Monday, November 26, 2007

"This Week in Gatekeeping" -- an entry sure to please 

Attention to my friends at Fraters Libertas, whose feature on NARN: The Opening Act "This Week in Gatekeeping" is always a hit: I think I have a winner. A conversation between a blogger writing about baseball in Philadelphia (and Phillies fan) and longtime sportswriter Bill Conlin devolved into this quote from Mr. Conlin:
The only positive thing I can think of about Hitler�s time on earth�I�m sure he would have eliminated all bloggers. In Colonial times, bloggers were called �Pamphleteers.� They hung on street corners handing them out to passersby. Now, they hang out on electronic street corners, hoping somebody mouses on to their pretentious sites. Different medium, same MO. Shakespeare accidentally summed up the genre best with these words from a MacBeth soliloquy: �...a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing...�
The blogger points out several errors in Mr. Conlin's defense of the blogger's disagreement with Conlin over the National League MVP (Conlin supported the winner, Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, while the blogger was persuaded by some statistics that Rollins was not the most deserving.) Conlin went on to suggest that his one mistake in his column was his editor's fault.
My columns are read by a minimum of three editors for fact, style, fairness and balance. Despite that scrutiny,errors still filter by the goalies. In my Rollins column that has upset so many of you, the only thing I would remotely take back was having Holliday performing his Game 163 heroics against the Diamondbacks when, of course, it was the Padres. D�Backs were on my mind as the soon-to-be-vanquished division champions when I wrote the line. Any editor worth his salt should have caught the error. However, most of them are so intent at catching the bad stuff they let the obvious error slip by. Who checks your facts and deletes a line that is over the edge of good taste or might demean or defame an athlete or subject? Did you take a course in the libel and slander laws? Or do you merely throw it against the wall and see what sticks? That�s what most of you do. I can�t pin that on you specifically because I have never read your blog.
So there you have it. His opinion is read by three gatekeepers, and even if they missed his factual error, it is still better than the opinion of a blogger who he never read.

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