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Blogger Billmon (of the "Whiskey Bar" site) disappeared about a month ago and recently resurfaced on the op-ed page of the LA Times, griping that bloggers are being co-opted through advertising and gradually absorbed into the major media. It's definitely happened here; I'm constantly being offered plum sponsorship if I would just stick to one subject. (Kidding.) Billmon makes one good point: "The political blogosphere already has a bad habit of chasing the scandal du jour. This election season, that's meant a laser-like focus on such profound matters as the mysteries of Bush's National Guard service or whether John Kerry deserved his Vietnam War medals. Meanwhile, more unsettling (and important) stories — like the Abu Ghraib prison scandal or the great Iraq weapons-of-mass-destruction snipe hunt — quietly disappear down the media memory hole. And bloggers either can't, or won't, dig them back out again."
But he's just as guilty of focusing on A-list bloggers as he says the media is. Instead of using his moment in the sun to steer readers to less-appreciated venues, he kvetches about a handful of peers he perceives as "making it." Like we give a flip. James Poniewozik used to be a regular, hilarious read for me in Salon, but since he became Time's TV critic I haven't read a single word he's written. (I just never read Time.) The same will happen when Atrios or Kos cross over to the dark side. Or Billmon, if he becomes a "pundit" and doesn't restart his blog.
(thanks to drat fink for the LA Times link--registration probably required)