May 3, 2006

"The Blogosphere Is Alive With the Sound of Colbert Chatter."

The NYT has an article titled "After Press Dinner, the Blogosphere Is Alive With the Sound of Colbert Chatter." Okay, great, I'm blogging this. Let's see. They refer to a Gawker survey (without linking to it!). Yeah, Gawker's a blog. They refer to letters posted at Editor & Publisher (again, without a link!). Then:
Others chided the so-called mainstream media, including The New York Times, which ignored Mr. Colbert's remarks while writing about the opening act, a self-deprecating bit Mr. Bush did with a Bush impersonator.

Some, though, saw nothing more sinister in the silence of news organizations than a decision to ignore a routine that, to them, just was not funny.
Others? Some? Who are these mysterious bloggers? The article does quote a piece Noam Scheiber wrote on the New Republic's blog (again, without a link!). So one blog is quoted. Then the article collects some quotes from Al Franken (who's performed at one of these correspondents dinners), Mary Matalin, and Scott McClellan -- not bloggers.

Why isn't this article alive with the quotes of bloggers? And some links, damn it! Cluelessly, the article is dotted with links for various names that appear in the article. These links all take you to pages within the NYT site. There are no links that take you to the blogosphere chatter that the story is about, only links to stale bios and old articles.

The NYT wants to be hip by talking about bloggers, but they are deathly afraid of links that send readers away from their site, and that desperation is horribly unhip.

***

NOTE: I was on on Open Source Radio last night blabbing about the Colbert affair with various pundits. Stream it here.

17 comments:

Dave said...

I can't take seriously the idea that the New York Times "gets" the web in the way that its advocates claim.

I have even seen a number of blogs written by prominent venture capitalists, who claim that the Times' recent web page re-design is evidence of their growing web savvy. VCs, always eternal optimists, seem to have as accurate a read on the Times' web savvy as does the Times' management, which is to say, utterly inaccurate.

athenius said...

Wait! Wait! I read my first blogs BECAUSE of a NYT Sunday Magazine story about such, a couple of years ago. Before that, blogs were a mystery to me. Thanks to NYT. I checked out the four or five they wrote about, then used their links to find the three or four I now follow.

CB said...

Professor,
With respect, this sounds like you're criticizing an apple for not being an orange. The NYT's website is not a blog, and shouldn't be expected to act like one. I see no reason why a news story about blogs should be written in the style of a blog.

Also, I think there are perfectly legitimate reasons for a major news organization to be wary of external links, especially blogs. Virtually very blog (including yours) is only 3 or 4 clicks away from pornography or other content that the NYT would not want to be, uh, linked to, so to speak.

Walt said...

I think the people who are critiquing Colbert's comedy routine like they were some professorsorial afficionados or, worse yet, Simon (a la simon says on American Idol), need to take a step back and realize what was so funny. It had nothing to do with Bush. Sure all the harshest jokes were on the topic of the Bush administration, but the jokes were really barbs against the media. That is why his guest was Helen Thomas. The audience didn't like it because it was an indictment on them. Let's face it, the Bush bashing is no longer a liberal past time. Some of my most ardent supporters of Bush no longer speak glowing of him. Instead, they use words like disappointing and unbelievable.

Of course, who enabled this administration -- the media. Who is Colbert attacking -- the media. Instead of discussing if the routine was funny or not or if the Helen Thomas video went on too long, let's discuss the real issue. Why did we go to war? And the funny thing is that it took a faux newsman from comedy central to get the media discussing that very question -- the question Helen Thomas is still asking.

You might want to check out Colbert's interview with Bill Kristol:
http://www.comedycentral.com/shows/the_colbert_report/videos/most_recent/index.jhtml

The amazing thing about the Bill Kristol interview - It aired the Thursday before the dinner. Colbert set the pundit up beautifully. Please watch the clip. It is one of those rare times when a squawk box actually says, "I'm speechless." Of course, and this is what makes the dinner speech so brilliant, this interview answers the question, "Why did we go to war?"

Joe said...

Anyone who does not know why we went to war is not paying attention or is deliberately obtuse.

Walt said...

And that is precisely why Colbert's character is so effective and funny!

Palladian said...

Walt, how many times are you going to repost the same comments? So, the media is a tool of the Bush Administration and it took Steve Colbert to get it to ask questions? Wild. This Colbert thing has gone from being a forgettable, unfunny (for Colbert) performance to being the most annoying, over-hyped, over-lauded feeding frenzy in recent memory. Steve Colbert is not a hero. He's a comedian that did a prestigious turn at the Correspondent's Dinner and ended up demonstrating his weaknesses rather than his strengths as an actor and comedian.

Walt said...

I guess it's been so long since I saw such a well concieved spoof. Everyone must agree that Kristol is an iconic figure in the conservative news media, and Steve, as his close friends like yourself call him, set him up perfectly. Perhaps you miss the irony in connecting Rumie, Cheney, and Wolfowitz with the "New American Century." A group unabashedly wanting war in the 90's. I don't think you can call his act anything but annoying for all involved.

Mr. Magoo said...

Your obvious desire to be mentioned in the New York Times is palpable, hilarious, and very unhip.

The NYT doesn't feel any need to link to your blog. Deal with it.

I'm still astounded you could manage to attend the Harvard conference where so many other people were in the spotlight. You did an admirable job of trying to make it all about you, but alas, it wasn't.

How tough this all must be for you to take. I suggest staying in your own turf where Althouse Adoration is the standard mindless fare.

John Thacker said...

The amazing thing about the Bill Kristol interview - It aired the Thursday before the dinner. Colbert set the pundit up beautifully.

Yes, Bill Kristol really comes off well in that interview. It's rather obvious that he cares a lot about people throughout the world. No surprise that he was one of the first to call for action in Darfur, several years ago.

One can certainly disagree about when and where it's plausible to intervene, but Kristol certainly shatters the stereotypes of uncaring conservatives who just want war. He also certainly gave the lie to the idea that he and the other neocons are blind cheerleaders.

It's very sad to see so much of the Left slide into cynicism of not caring about the poor in the world, or opposing intervening anywhere because we can't intervene everywhere, of having nothing more to offer than the moral superiority of favoring intervening whereever we aren't, but blasting us whenever we do.

Anyone who seriously thinks that that was some kind of terrible takedown of Kristol is a sad, cynical human being.

John Thacker said...

I don't think you can call his act anything but annoying for all involved.

Yes, it's so "annoying" to you that he wants to save the poor people of Darfur for being slaughtered. So "annoying" that it might take the Marines, and a ground war, and people actually getting killed to stop it.

Please, feel free to continue washing your hands.

Joe said...

Jeez, Not That Joe, who peed in your cornflakes this morning?

Al Maviva said...

I guess I'm a raving warmongering neo-con because I was in favor of taking out Saddam in '91. Of course that's because I was there as a troop on the ground, following the ground offensive helped to gather crimes against humanity evidence relating to the attempted genocide in Kuwait, and then in the pre-treaty period got to help handle the refugee flow out of Iraq. You only need to meet so many little kids with their hands shot off for their brothers/fathers battlefield capture, or so many men with their tongues wrenched out for questioning the regime or talking back to the security services, before you develop a pretty strong opinion about such things. It seemed to me at the time the right thing to do was to take Saddam out, put the country under a UN protectorate, and then let the people rebuild for a while. We had a chance to oversee a relatively peaceful rebuilding of that country, and the nature of that regime. The fact that it appeared they'd stop at nothing to get their way and to keep power, made me believe we'd be back within a decade, if not due to another Iraqi invasion then due to some other mischief that a relatively wealthy, violent, dehumanizing and tyrannical government can wreak. It also struck me that in leaving Saddam in place, we hurt him, but left a dangerous enemy in alive to fight us another day, a really hazardous choice.

Talk all you want about knocking Bill Kristol down a peg, or showing them durned neo-cons a thing or two, sticking it to the Bush voters who are "complicit" and all that. It's great sport, and I'm sure the men without tongues wouldn't speak a word of disagreement with you, Walt.

brian said...

Just listened to the Open Source stream, and I think you hit it dead on, Ann. Colbert is an actor in character and part of what makes his schtick work so wonderfully is his set and audience at the Report. It's a well oiled machine, and the effect is different outside of that box. Still funny and quite biting, but different. Also, watching the event knowing that Bush was nearby even made me a bit uncomfortable. I can't imagine what Colbert was feeling.

And, as to why the press wasn't laughing? I think Helen Thomas's view has some merit (not wanting to laugh in front of the President) but moreso, I simply think that the truth hurts. Possibly the pretentious press cannot laugh at their own expense?

You want the truth? You can't handle the truth -- but I've got oven mitts. [wikiquote]

stoqboy said...

For anybody that's interested, Ann's part starts about 21:50 of the Open Source stream.

Craig Ranapia said...

Yes, I must admit I'm a little bored with the meme that Colbert is some kind of "hero" - which says more about the self-referential narcissism of the American media-entertainment complex :) than anything else.

May 3 is World Press Freedom Day. Pop along to http://www.worldpressfreedomday.org/ and see some real profiles in courage. in 2005, 58 journalists were killed and 788 imprisoned for doing their jobs - and the consequences are a little more seriously than getting a bit of stink-eye from Mr and Mrs Dubya over the pudding plates.

A fashionable political satirist taking easy shots at an unpopular target in a well-guarded ballroom before a friendly audience doesn't even being to compare...

tomsyl said...

The whole meme about Colbert "speaking truth to power" (a tired cliche in itself) misses the fact that his schtick simply wasn't funny. I don't have a high opinion of the MSM's minions, but I don't doubt their abililty to laugh at themselves if told a truly funny joke. Clobert just didn't have it that night, particularly after following one-liners like Bush claiming that what was essentially a ventriloquist's dummy handled all of his debates with Kerry.