I wrote the letter below today, in response to an article I found on cbsnews.com, of all places.
I just finished reading 'Blogging As Typing, Not Journalism', at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/11/08/opinion/main654285.shtml.
Mr. Engberg, formerly a CBS news correspondent, has missed an important point in his piece: Many bloggers have come to fill the void left by traditional media organizations, which have become laughable parodies of their old selves.
Those who want to find out what is really going on in this country often have to turn to overseas media (the BBC, foreign newspapers, etc.), who have no masters (or, at least, different masters) when it comes to reporting about the affairs of this nation.
You, and all mainstream news organizations, have let people down in your pitiful and gutless coverage of presidential campaign, epitomized by Mr. Schieffer's abysmal performance as a moderator of the third presidential debate. You have exposed yourself to ridicule by following a weak and unsubstantiated (if not false) lead on what the president did or did not do in Alabama and Texas over thirty years ago, when you could have much more easily exposed the lies and the crimes that he and his administration have perpetrated on the American public in the last four years. You have another chance to redeem yourselves by investigating allegations of fraud on, before, and after the Nov. 2 election, but you will probably fail the public you are supposed to serve, once again.
News organizations that refuse to put solid journalistic reports on the air because they are afraid of hurting their masters or their shareholders (do Brown & Williamson and tortious interference ring a bell, to cite just one infamous example?) have no right to criticize bloggers for being unprofessional.