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Feuding between the MSM and the blogosphere

It is slow right now in the baseball world, so I thought I'd highlight a sudden flareup in the intermittent war between the MSM and the blogosphere...

Chris McCosky, Pistons beat reporter for the Detroit News, rips bloggers yesterday. Along with the usual "sitting in their pajamas in their parent's basement" meme that is inevitably leveled, there are some more direct, and specific, attacks:

Journalism employs trained professionals. We actually have to go to school for this stuff. We take our jobs seriously. There are rules and standards that we are beholden to. There are ethics involved. We actually talk to, in person, the people we write about. If we rip somebody in an article, you best be sure most of us will confront that person the next day and take whatever medicine we need to take.

With blogging and Web sites, it seems the hard work, standards, accountability, courage all of that is bypassed. Who needs to study this stuff, or attend games, or conduct interviews when you can just sit in your basement and clack out whatever comes through your head, right? If I rip somebody, or if I get something wrong, who cares? Nobody will see me.

A lot of times these bloggers use the work of legitimate reporters. They will lift facts and segments of stories and cut and paste them onto their blog. Rarely, if ever, though, do they bother to credit the source.

They will write something like, "I am hearing the Pistons are going to start Antonio McDyess this year." Well, wonder where you "heard" that. It was reported in the darn newspaper. Yet, the same blogger will go out of their way to ridicule the source they stole from.

Several Detroit blogs have responded, with our friend Ian at Bless You Boys having one of the most measured, reasoned, calm responses, and offering a pretty thorough Fisking of McCosky's article.

The Detroit Tigers Webblog gets a little more pissy about it, I think.

And Detroit Sports Rag goes apepoop over it, as they are apparently the specific target of McCosky (and have a history with him), complete with lots of words I don't say but that rhyme with stunt, and with our old manager's first name.

DSR's complaint about McCosky is really a pretty familiar one...that he, as the beat writer, has gotten so cozy with the organization, and so reliant on his relationship with those in power with the team for his information, that he's incapable of being anything other than a mouthpiece for the organization.

I don't know the history, so I can't so one way or the other, although DSR apparent has broken at least one story, and thus does "report" in the traditional sense, unlike most bloggers (including us here at LSB...zywica and I offer analysis, commentary, opinions, thoughts, and the like, but I don't think either of us really report (or claim to report) anything...)

Anyway, an interesting little brushfire out there, I think.

Really, though, the whole MSM v. blogosphere thing is overblown...while you've got the FJMs and the Instapundits, whose existence seems to be, in large part, to act as a foil to the MSM and carp about their flaws and biases and inaccuracies at any opportunity, I think there's more a symbiotic relationship between the two. The existence of good beat writers in the Metroplex makes what I do a lot easier, since they have access I don't have (and don't particularly want to have).

And blogs -- be they LSB, the NMLR, Mavs Moneyball, Blogging the Boys, or whatever -- increase interest in the team and ultimately end up driving traffic back to the coverage provided by the MSM outlets.