One of the blogs I read,, had a recent article based on a story by the Wall Street Journal that has a negative slant on bloggers in general. The writer, Joseph Rago, an assistant editorial features editor, states "bloggers, for their part, produce minimal reportage. Instead, they ride along with the MSM like remora fish on the bellies of sharks, picking at the scraps."

Now, I’m going to be fair, because one can take a quotation like that out of context, as this one was, because the writer of this story was talking only about political blogs. He goes on later to say "blogs must be timely if they are to influence politics," and then "political blogs are predictable, they are excruciatingly boring."

There are two things illustrated here.

One, if we don’t get all the facts, and take everything into consideration, we might be misrepresenting what someone else has actually said. Hearsay is always tough to reconcile because you’re getting it second hand, and unless you know both the person who’s being talked about and the person doing the talking well, you might not get the real truth. And if we go on reporting it as fact, when we haven’t verified it ourselves, we do a disservice to everyone.

Two, it’s easy to make someone else look bad by taking a portion out of everything they’ve said and using it for whatever your purposes might be. I’ve been misquoted often, and I’ve also had people try to interpret a meaning out of something I’ve said when I’ve said exactly what I mean. The writer may have a beef with political blogs, and there might be a slight elitist touch, because newspapers have to go that one step further in corroborating their proof before printing it, but it certainly wasn’t an indictment against bloggers in general.

It’s the same thing when, as a manager, you hear something bad about an employee that someone else heard about, rather than witnessed. When I was in management, I never listened to anything that couldn’t be traced back by looking at the spreadsheets or reports. I discounted much gossip because I had heard gossip about myself often enough. One I had aids; another had me dating 3 women when I was dating any; at least the gossipers picked nice looking women.

As for Mr. Rago’s personal attack against political bloggers,… well, I’ll let someone else debate the merits of whether what he’s saying is legitimate or not.