Monday, March 02, 2009

Death To Bloggy Fun

By Darryl Mason

Well, the Australian blogstream is going to become a hell of a lot less fun, scandalous and interesting now that (apparently) News Limited's lawyers are threatening legal action against those who try and hold News Limited's more rank, intolerant and smear-spreading corporate bloggers (apparently) to account for the serious damage they inflict on Australian society (apparently).

Pure Poison
, the blog set up on Crikey by Grodsters and Jeremy Sear, has caused all sorts of commotion and controversy in its handful of days of existence - an all round successful launch in other words - and while some of News Limited's corporate bloggers (apparently) have few problems with small audience independent bloggers whipping them for stirring up racism and intolerance, when it comes to a heavily trafficked, mainstream media site like Crikey, well, certain News Limited bloggers start getting all whine-y and litigious (apparently).

Certain corporate bloggers, protected by News Limited army of lawyers, love to dish it out to individuals who cannot afford or can't be bothered to defend themselves through legal action, but when it's them under scrutiny, with a media-and-politics-and-business heavy audience watching on, as with Pure Poison at Crikey, they sure can't take the heat.

Here's Crikey editor Jonathan Green apologising for allowing commenters at Crikey's Pure Poison to state some (apparently) all-too-obvious truths about The Professional Idiot (apparently), aka Andrew Bolt :

The first thing here is to apologise, sincerely, to Andrew Bolt. The second, to acknowledge the traps for the unwary in tapping too innocently into Web2 interconnectivity.

In recent days, comment strings on the new Crikey blog Pure Poison have been a little too lurid in their attacks on the controversial Herald Sun columnist. There are some things you can’t say in polite journalism. “Racist” is one of them. “Liar” is another.

But The Professional Idiot (apparently) sure likes to accuse so many others of being racists, or liars, or both, just about every day he takes another swim through his mind sewer.

The thing that Crikey has learned from its first real encounter in this past fortnight with the more floridly opinionated fringes of angrily politicised blog commentary is the importance not so much of immediate moderation of comments (that is now very much an given) but rather ensuring an overall tone in the conversation. To put it more simply we don’t want to be that kind of site. We’d rather build a reputation for reason and well-turned argument than for insult and glib denunciation.

Well, they certainly can't try and compete with certain News Limited bloggers when it comes to "insult and glib denunciation", they've pretty well conrnered the market on both (apparently).

The internet is a land of many underbellies. Apparently respectable newspaper sites court google traffic with layer on layer of celebrity-studded, skin-laden picture galleries, opinion bloggers draw short of the unmentionable under their own names and leave that dirty work to their legions of regular commenters … and given the right cues, that dirty work is done.

Oh, yes, it sure is. If you're a blogger who has ever had the unfortunate experience of being mentioned and linked to by certain blogger(s) now under the protective dome of News Limited, then you'd know what it's like to be bombarded with comments threatening violence, rape and "profesional ruins (sic)". I never felt threatened by any of those dimwits because where I grew up you learned quickly to spot bigmouth softcocks for what they were, and for the non-threat to you that they actually were.

More from Crikey's Jonathan Green :

The point is not to be outraged at someone’s argument, or their untenable, maybe mischievous, maybe pointedly distorted point of view. The argument is not with the writer, but with the view expressed...

What the hell does that mean? Is not the view expressed by a News Limited blogger that of the writer/blogger themselves? Or is this a sly confirmation/allegation from Green that what some News Limited bloggers do is not actually opinion-writing, or opinion-blogging, but simply hit-based-revenue-raising infotainment relying on fermented outrage and disgust for more comments and page views and thereby more revenue?

Eh, whatever. Blog Wars are notoriously boring for non-bloggers to read, or even hear about, most of the time.

And from what appears to (apparently) be a flurry of serious legal threats now hurricaning through the Australian blogstream (apparently), you probably won't hear much more about this current Pure Poison Vs Certain News Limited Suddenly Sensitive Corporate Bloggers' Blog War. At all.