March 17, 2005

Blogs Do Not Equal E-Mail, duh

I just read this piece at the Star-Tribune Web site.

As if blogs haven't had to defend their credibility enough, now they're being equated with Internet e-mail spam.

A fellow arrived at the gym the other morning with a printout of an e-mail he'd received. "Listen to this," he said.

He then read a letter from an active-duty Marine sergeant describing how a Marine serving in Iraq had written to Starbucks asking for a donation of coffee. According to the letter, Starbucks had written back saying that "the company does not support the war, nor anyone in it, and would not send the troops their brand of coffee."

"I know this war might not be very popular with some folks," wrote the sergeant, "but that doesn't mean we don't support the boys on the ground fighting street to street and house to house for what they and I believe is right."

The sergeant urged a boycott of Starbucks.

I realize that I work in front of a computer all day, so I'm fine-tuned to the realities of e-mail spam and irritating forwards. If you take either at their word, you may as well forever go through life with a giant "GULLIBLE" stamped across your forehead.

For all the advantages of the Internet, it is still the most unaccountable of all media, precisely because there's no one to complain to, no one to officially and universally set the record straight.

As far as e-mail spam and forwards go, yeah. But the author here is ever so gradually trying to equate blogs and Web sites with e-mail spam, which is just incredibly skewed and unfair. Granted, you shouldn't take blogs and Web sites as the unvarnished truth, either, but they're generally 8000 times more reliable than freakin' e-mail spams and forwards.

Ultimately, Katz believes, Internet information sites will sort themselves out by their own reputations.

Meanwhile, it's worth remembering that some of what we find there is more froth than latte.

Some? SOME?!! Jeez, the same could be said for just about ANYTHING you can find in the mainstream media. Anything about Michael Jackson, or Martha Stewart, or Robert Blake, or Scott Peterson is basically froth. Where's the author's indignation about THAT?

Posted by Ryan at March 17, 2005 03:17 PM

You know, I wasn't going to go here, but you had to say, "Where's the author's indignation about THAT?"

So speaking of where's the indignation....

For someone who enjoyed jumping on the Rathergate bandwagon, you're strangely silent about the hundreds of other cases of media broadcasting biased propoganda in the form of those prepackaged news dealies. But I know, I know, there's some excuse why Rather should be held up to your journalistic standards while other news sources shouldn't. They're too small. Everyone does it. Its not the same when my side does it. Look, a duck!

I mean, if you're gonna pretend to be outraged, at least pretend to be consistent.

Posted by: at March 17, 2005 04:12 PM

Did I say I was outraged? Hm, no I didn't. I think the author here makes a lousy stretch trying to equate web sites and blogs with mass e-mailings, and then she calls SOME Internet content "froth," to which I wonder why she doesn't mention all that "froth" coming from the mainstream media.

Now you're making the leap back to RatherGate, which isn't even mentioned here. It's almost as if you're trying to conjure a debate where there is none. Nah, that can't be it.

Posted by: Ryan at March 17, 2005 04:45 PM

Not getting involved in the above.
What drives me crazy though is when my idiot bosses print shit like: UPS uniforms bought on ebay being used by Al Queda operatives, check ID's!
Do not sniff perfume samples, it may be ether!
Don't drink in hotel bars, you could wake up w/o a kidney!
AND HANG THEM AS MEMOS ON OUR BULLETIN BOARDS w/o even checking to see if it's legit. They had everyone jacking up the poor UPS guys that have been coming in forever, same guy for years, and suddenly, he was a suspect. Freaked him out.
And embarrassed the shit out of the rest of us who had enough sense to not belive everything we read.
They don't know it, but I'm the one with the big red magic marker that scrawls bullshit, urban legend on all of them. Bwah ha ha....

Posted by: donna at March 18, 2005 08:22 AM
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