By Mike Steffanos
I don't know about you, but I feel like we've reached the "dog days" of spring training. That's the time when I stop being grateful that there is some baseball to watch and long for the real games to start. I guess I should just be thankful that the injured Mets have another couple of weeks to heal.
Some interesting back and forth on Bob Costas' unkind words for bloggers that we discussed yesterday. Costas may well have had a good point about how the ability to weigh in anonymously on a subject leads to all sorts of abuses of that privilege, but his intellectual elitist attitude towards an entire community falls flat. I don't know how you could read his full comments linked to in the original piece and not see them specifically and quite insultingly as a slam to sports bloggers.
Costas clearly seems to feel that real journalists exist on a higher plane than the folks who are consumers of the product, and that allowing the great unwashed to append comments to these articles on a newspaper's web site is somehow sacrilege. Frankly, I fail to see how much of what appears in these papers is of any significantly higher quality than what is produced on the better blogs. What is printed in newspapers and magazines runs a gamut from absolutely terrific to scandalously terrible. From a technical standpoint, the overall caliber of the writing is obviously better in the professional media than to the blogosphere as a whole, but in both types of outlet the quality of the ideas being shared varies just as widely.
I guess Costas is insulted by our temerity in believing that our views are equal to those who he considers his intellectual equals. The idea that the writings of sports journalists are somehow defiled when non-professionals weigh in on them is just laughable. We're not talking the Magna Carta or Solzhenitsyn here, Bob. We're talking about some journalist's view on who should be the fifth starter for our team.
For what it's worth, I don't believe that bloggers will ever put the traditional media out of business. We depend on their work of reporting to give us things to talk about. I respect them for the work they do, even if I don't always agree with their conclusions. However, I'm tired of this stupid stereotype that journalists are all responsible and accountable and the rest of us aren't. There are plenty of professionals that are neither, and there are many of us who take our responsibility to our audience very, very seriously.
As for folks like Bob Costas -- who would like to return to a world where only people like him have a forum to share their thoughts on sports -- I can only shake my head at their egotistical elitism. People don't want to be talked at any more; they want to be part of the discussion. If Costas doesn't like it, he should retire and live off the money he earned many years ago when he was actually relevant and still brought something worthwhile to the table. Jerk...