Tuesday, August 26, 2008

MSM proves earlier column right

Less than a month ago, I used this space to discuss the fall of the mainstream media.

You may recall:
There was a time when blogs were used for commentary on stories that had appeared in that days paper or on the TV news. Now TV, radio and the newspapers are being scooped regularly by the blogging community.
In the time since, the media has shot out against local blogs, criticizing them as being unsourced rumors ill-fit for human consumption. Blogs came under fire due to the breaking of a story about Sam Hoyt's affairs with two women by the website PoliticsNY.net.

Of little importance to the likes of the Buffalo News and WBEN is the fact that PoliticsNY.net isn't a blog ... and Joe Illuzi, the penman of the "articles" that appear on it isn't a blogger. He's a paid smearmerchant, but that's neither here nor there.

What the News and Buffalo's biggest talk station knew was that they got scooped ... by some guy. Some Joe ... quite literally. So rather than refute the facts on Illuzi's website, they took the opportunity to shred his character and question his motives.

Granted, Illuzi seems to have a rather colorful past which gives them a lot of fodder to shred him with. And his motives are definately not of "journalistic" nature.

But it doesn't negate the fact that PoliticsNY.net broke a story that the "reporters" at Buffalo's biggest newspaper and biggest news radio station couldn't break. And it doesn't negate the fact that his report has been shown to be factual.

Much more factual than the story that lead the paper ... and that WBEN ran with all morning long on Monday. I'm talking about the story in which Nicole Kidman was working to save Buffalo's Studio Arena.

It later came out that Nicole Kidman "has never heard of Studio Arena."

How oh how could WNY's most powerful media outlets get a story like that wrong? What was their source? "Show business web sites," the Buffalo News said on Monday. WBEN, meanwhile sourced "The Mirror," a web site from the UK. Earlier today, the Buffalo News blamed the story on PR-inside.com.

Local bloggers have had trouble maintaining their glee over the MSM's faux pas.
  • The Buffalo Bean headlines a post about the snafu: "Who looks stupid now?"
  • Buffalo Pundit headlines a similar post: "The assault on blogs backfires (or Buffalo mainstream press gets PWN3D)
And can you blame 'em? They've spent the last week being told by the media that they're the bad guy. They're the problem.

Bloggers typically get their information from sources ... just like the MSM. Sometimes they get their information from press releases ... just like the MSM. And often, they opine about what they've heard/learned/seen ... just like the MSM.

The primary difference? Most bloggers do what they do because they have a passion for getting information in front of as many eyes as possible ... while the folks at the Buffalo News and WBEN are in it for a paycheck.

I'm not saying there's something wrong with getting paid ... or even getting paid as a member of the media. That is, afterall, my primary job.

But some of us in the media have realized that there is a new game in town ... and they don't like it. They're afraid it's going to eat their paycheck.

Ironically, The Buffalo News has been begging people to blog ... on their website. Driving people to their advertisers. Then, blogging is okay. But when WNY's "alternative media" do it, it can't be trusted.

It's almost like they're promoting their own demise.