Alright, bloggers, line up for your tongue-lashing. Newsday columnist Ellis Henican has had enough of the “self-absorbed nitwit sitting in front of a computer in his bathrobe.” (He doesn’t mean us — we do this gig in boxer briefs and a jewel-encrusted crown.) Facts, he says, are “pesky little things,” and often “you have to go outside and grab the jumpy suckers one by one.” And while real reporters “sit through a three-week trial at the courthouse” and “prowl the corridors of power with a notebook,” the “Bathrobe Boy” contents himself with “stealing the facts that some hard-working, low-paid newspaper drone just spent hours collecting” while “throwing in a few dismissive pokes at the fact-chasing newspaper dinosaur who did all the grunt work of discovery.”
Henican’s point is inarguable, but we have to ask: what does this have to do with nude celebrities and top-ten lists?
As to the Bathrobe Boys who “declare themselves ‘The Future,'” we agree that they are insufferable but cannot place ourselves among them because like most of our colleagues we expect to be laid off at any minute; also, because we have no illusions about our place in the rotation — reporters provide us with stories, and we provide reporters with links, by means of which readers may get to the reporters and increase their trade. Blogs are not the death of journalism, they’re its publicity department. We would say that, with the decline in public education and financial collapse making both our jobs so difficult, we shouldn’t be sniping at each other like this, except that we know as well as Henican does that feuds make for good copy.