Thursday, July 02, 2009

John Hartigan : Blogs Are Shit And My Bloggers Are Too Scared To Tell Me I'm Full Of It

By Darryl Mason

Yesterday, I wrote about the 'Blogs Are Shit' speech by News Limited CEO, John Hartigan. News Limited has dozens of blogs across its websites and online newspapers, including very popular blogs by Piers Akerman, Tim Blair and The Professional Idiot. Here's a reminder of what Hartigan had to say :
"Then there are the bloggers. In return for their free content, we pretty much get what we've paid for. Something of such little intellectual value as to be barely discernible from massive ignorance."

"It could be said the blogosphere is all eyeballs and no insights."
"Blogs, and a large number of comment sites, specialise in political extremism and personal vilification. Radical sweeping statements without evidence are common."
Yeah, he sounds like a fucking wanker, and Mumbrella and Pure Poison have already returned some fire, but what about reactions from some of News Limited's own bloggers? Bloggers who, amongst their ranks, pull in more than 4 million hits a month to News Limited websites? Surely Hartigan's snarky, smirking, dismissive anti-blog rant must have ruffled a few feathers amongst News Limited bloggers?

Here's The Professional Idiot's reaction to his boss labelling his '1 million hits a month!' blog "barely discernible from massive ignorance" :

He’s also confident that our own internet sites and blogs...can beat off the challenge of other blogs and news aggregators...

Err, right, Hartigan was talking about those "other blogs", was he?

Not in the speech transcript released to the media by Hartigan, or in the double-teleprompter speech he gave at the National Press Club yesterday.

John Hartigan said bloggers were full of "radical sweeping statements without evidence", and the Professional Idiot deemed his words "informed and provocative".

Even when John Hartigan spits in The Professional Idiot's face, insults his many readers who devote many hours to writing comments and providing free content for News Limited, he still curtsies and puckers up.

Surely Tim Blair, at the Daily Telegraph, will have the guts and self-respect to take Hartigan to task for dissing a blog like his that pulls more than 600,000 hits a month for News Limited?

Go hard, Tim, tear the boss the new one he deserves :


Tim Blair pretends he hasn't heard or read his boss's complete dismissal of the Australian blogosphere and all the years he spent blogging and giving the new medium some spark and fire.

So if you're the CEO of News Limited and you pay your 'Tell It Like It Is' bloggers enough, you can not only buy their silence on Rupert Murdoch's promotion of corporate greenism, carbon taxes and global warming fearmongery (even in The Simpsons), but you can give a speech to a roomful of professional journalists and call your own bloggers' work meaningless shit in front of them all and your bloggers won't dare raise the slightest harsh word in their own defence. Or their readers defence.

How fucking embarrassing.

How shameful.