Somehow, I've dubbed myself the LSB beat writer for the ongoing "war' between blogging and journalism. As a result, it's important that I inform you of the latest battle.
Last night, Will Leitch (of the incomparable Deadspin ) went on CostasNOW, Bob Costas' show on HBO, for a debate about the merits of blogging when it comes to sports. His fellow debaters were Cleveland Browns WR Braylon Edwards (?) and author/journalist Buzz Bissinger, famous for Friday Night Lights, among others.
And, well, Bissinger went berserk. He started railing on Leitch for no real particular reason, claiming that blogs, and Deadspin in particular, was "dumbing down" America. It became clear very early in the debate that Bissinger was in no mood to actually debate, but instead just vent all of his frustrations against the blogosphere. Put it this way: his first comment to Leitch was, "I want to interject that I think you are full of shit."
Leitch was very calm throughout, attempting to simply make his points. But Bissinger dominated the debate, spewing various profanities at Leitch and generally making an ass of himself. He called Deadspin contributor Big Daddy Drew, "Big Daddy Balls," mixing the name of BDD and the nickname of fellow Deadspin contributor A.J. "Balls" Daulerio. He also apparently could not tell the difference between a blog post and a blog comment.
Meanwhile, Braylon Edwards just sat there, wondering why the hell he was there.
I view this debate from an interesting standpoint: I graduate from the Missouri School of Journalism in less than three weeks, and intend to become a sportswriter (so if you could find me a job, that would be great). Yet, I am infatuated with the blogosphere, and love the fact that a new, more accessible form of media is emerging. I don't view the blogosphere as the enemy, but rather just another path. Not to get all preachy, but it's kind of like how some view religion: many paths to the same end result.
With all of that said, Bissinger came off as a raving idiot, while Leitch (while not really making any salient points, despite trying) came off as the victim of an unstable man's rant. The reaction around the blogosphere has been far-reaching and, in many ways, amusing. In the span of a 10 minute debate, Buzz Bissinger became blog enemy No. 1, and for good reason. If he had actually had a decent conversation with Leitch, he probably would be praised today on the blogs. Instead, he didn't.
We're entering a new world of media, much to the chagrin of some traditional journalists. I, however, refuse to become a stodgy, angry, jaded traditional journalist, and will adapt. That's what the best do.
Various reactions from around the blogosphere, all of which I highly recommend:
My favorite reaction: Big Daddy Drew of Kissing Suzy Kolber reacts (language NSFW)
UPDATE: Video of the "debate" is now up. HT to WyoRanger, who found it via Awful Announcing .