December 29, 2004

DON’T THESE GUYS HAVE EDITORS? The Star Tribune’s Nick Coleman has an end-of-year meltdown in which he savages the Power Line guys. Compare his hysterical column with the measured responses here and here and it becomes plain that Hugh Hewitt’s point is right: Lots of bloggers are just better writers than lots of people with cushy column sinecures at monopoly papers.

Ed Morrissey has further thoughts.

UPDATE: Reader Bryant Stone emails:

The ironic point about your link to Nick’s article is that I am unable to read the article in its entirety unless I subscribe to the Star Tribune online. The fact that powerline, instapundit and others are free and without subscription only serves to reinforce my belief (and to use a banking term) of how “out-of-market” msm has become in its methodology of reporting.

Indeed. Meanwhile, Betsy Newmark comments on Coleman: “He is remarkably vicious and personal in his attack. What he isn’t is substantive. He has no real complaint about what they’ve written and doesn’t even address any of their many fact-based posts. Instead, he just fills his column with ad hominem attacks and praise for himself.”

If I were a higher-up at the Star Tribune, I wouldn’t want Nick Coleman as my public face. Dave Friedman has further thoughts.

MORE: Jim Geraghty writes that this is the blogging equivalent of Mike Tyson biting Evander Holyfields’s ear, and comments, “I’m sorry, did a mainstream media columnist just allege that his blogger critics are… deficient in their reproductive organs? This guy makes Dan Rather and Bill O’Reilly look like the epitome of class and cool.” Meanwhile reader Brian Faughnan emails:

The other interesting thing to me about Coleman’s attack on Powerline is what it means as a milestone for how far the Internet has come. One of the nation’s leading papers now has an opinion writer who has picked a fight with a leading blog. It’s practically incidental that the columnist appears to be losing. One of the rules of politics is that you try not to give your adversary any publicity, unless you have to. You don’t mention the fellow’s name. Even just a year ago, no one in the MSM would have entered into a debate with a blogger. Today, Coleman seems to feel threatened enough by Powerline that he has to attack them. How much does that say about the extraordinary growth of the Internet – and bloggers – as sources of news? To me, it seems that we’ve reached another major marker of the decline of the MSM.

And certainly of its standards . . . .

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader John Raynes emails:

I’m really confused . . . . First MSM told me that you guys all wore pajamas. Now they tell me that you work out of “paneled bank offices”. So do you guys blog from bank offices in your pajamas? The public has a right to know.

Yes, but they’re Brooks Brothers pajamas.

STILL MORE: Thomas Lifson says it’s a case of career suicide by blogger:

We have an extended holiday weekend coming up, one in which many poeple were already poised to pontificate on “the rise of the blogs” or “the year of the blog.” Coleman has just handed the year-end media pundits a late Christmas gift.

Ouch. Hugh Hewitt adds: “Coleman’s just the first to lose control –and dignity– but watch for others as the pressure of instant accountability wears on folks unused to scrutiny and ridicule. . . . What a year. 2005 will be even better.”

TWISTING-THE-KNIFE UPDATE: A reader points out that an ad at the bottom of Coleman’s column reads:

Start Your Own Blog Now!

Publish, be read, and get paid. Start writing instantly!

Conclusion: “He’s toast.”

Finally, several readers note that the “subscription” needed to view Coleman’s column in full is just a free registration. But it still sucks, like all such registrations, and the point that blogs don’t require such things is certainly still true. *cough**cough*

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