Recently, Christiane Amanpour said to Huffington Post:
I think that in the West sometimes blogging is an excuse for sitting back and just commenting on life as it passes by and putting out your opinions on what is happening.
As far as I know about Christiane Amanpour (which is, frankly, mostly gleaned from the Gilmore Girls), she's got some serious journalistic chops. That said, there she is, like so many people in her profession, casting blame for the current state of print media outward instead of taking a good hard look inward. Maybe I can help her out a little...
1n 1998, we were bombing Iraq and India was testing nukes. And what did you read about: Monica Lewinsky and her blue dress. In fucking technicolor.
In 2000, we learned that Al Gore was a smug asshole who claimed he invented the internet. Except, of course, he didn't.
In 2002, a Canadian citizen is shipped off to Syria to be tortured for a year. For no reason. By Americans. Did you guys see that story on the front page of a major American daily? Funny, me neither.
In 2003, George Bush lied and lied and lied some more. And then he told some more lies. And many (if not most) of these lies were easily disprovable. And then we went to war in Iraq and 4000 Americans were killed.
In 2004, John Kerry was an effete asshole who said things like "Who among us does not like Nascar." Except, of course, he didn't.
In 2007, George Bush lies about torture.
[An aside: I really believe that if mainstream media (front page, evening news kind of stuff) reported on torture like professional journalists instead of like a bunch of fucking retards then we'd care about this more. I refuse to accept that we as a nation are so morally bankrupt that we condone torture. It's hard enough to accept that we're morally bankrupt enough to pretend it doesn't exist.]
In 2008, John McCain is a mavericky maverick who mavericks. Whatever.
Traditional media capitulated, again and again, their responsibilities as the fourth estate, while citizen journalists picked up the slack. And yet, it's the lazy bloggers who are at fault for the demise of news dailies.
I am exactly as Christiane Amanpour says. I do sit back and comment on life as it passes me by. But I ain't trying to be Glenn Greenwald or Josh Marshall (both of whom do more real reporting than anyone writing for the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times) But, even my lazy, pajama-wearing self knows that if everyone in the room is running away from me, chances are I have something to do with that.