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: Tom Watson hates my post last night giving bloggers credit for helping topple Rather. Go read it.
: UPDATE: There’s an odd discussion going on here and at Tom’s blog on bourgeois vs. proletarian with folks complaining that I can’t be just folk because I’ve had media jobs. My response to Tom and the commenter here:
First, this was my response to someone who agreed with you in a comment under my link to your post:
Pardon me, but you sound a bit like the cultural revolution in Mao’s time, making the proletariat into the new exclusive class. I’m people, too. I don’t declare myself “a-list.” You said that. In the blogosophere, in fact, talking about an a-list is old media think, back to the days when only the one or two biggest could afford the printing press or the broadcast tower. That is mass-market-think. And that is over. Now we are all equal, we’re all just people. That’s the point. Dan Rather is no beter than you or me. He may think he is. By this rationale, you may think he is. But I don’t. And I don’t think I’m any better — any more of an a-lister — than anyone else. So don’t put me apart in a room you built for me.
Second, I had not appeared on TV or been quoted in media in years. Oh, yes, I used to be — when I had a media perch at TVGuide and People. But that went away. It came back only because I am blogging. I’ve been on those shows with the likes of the man behind PowerLineBlog and much of the Rather fact-checking, who’s not, to the best of my knowledge, a media mogul (he’s not even from New York!). Sure, big media is going to be more comfortable at first putting on other media guys but that is expanding and that is a great thing.
Third, on Rather himself: I was highly critical of Rather long before I became a blogger. I called him the dumbest anchor alive. I regularly complained about his pomposity. So this is not a blogger-come-lately attitude; it is my opinion of Rather and has been for years. I think that Rather has been bad for journalism and bad for TV journalism and he was particularly poisonous when he refused to admit for 12 days that he could have made a mistake. I am glad to see him dethroned for more than the latest Rathergate. I wrote a much longer set of posts today trying to explain that here [scroll up].
Fourth, that is not out of some right-wing conspiracy. I’m a Democrat. Voted for Kerry. Can’t stand Rather. That’s not incompatible. And it’s not the stuff of conspiracy theories.
Thanks for the nice things you said at the same time. I appreciate that. I like you and your blog, too. And I love having discussions like this. These are not the discussions of bourgeois vs. proletariat it’s just a discussion.
Dan Rather’s biggest mistake was dismissing those who would have gotten him closer to the truth just because they weren’t elite and weren’t fellow professionals. That kept him removed from the facts and removed from his public; it was just plain snobbish. Please don’t do the same thing in reverse to me just because I’ve been lucky to have some good jobs. I’m still just another person in a conversation with you and that is the real future of media….
And, by the way, Tom, your resume looks an awful lot like mine. So what we have here is a media pro complaining about a media pro complaining about a media pro. Do I hear an echo in here? Do I hear an echo in here? Let’s get past judging people by what they are or were and instead judge what they say and how they say it. Isn’t that what this medium is all about? I am proud of my resume as you should be proud of yours. But I’d rather you argue with my arguments than with my CV.