom I worked under at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics as a researcher, and he did acknowledge that not all blogging is created equally, paying lip service (though little more) to the idea that there are some intelligent blogs out there. But tonight's debate revealed the limitations of mainstream media in examining its own value. Their sanctity is taken as a given, their merits unquestioned. Sure, they say, there are some good blogs - a minority, of course - to go with the overwhelmingly noxious. But would they dare point out that there are some poisonous sportswriters - a minority, if you like - to go with the truly angelic? Not tonight. There are mainstream writers that understand this, but I guess they mostly keep to themselves.

At one point, Costas wondered aloud whether Deadspin would run an item based on something fished out of an athlete's garbage. Leitch correctly noted that it would depend on a case-by-case basis, but either because of his own restraint or Bissinger's constant interruptions, he did not point out that many major newspapers wouldn't hesitate for an instant to do the same thing. Did no one tonight see where the Roger Clemens-Mindy McCready pablum got its legs? Where is Bissinger's jeremiad against the New York Daily News?

Leitch was pinned into such a corner that he was actually forced to state for the record that Deadspin is not a crusade to get every sportswriter in America fired - a situation analogous to forcing the Jamaican bobsled team to reassure frightened Alpine countries that they will still be able to win Olympic medals - all while Bissinger indicated how happy he would be to see blogs wiped off the face of the earth. And what's kind of sad is that this is what passes for a progressive national discussion on new media in sports.

The fact is, even as the consumption of information migrates online, even as the economics of the business are forever altered, a quorum of readers and writers are still interested in truth. Journalism is not dying. It may be evolving, but it's not dying. It's living and breathing - breathing fire at times, just like it always has. (Or was Charles Foster Kane modeled on a blogger?) What decay there is isn't the bloggers' fault, it's the business model's, as well as that of some of the leadership.

Without a doubt, there's vitriol out there on the Internet. But that's not the medium; that's some of the messengers (especially if you're going to count, as Bissinger did, the most acid commenters as bloggers). You can find hate speech and irresponsibility around every corner of the universe, and it's telling that by far the most hate-filled person in the debate tonight was the man who has spent 40 years "perfecting his craft." What an advertisement for convention he was. Cloaking his venom in the concept of protecting integrity, when he brought so little integrity to the debate himself, was embarrassing if you weren't too snowed to realize it.

How do you spend decades reading and writing and not grasp that every medium, from theater to film, from television to print, from cave drawings to the Internet, has its strong and weak? You do that when you are the very thing you so deride in others: biased, and more in love with the sound of your own voice than the possibility of hearing truth in others.

Comments (72)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-04-30 00:11:41
1.   Eric Stephen
Well said, Jon. I'm surprised Bill Simmons wasn't at least interviewed in the video piece.

In other news, Mike D'Antoni is out in Phoenix.

http://tinyurl.com/47d7qn

2008-04-30 00:13:25
2.   Greg Brock
Bissinger was the best thing to ever happen to blogs. His invective was beautiful. He reminded me very much of Homer Stokes at the end of O' Brother.

"These boys is not writers! THESE BOYS IS NOT WRITERS! HELL, THEY AIN'T EVEN OLD TIMEY!"

2008-04-30 00:18:39
3.   Xeifrank
Y tu Costas?
vr, Xei
2008-04-30 00:20:04
4.   KingKopitar
Beautiful stuff, Jon. Today was an example of why blogs are great: I just went to Deadspin for a first-hand account of what happened, Fire Joe Morgan for a funny (but accurate) detailing of why Bissinger was an idiot, and Dodger Thoughts for a philosophical discussion.

I think one problem with blogs is that other bloggers seem afraid to say which blogs are worth reading. I do this all the time, where I won't warn my reader(s) not to read some other guy's blog because I don't want to be a jerk to someone else that is doing it because he cares. Maybe if bloggers did point out good blogs more often, we could get the weaker blogs out of the way and focus more on places like this.

2008-04-30 00:23:24
5.   Eric Stephen
Buzz Bissinger tonight sounded like a man that just self produced a movie and only made VHS copies.
2008-04-30 00:53:48
6.   LAT
Jon, this may be the one of the best pieces you've posted here. Beautifully written.

It seems to me this debate is age old. Wasn't there a time during the colonial or revolutionary period (help me here, Brock) when anyone who had something to say stood on a "soapbox" and said it. Everyone wanted to be heard and why not? It was the first time people could speak anytime or anyplace without fear of reprisal. (Even in their parent's basement wearing just their underwear if they were so inclined). Passers bye, stopped and listened or they didn't. Those that had something worth hearing garnered increased interest. Eventually, people didn't just pass by they showed up for the purpose of listening. The folks who were not as interesting faded. At some point this gave rise to publication which gave rise to media. With the internet we have come full circle. There are those who are talking and worth listening to and those who are not. The latter will fade again. The former will persevere and people will come, people will come. They'll come to blogs for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up at URLs not knowing for sure why they're doing it. Woops, that's something else. The point is, like most things in our society the blogs worth paying attention to will thrive, even prosper. Advertisers will beat down the door. Those people that still insist the world is flat will be passed by. In the end, something worth listening to always finds its voice and the infant that is blogging will be no different.

2008-04-30 00:59:12
7.   LAT
6 Duh, as opposed to that first sentence which is the opposite of beautifully written.

I'll quit now before I hurt myself.

2008-04-30 03:33:16
8.   Ken Arneson
FWIW, Nordic countries are not very good at bobsled. It's the Alpine countries that dominate that sport.

Also, I'll repeat what I said in a previous discussion: comparing a news article to a blog entry is apples and oranges. The unit of measurement in a newspaper is an article. The unit of measurement in the blogosphere is a conversation, spanning multiple blogs.

2008-04-30 04:29:45
9.   Josh Wilker
I didn't see the piece, but I really appreciate your eloquence on the general subject, Jon. What I don't get is why guys like Bissinger and Chass get so worked up about it.

I did hear Costas for a few minutes--all I could stomach--being interviewed on the radio by Mike Tirico yesterday. Costas compared the blogosphere-fortified sportswriting landscape to a buffet, implying that the problem is that people are too stupid not to gorge on garbage, and things were better when guys like him could make all your sports-consumption decisions for you.

2008-04-30 04:54:02
10.   Suffering Bruin
If Bissinger had a blog, he'd be on the business end of the HBO piece. But since he's got a media credential...
2008-04-30 05:45:55
11.   jtrichey
That reminds me, Buizz Bissinger's Book "Three Days in August" about Tony LaRussa kinda sucked. He is definitely of the old school mind when it comes to baseball. He is not above calling people stat geeks, etc.
2008-04-30 06:09:33
12.   Gen3Blue
I vote by where I spend my media time.

And to this Buzz I can't help but quote Dylan
"Then you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone,
For the times they are a changing."

2008-04-30 06:18:27
13.   Jon Weisman
8 - Thus, the beauty of the conversation. Correction made.
2008-04-30 07:01:52
14.   Ken Noe
On the Civil War blogs I visit, a frequent and sometimes angry topic is academic vs. non-academic. Personally I think it's a false and needlessly divisive issue--from my academic standpoint, some non-PhDs turn out some pretty dreadful stuff, but others produce some of the best writing in my field. And the same can be said of my fellow professors. But there are others on both sides who take the issues of certification and professionalism more seriously. The same things are at work in sports. 'Bloggers can't be serious because they didn't spend all those blurry early years first covering high school games for the Carrollton Times-Georgian, like we did.' Because whether its covering the Dodgers or the Civil War, the degree and requisite experience--the "integrity"--start to look suspect if other people don't seem to need it.
2008-04-30 07:09:21
15.   Sushirabbit
Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, its bobsled time!

LAT, I agree with the idea that it's been around a long while. It's the whole Cathedral vs. the Bazaar in a way, maybe even the same way, the responsibility lies with the reader to filter and judge the content. There's a parallel with radio, but it's difficult to discuss here. My short version might be: if more of the MSM did it's job properly, you'd have less of a need for people to put up with vitriol to get information that's unfiltered (or seems to them unfiltered).

2008-04-30 07:16:26
16.   dmac
Ken Noe: You Civil War blog readers make me sick. You should be getting your Civil War discussion from the town crier or the Cyclorama at Gettysburg, not the Internet.
2008-04-30 07:18:56
17.   Bob Timmermann
Actually when you visit Ken Noe's house, he'll show you photographs he's taken but when you look at them, you have to pan over them and then zoom in on a portion. Mournful string music will play in the background.
2008-04-30 07:26:19
18.   Disabled List
I'm really irritated that I forgot to set my DVR for that show last night. Hopefully I can catch it through HBO On Demand.

I'll join the chorus in saluting Jon on an excellent writeup.

2008-04-30 07:34:53
19.   dan reines
The problem with telephones is that now everybody can have one, no matter who the heck you are. You don't even need a credential! You should see some of the conversations.

4 -- I don't agree with your last notion. (But I disagree respectfully, dear sir!) People find the blogs they like (see: Jon's comment stats). It's no more your duty to point out the bad blogs than it is for Jim Lehrer to rip on "America's Funniest Home Videos." There are people who like seeing kids get hit in the nuts, and they have a show for that. Nobody seems inclined to call Lehrer on the carpet to account for that, nor should they.

Someone needs to save that show last night for re-viewing in 10 years, when all this looks as quaint as the brou-ha-ha when Ellen came out on her sitcom. (Remember the madness?)

2008-04-30 07:44:26
20.   JoeyP
I've never liked Bissinger's books. Even Friday Night Lights---if you talk to the people from there he embellished and exaggerated most of what he put in the book.

Michael Lewis puts him to shame in the book writing category. Not just Moneyball, but Liars Poker as well.

2008-04-30 07:47:12
21.   D4P
Regarding the Civil War:

I was amazed upon moving to The South to find that there are plenty of people down here who are still bitter about losing.

2008-04-30 08:01:39
22.   JoeyP
So is Max Scherzer going into the D-bax rotation pretty soon?

Webb
Haren
Scherzer
Owings
Randy Johnson

Doug Davis as the long man.. That is one stacked rotation.

I went over to the Tuscon Sidewinders site to look up his stats, and I noticed Trot Nixon is playing for them.

How can a serviceable 4th OF'er like Trot Nixon not have a major league job?

2008-04-30 08:03:07
23.   Hythloday
You mean the War of Northern Aggression? I'm moving to Virginia shortly and that's probably my biggest concern. I hate poor losers.
2008-04-30 08:04:13
24.   D4P
I'm moving to Virginia shortly

Which part...?

2008-04-30 08:05:02
25.   Ken Noe
16 Actually, most of that comes from the high school history teacher/football coach.

17 I use modern music, like Sophia Coppola.

21 If you only knew.

2008-04-30 08:08:52
26.   D4P
25
I can honestly say that, while growing up and living in Oregon, it never occurred to me that any American felt bad about the Civil War* outcome.

*North vs. South, not UofO vs. OSU

2008-04-30 08:11:39
27.   LogikReader
26

HAHahahahahaha! I enjoy coverage of both civil wars.

2008-04-30 08:13:55
28.   Ken Noe
23 As a Virginian myself, I can assure you that you'll run into some of the Lost Cause but less than you would in the deeper south. It's probably strongest in Richmond and Southside.

26 Much of it these days involves current political concerns wrapped in a nineteenth century flag.

2008-04-30 08:19:04
29.   D4P
current political concerns wrapped in a nineteenth century flag

Yes. The annual academic conference I attend was supposed to take place a few years ago in Columbia, SC. But when the host location refused to take down some confederate flags for the conference, the location was changed to Kansas City, MO.

2008-04-30 08:24:32
30.   underdog
I did the same as KingKop, plus watched the show itself on my Tivo this morning (in my parents basement), after missing most of it last night. It'd all be pretty hilarious actually, if it wasn't so sad. But then to make me feel better I read all those angry, noxious, idiotic blogs out there that made me, too, feel angry and noxious. Well, not really.

Sigh.

Off to work, where I, you know, get paid to work on blogs, among other things, Buzz.

2008-04-30 08:27:41
31.   Hythloday
24 I'll be moving to Fredericksburg. I consider myself fairly well-versed in the Civil War for a layman, but I was sort of shocked to see how much of the war took place between DC and Richmond as I was driving up from Richmond. And of course, Fredericksburg, is no small part of all that.
2008-04-30 08:39:00
32.   Gen3Blue
Sorry if I missed it, but was anything ever discovered about the McDonald scratch.
2008-04-30 08:41:39
33.   Sushirabbit
Good job, An Taoiseach!
2008-04-30 08:43:59
34.   Jon Weisman
32 - I don't think Jacksonville even played last night, if I read 6-4-2 correctly.
2008-04-30 08:58:28
35.   Ken Noe
31 I think you'll like it there. Close enough to DC if you miss the city.
2008-04-30 08:58:44
36.   Penarol1916
20. Liar's Poker, my favorite business book ever. I did not care for his book about Silicon Valley though.
2008-04-30 09:02:05
37.   Gen3Blue
34 Ahhhh, got it.
2008-04-30 09:04:34
38.   Frip
Though above average intelligence (as far as sports guys go) I've always held Costas under suspicion for the simple fact that he's just SO twitty. Anyone that squidly twitty dweeby just can't be trusted.

And he shares the annoying habbit of needing to prove his intelligence as an interviewer. Charlie "The Dunce" Rose does this to. They will ask the interviewee a question, then immediately set about giving EVERY possible answer to his own question. As if screaming "Just because I ask questions doesn't mean I'm dumb! I'm smaht! I already KNOW the answers, see, let me show you."

By the time the interviewee gets to talk, there's almost nothing left to say!

2008-04-30 09:05:01
39.   LAT
19. Great post. I'm still laughing.
2008-04-30 09:06:17
40.   D4P
If I were to read "Liar's Poker", it would be my favorite business book ever by default.
2008-04-30 09:17:31
41.   Hythloday
35 I hope so. It was nice when I visited for a house-hunting trip. We'll be living a few blocks from the VRE so the proximity to DC is a definite plus.
2008-04-30 09:21:03
42.   KingKopitar
Maybe someone more enlightened can help me on this, but is there a perception in journalism that sports writers aren't real journalists? Maybe that's why they get so huffy.

Also, the idea that someone's journalistic background makes them more qualified to give their opinion on sports reminds me of a Mitch Hedberg joke:

As a comedian, I always get into situations where I'm auditioning for movies and sitcoms, you know? As a comedian, they want you to do other things besides comedy. They say "alright you're a comedian, can you write? Write us a script. Act in this sitcom." They want me to do that's related to comedy, but it's not comedy, man. It's not fair, you know? It's as though if I was a cook, and I worked my ass off to become a really good cook, and they said, "Alright you're a cook... can you farm?"

2008-04-30 09:21:12
43.   regfairfield
Bissinger going Buddy Rich last night certainly didn't help his case, butI can see where he's coming from. Sure, there's great bloggers like Jon out there, but the huge popularity of sites like FJM and Awful Announcing along with a bunch of lesser known imitators keep the few great writers out there from being recognized.

Look at the general cycle of how things go on the Internet:

Columnist/analysist doesn't do the proper research for an article, has a paragraph taken out of context, or just says the wrong answer when asked a direct question.

Bloggers call him an idiot or worse.

Columnist says that no, it is the bloggers who are idiots who live in their mother's basement.

Bloggers are surprised when person fights back, calls them an idiot yet again.

Seems like the Internet can dish it out, but they can't take it.

10 years ago, if a columnist wrote something that wasn't right, some isolated people might complain to their freinds, but that's about it. It almost instantly gets pasted in bold on some guys blog with bonus commentary after each sentence. Would I prefer that national writers do their homework and understand what they're writing about? Of course, but I can see why the writer wouldn't want to tack another two hours onto the writing time of their column for no extra pay, and just write about intangibles instead.

If someone at my job all of a sudden started viciously calling me out and telling the world how dumb whenever I made a mistake, I wouldn't be too happy about that, even if they were right. My first response wouldn't be to get better, it would be to call the guy a jackass. As long as media critism blogs are hugely popular, I can't ever see the old guard accepting people like Jon as legimate writers.

2008-04-30 09:23:15
44.   D4P
If someone at my job all of a sudden started viciously calling me out

You have co-workers down there in the basement...?

2008-04-30 09:26:36
45.   Penarol1916
20. I should add thought that people written about in Liar's Poker believe that Michael Lewis embelished and left out a lot of stuff in the book because it didn't fit with the narrative, including John Merriweather, who was at the heart of the whole Liar's Poker anecdote (as the head of Bond Trading who the CEO of Salomen challenges to a $1.0MM game of Liar's Poker but gets out of the game by raising the stakes to $10.0MM). He complains in a book about the failure of LTCM that it never happened and he was never that big of a gambler and didn't really play Liar's Poker that often.
2008-04-30 09:26:37
46.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
Buzz Bissinger never fails to piss me off.
2008-04-30 09:33:10
47.   Jacob L
47 That HBO show last night was a total waste of my time. You're better than that, Costas.

In the meantime, remember when the Dodgers had a terrible offense? They're now averaging just shy of 4.8 runs per game, and have a team OPS (including the pitchers' abs) of .755. That, and the team finished might just finish what looked like a disastrous month above .500. The moral of the story, as far as I can tell - Russell Martin makes us go.

2008-04-30 09:45:07
48.   bhsportsguy
My nickel's worth of thoughts on this thread.

I still get most of my news (sports and otherwise) from what I would deem mainstream news sources, however due to time and convenience, they now reside on the internet instead of the newspaper or even TV.

Where I believe the world of blogs and mainstream news sources collide is on the opinion/columnist areas. If the LAT baseball writer writes a column on a subject that was tackled by Jon or True Blue or many of the links on the sidebar, I think it is fair to judge each on their own merits.

I don't think the credentials of the person writing that opinion is as important as what he or she states on their site.

Also, and this where I commend Jon, the community of thoughts that is welcomed here, is what brings me back to this site.

As to why this debate keeps coming up, as the business model changes, newspapers are asking their writers to embrace the new media. Not only does that create resentment, it also puts them behind what individuals like Jon have already created.

That is what drives the fear and yelling.

2008-04-30 09:57:47
49.   Reddog
If the Houston Rockets can win 22 games in a row, I don't see any reason why the Dodgers can't do the same.

Number 5 tonight.

2008-04-30 10:02:55
50.   Frip
43 Columnist/analyst doesn't do the proper research for an article, has a paragraph taken out of context, or just says the wrong answer when asked a direct question.

You greatly minimize their offenses to common intelligence. The old fashioned letter-of-complaint to the newspaper wasn't cutting it. The stupidity continued unchecked. Now they are being held to account!

I agree with your hurt feeling - retaliation cycle idea. Just saying you minimize the initial transgressions of the paid writers that starts it all.

On a side note, what's this notion so prevalent now days about "being taken out of context." I don't know, when I say or write something, I mean all of what I say. No one can pick out a few sentences that could embarrass me. If I said something I meant it, even if it's a 4 word phrase in a 1,000 word essay. Anyway, it's just an overused copout that's getting really annoying.

(I don't mean to single myself out with the use of "I", it's just faster writing in the first person when short on time).

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-04-30 10:04:11
51.   Sam DC
There's really only one thing I can say in response to this post.

Whan that april with his shoures soote
The droghte of march hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of wich vertu engendered . . .

2008-04-30 10:04:44
52.   kinbote
49 The Oakland A's 20 game winning streak in 2002 is one of the most incredible sports happenings I can remember.
2008-04-30 10:05:51
53.   Jon Weisman
51 - Now do the first 10 lines of The Odyssey in Greek.
2008-04-30 10:10:27
54.   Jon Weisman
Wire characters drawn in Simpsons style:

http://periscopestudio.com/?cat=23

2008-04-30 10:10:28
55.   schoffle
43

Wouldn't the bloggers be considered customers instead of coworkers (in your analogy) since they theoretically are the readers (and purchasers) of the colomnist's work? If your customer was to point out your lack of ablities would your first response be to call the customer a (insert rule 1 here)? I don't think many of us could get away with such a response.

2008-04-30 10:13:23
56.   ToyCannon
With inflation this is my dimes worth of thoughts on this thread.

I have to agree with Andrew on this. While FJM is a must read for most of you I find it easy pickings. Anyone can take what someone else wrote and pick it apart in a snarky way and be funny if they have any wit at all.
When I started writing, the easiest writing I did was making fun of somebody else's opinion or actions. The hardest writing is finding something unique to say like Josh at Cardboard Gods. Jon never falls to the lowest dominator and keeps his stuff at a high level. The best of the blogs are what the Toaster is all about.

The sad thing is that the easiest writing gets action. The biggest action I ever got at True Blue was when I wrote my 1st Ned fiction. It was easy to do, took me maybe 30 minutes and the response I got to making fun of Ned gave me a huge ego boost. The stuff I really had to work at, such as the win share series gets barely a response.

If the sports media was using the Toaster as their daily blog fix I don't think they would have the problem with blogs that they are railing about. The Toaster is a community and I would find it hard to believe that anyone would have a problem with what Ken has created if they spent any time here.

2008-04-30 10:14:19
57.   regfairfield
55 Probably why I don't work in customer service.
2008-04-30 10:14:40
58.   Frip
54

Jon either I'm totally out of it, or that's the worst link you've ever linked.

2008-04-30 10:19:04
59.   fanerman
56 While FJM is a must read for most of you...

Okay Mr. High And Mighty. Just kidding, but you've made that "most of you" generalization a couple times recently.

2008-04-30 10:23:05
60.   bhsportsguy
56 Back when I wrote a semi-regular column for a local community paper, the more heavily researched, fact filled columns on current events would get hardly any reaction but one column I wrote about my uncle (which was a fast write for me), got favorable reactions from just about every person I saw who had read it.
2008-04-30 10:23:07
61.   Frip
56 While FJM is a must read for most of you I find it easy pickings. Anyone can take what someone else wrote and pick it apart in a snarky way and be funny if they have any wit at all.

OK, try it. Write something as funny as FJM, or even close. (I won't even ask you to be penetrating) We'll wait. It's very easy you know...

Due to writer's touchiness you are blind to their nearly magical comic imaginations.

2008-04-30 10:25:57
62.   underdog
Sorry if this was mentioned before but I didn't see it...

Daniel Z, you'll be happy to know that John Lindsey is blogging for ESPN:
http://proxy.espn.go.com/design_mockups/bweigand/lvcva2/dev/blog.html

(as per Diamond Leung)

Not sure what Lindsey's credentials are as a blogger though -- did he ever go to journalism school? Harumph!

2008-04-30 10:26:23
63.   D4P
FJM is about a lot more than just making fun of somebody else per se. It's about making fun of a particular belief system (of particular relevance to this blog) that many around here think is outmoded.

Combine that with the fact (yes, fact) that the person primarily responsible for making personnel decisions on behalf of this blog's favorite MLB team clearly (yes, clearly) subscribes to said outmoded belief system and that such subscription has caused much (yes, much) consternation among many around here, and it becomes clear (yes, clear) that the popularity of FJM for DT readers transcends simply "making fun of other people".

2008-04-30 10:28:02
64.   Bob Timmermann
The popularity of anything I write on the Griddle is always in inverse proportion to the amount of time I spent writing it.

I think I spent five minutes writing about Jarrod Saltalamacchia marrying a teacher from his high school. And it's still one of the biggest traffic generators for the Griddle. My whining about MLB.tv or cutting and pasting and explanation of pFx from MLB.com are also big traffic generators.

I've given up on writing anything analytical.

2008-04-30 10:30:11
65.   regfairfield
From now on, my posts on TBLA will just be a quote from an article with an occassionally witty one sentence response.
2008-04-30 10:31:36
66.   Jon Weisman
NPUT
2008-04-30 10:34:43
67.   blue22
While I was shocked when learning Ken Tremendous' true identity, it certainly didn't surprise me that he was a "real" talented writer. He's funny, plain and simple, and makes me laugh more consistently than pretty much anything else on the 'tubes (except maybe when Shimmin, Brock, and D4P get rollin'). And just comparing his work with the others' on that site points to how uniquely talented he is.
2008-04-30 10:36:33
68.   ToyCannon
61
Your right, the word "anyone" was out of place and unlike you I write plenty of sentences that contain mistakes or ideas I'm not 100% behind.
A good rebuttal could easily show me the error of my ways.
2008-04-30 10:50:05
69.   fanerman
65 FWIW, I visit TBLA in its present form far more than I visit FJM.

Bah, I don't know how to write succinctly. I agree with D4P that FJM make fun of a belief system first, and they usually target articles of that belief system as opposed to logical articles perhaps in need of fact-checking. But they can go overboard. I don't like their line-by-line nitpicking, especially with articles that are generally reasonable. Making fun of something somebody says and doesn't write is often unsportsmanlike (people say things they don't necessarily mean just because it's speech and it's spontaneous). But FJM has its moments.

2008-04-30 11:07:44
70.   Sushirabbit
I know, this is past NPUT, but the difference between FJM and other strawman type writing, is that they KNOW they are creating a strawman-- of course it helps that Joe Morgan makes himself a strawman, and it helps even more that he does so unwittingly. On the otherhand, I think even the best writers (and people generally) are susceptible to cherry-picking attributes of someone in order to facilitate their "exposition".
2008-04-30 11:56:19
71.   Linkmeister
I too am past the NPUT warning, but I ran across this article from Jay Rosen (journalism prof at NYU) about the conversion of a failing afternoon newspaper in Madison WI from print to web-only, and thought it might be of interest to Jon, so I mailed him a link.

It belatedly occurred to me that others here might like it as well:

http://preview.tinyurl.com/54spxz

2008-05-02 15:00:57
72.   Getanewgm
Way to go Jon! Nice use of that freakin' poem that we had to memorize back in high school. Can't believe you remembered it. For all his costly and horrible free agent signings, Colletti should have to memorize and recite it over the PA from 2B during the fifth inning while the grounds crew is dragging the infield.

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