Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Stephen A. Smith Hates The First Amendment

I don't normally care to get involved in the MSM vs. Blogger wars because I get enough hyperbole and senseless argument from my day job. Everyone involved in this stuff spends so much time talking past one another and employs so much overheated rhetoric that the debate, such as it is, rarely rises above ridiculously cheap theater. Note to newspaper men: most bloggers aren't reporting news, and when they do, their credibility is being judged just as much as yours is. If the info is bad, the market will make them pay. If it is good, they're doing a good job, right? Note to bloggers: this is not 1789 and ESPN and the sports page of your local daily are not the Bastille. Please get over yourselves.

That said, Stephen A. Smith's soon-to-be-famous quote is perhaps the most ridiculous thing I've ever read:

"And when you look at the internet business, what’s dangerous about it is that people who are clearly unqualified get to disseminate their piece to the masses. I respect the journalism industry, and the fact of the matter is ...someone with no training should not be allowed to have any kind of format whatsoever to disseminate to the masses to the level which they can. They are not trained. Not experts. More important are the level of ethics and integrity that comes along with the quote-unqoute profession hasn’t been firmly established and entrenched in the minds of those who’ve been given that license.

"Therefore, there’s a total disregard, a level of wrecklessness that ends up being a domino effect. And the people who suffer are the common viewers out there and, more importantly, those in the industry who haven’t been fortunate to get a radio or television deal and only rely on the written word. And now they’ve been sabotaged. Not because of me. Or like me. But because of the industry or the world has allowed the average joe to resemble a professional without any credentials whatsoever."

Note to Stephen A. Smith: if you're going to impugn the credentials and abilities of bloggers when compared with real journalists like yourself, it's a good idea to demonstrate a modicum of literacy. I was gonna place some [sic]'s on that quote but I was afraid my bracket keys would wear out.

More to the point, I really wish I had gone to journalism school so that I, like Mr. Smith, could have received the training necessary to get my journalism "license" and known, as Mr. Smith appears to know, the proper circumstances under which it can and should be revoked.


Pete Toms said...

Andrew Keen's book "The Cult of the Amateur - how today's internet is killing our culture" is getting a lot of attention on this subject.

Justin Zeth said...

I wanted to note here as I did on BBTF: if I'm reading this correctly, the universal quotation marks give the impression that this is a transcript of an interview. IF that's correct, Stephen A. Smith didn't actually write that. We can flame him for being a pinko commie, but we can't flame him for writing like a seven-year-old; we'd have to flame Tom Hoffarth for that.