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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)

- tom moody 9-27-2004 7:33 am [link] [1 comment]