Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 28, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

THE JOYS OF BLOGGING....The joys of unedited blogging, that is. First, Mickey Kaus:

How do the risks of blogging compare with other types of speech? How about talking? Even Serious Thinkers talk. Why isn't blogging like talking, except that you are talking to (potentially) the whole world? That isn't so innovative. Talking on television is talking to (potentially) the whole world, without an editor in sight. I've even seen Leon Wieseltier on TV on occasion. Talking on television is actually more dangerous than blogging, because on the Web there's an opportunity to revise in a way that will actually perform a corrective function.

Yep. One of the ways in which I think blogs really are superior to print journalism is that bloggers talk in the first person, just like people do on television. Compare this to writing an op-ed, where even the best writers are forced into an artificial essay-ish sort of tone that just doesn't allow them to get their point across in quite the same way.

(By the way, the television analogy is the best one I've heard for allowing unedited blogging. If a newspaper is willing to allow its reporters to appear on TV with the newspaper's logo prominently displayed in the background, why are they afraid to let them blog unedited? This is a pretty powerful argument.)

Next up is Matt Yglesias, who swings both ways:

Take the whole Easterbrook situation, for example. The offending post did not actually cause me -- or any other Jewish person -- any sort of harm. The fact that he wrote it actually made my day quite a bit better. I think I got a funny post off the item, it lead to some good brief conversations around the office, and all-in-all witnessing the temporary meltdown of the thought-processes of a writer I like was an enjoyable experience. That said, from the P.O.V. of a publisher, it's probably not a good idea to let your writers screw up in public for the greater enjoyment of the audience.

This may not be the most honorable of thoughts, but it's true, isn't it?

Kevin Drum 9:49 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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