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December 29, 2004

The Media Monopoly: No Need to Get Snippy

More attention is being paid to some talentless legacy media goldbricker's attack on Powerline (and bloggers generally) than is probably warranted.

It reminds me of the general pettiness and defensiveness of "professional" monopolies in general. There are big disputes, both legislatively and in the courts, over such matters as whether mere opticians should be permitted by law to evaluate someone's eyesight before making them glasses, or whether only an MD-holding optometrist should be allowed to perform such relatively simple (and, of course, perfectly safe) tests.

It's a fact that your local optician can probably test your eyesight and prescribe the right lens for your eyes just as well as any doctor. But of course the doctors don't want to allow them to do so; they don't want the competition, especially from their professional and educational inferiors. And so there are always these idiotic claims that it's necessary that we desperately need legislation to prevent these dangerous opticians from performing these simple tests, in order to safeguard the public from their reckless, less-educated uncouthness.

And of course it's all bullshit. The optometrists just want to keep as much business flowing to them as possible.

The legacy media hasn't quite called for legislation banning bloggers yet, although CBSNews (who else?) has fretted about that "blogs are providing a new and unregulated medium for politically motivated attacks" -- the implication being, of course, that perhaps this whole First Amendment thing is a bit overrated, at least as applies to non-credentialed reporters, and perhaps these upstart opticians really ought not be permitted to check for astigmatism without being licesed by the state, and subject to its regulatory power.

There's a good reason for the mainstream media to be defensive. Unlike most professions, which actually require a good deal of serious academic training, journalism is in fact something anyone can do right out of high school (and of course IN high school, as many have done). And of course twenty years ago the idea of getting a "degree" to teach you how to ask questions and then write a concise report about the answers was a little laughable.

They've concocted a faux-profession for themselves in an effort to exclude competitors.

And worse yet-- most of them aren't particularly good at their jobs, and they know it. They could be easily replaced by better writers and analysts who'd work for, get this, less money (hell-- most bloggers work for FREE as it is), and that's got to weigh heavily in their minds. Their cushy lifestyles are being threatened by unaccredited barbarians, and their basic incompetence is being exposed by the same unwashed hooligans.

And so they attack, attack, attack. Making spurious claims about how the public must be spared from their "Wild West" and "unregulated" musings. Or else, you know, we'll have anarchy.

Food riots. Atonal music. All of the rest of it.

But it's not quite working. As has been pointed out, the preferred stance is of course to say "I will not dignify these lowly creatures with a response." But more and more, they find that that position will not obtain, and they're being forced to respond.

And they're not responding particularly convincingly.

So, Nick Coleman wants to make small-dick-jokes about Powerline Blog. I can't really scold him too badly on that score; I make dick jokes myself.

Except mine are funnier.

So if it's dick jokes you want, why go to the legacy media?

Bob Dole's cock demands the contrived monopoly on information-gathering and dissemination be overthrown.

And you should listen to Bob Dole's cock. It was almost President.

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posted by Ace at 03:21 PM

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