The reactions to Radley Balko’s recent Fox column on blogs are a pretty good illustration of something I mentioned worrying about a couple weeks back—this necrotic, self-congratulatory mind-set wherein anything short of unchecked blog triumphalism is shoehorned into this cartoonish Old Media Dinos vs. Spry Furry Blogger Mammals narrative.
Of course, far from being “old media,” Radley was blogging back when many of the critics trying to tar him with that label probably thought a “blog” was something unpleasant you found in your nose. The assumption (despite his clear statement in the column that he’s been blogging for years) that this kind of Karl Mannheim–style unmasking strategy is applicable betrays an eagerness to avoid actually, well, thinking about the critique. But isn’t this precisely what’s supposed to be wrong with those Old Media Dinosaurs? That their own self-satisfied certainty that their way of doing things is superior anaesthatizes them to criticism and, eventually, reality?