Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mike Duffy is a despicable human being

Thanks to Jonathan Kay, of all people, Andrew Potter's short piece on Mike Duffy's recent disgusting conduct on CTV has been rescued from the memory hole.

It seems that
Maclean's magazine has pulled a John Cruikshank and yanked Potter's article. And his remaining blogposts no longer accept comments.

Now, some readers might remember that I scolded Potter awhile back for a silly attack on bloggers, or, as he so graciously put it, "the great idiocratic mass of mouth-breathers." One of his co-bloggers at Macleans, Kady O'Malley, suggested in the same piece that bloggers are a little on the irresponsible side: that real journalists are concerned about "boring, grownup stuff like contributory defamation liability, which is so non-Web 2.0." She came over to the Blawg to clarify:

As for the liability issue, I didn't mean to suggest that there is no similar apprehension on the part of bloggers, but in most cases, it is still, ultimately, their personal judgment that decides whether or not to post something, whereas journalists still have to get the go-ahead from the powers that be before going ahead with a story that could result in their employer being sued.

I mentioned in response that journos have to get the go-ahead from the "powers that be" for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with legal liability. And now, it would appear, those "powers that be" have struck again. Last I heard, it wasn't actionable to be critical of a journalist's conduct on-air.

But here's the thing: what's with all these professional journalists having "blogs" anyway? They aren't really their own blogs, because they're published on-line by their employers. They're--what? An attempt by the media establishment to seem cool and with it? A safety-valve for the working folks, monitored closely, of course, by their bosses? A way of making the phrase "ink-stained wretches" obsolete (the adjective, anyway)?

My suggestion? Show us what you're made of, get a Blogger or WordPress account, and let the editors howl and stamp their feet. These house-blogs are a bit of a farce, and we've just seen the proof. They're just columns in disguise, under the tight grip of
the same editors and publishers, the ones for whom a gray, tapioca-like paste is the only permissible style and content, and who truckle and grovel to any shrieking blowhard who makes a complaint.

Real bloggers, as O'Malley observed, are answerable only to our personal judgement. How lucky for us.

[H/t Jay Currie]

UPDATE: A post by O'Malley herself, defending Potter, has also been removed by the "powers that be."

[H/t Steve Janke]

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