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May 1, 2005 - The Bloggerteers Motto: "One for all, all for one!" (as long as you're a conservative)

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The Bloggerteers Motto: “One for all, all for one!” (as long as you’re a conservative)

By Bob Patterson


On the evening of Tuesday, April 26, 2005, at the L. A. Athletic Club, bloggers Hugh Hewitt and Mark Danziger announced to a local meet-up of Internet writers that a new business venture would make a pioneering attempt at bringing ad revenue to the folks who publish their thoughts and analysis on personal websites.  Pajamas Media is making the historic attempt to unite the group of fierce individuals.  Ironically, the bloggers group has a large contingent of folks who hold the conservative political philosophy extolling the virtues of individual achievement, but to make their new enterprise function properly they will have to implement some modus operandi similar to what workers in the 1930’s did while forming unions.  They are going to have to put aside their egotistical attitude that each one is superior to the rest of the clan and proceed on the assumption that they are a band of brothers who write.  They will have to put the old “One for all, all for one” attitude into play.


Bloggers can e-mail inquiries about the particulars of this new group to join@pajamasmedia.com and be advised that it may take awhile to get a response.


Hewitt, with a full head of white hair, and a dark blue suit, looked distinguished and elegant.  None of the bloggers played the role and showed up in pajamas.  Part of the blogging mystique is that they can gather news by surfing the Internet while lounging around their home in their pajamas.  Have they “covered” the event if all they do is provide a link to a transcript of Hewitt’s remarks or to the article in LAVoice?


The evening opened with a period of socializing in the bar, followed by remarks by Hewitt and others who then held a question and answer session, and the program ended with some more socializing.


Hewitt prefaced the announcement with an example of subliminal editorializing by stating categorically that the newspaper industry was analogous to the passenger ship Titanic ten minutes before it hit the iceberg.  The famous ship was considered state of the art at that point in time, but that assessment was rendered obsolete a few moments later when the unsinkable ship was torn open in a violent encounter with some frozen water in the form of a jagged iceberg.  Hewitt stated his opinion as if it were a proven fact and left the newspaper industry on their own to refute it.

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[Ironically, the next day talk show host Michael Savage told Savage Nation listeners that the ratings numbers for most conservative talk shows had fallen during the first three months of this year.  Savage mused about the possibility that the public had tired of hearing avid enthusiastic support for the president and that perhaps it was time to use different program content to hold his audience’s attention.  A pitcher who could throw 108 mph fastballs every pitch for an entire game, might have some initial success, but if such a (hypothetical) baseball phenomenon ever came along, folks would soon grow tired of it.  If he threw 10 no-hitters in a row they would lose interest.]


Bob Sipchen, editor of the Los Angeles Times Opinion Section, was on hand to present the opposing point of view.  His task was as formidable as a Christian in Rome’s Coliseum  trying to convince the lions that a serving of Puppy Chow would be healthier and more delicious and nutritious than some human flesh wrapped in gladiator uniforms.  The Times representative soldiered on as best he could amid the skeptical (almost hostile) audience.


One of the participating bloggers maintained that the vast untapped talent pool of citizen journalists available on the Internet would rival the newsgathering abilities of Associated Press, which begs this  question: If you know how to play a piano, is the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra obliged to offer you a chance to play a gig with them?  That musical ensemble, we should explain for the Yanks in our audience, is the house band at the famous Royal Albert Hall and they specialized in classical music.


If a reporter for an LA paper were assigned to cover this event, they would (IMHO) approach it concerned with how it affected readers in the Los Angeles areas.  A writer covering the event for a (hypothetical) magazine aimed at bloggers would use the People Magazine star-power-approach.  Which top bloggers were there?  What did they look like?  A blogger would want to do the mutual admiration society style of response and negotiate as many mutual link references as possible and then read all the blogs hoping that their description of the nights activities earned the supreme complement: a link from the Ubersturmblogfüher at Instapundit.


A writer for an online magazine would try to be the proxy witness for his audience and cover the journalism basics of who, what, when, where, and as much as possible the why and how of the story.  For an audience scattered around the world, the challenge would be to recap the night in such a way that the various readers would feel like they had tagged along with the writer on his attempt to chronicle this bit of blogging history. 


On the weekend of April 23 and 24, Hewitt had participated in a panel discussion at the Los Angeles Festival of Books.  On his blog he mentioned that he was booed by the audience at the event.  On his radio program Monday, April 25, he elaborated with details about the hostile reaction.  The negative response came from hippies who had gray ponytails (another case of “Hold off, unhand me, gray beard loon?”), so this columnist worked that into an icebreaker line to be used on some of the bloggers in suits.  “If Hugh refers to what happened at the L. A. Festival of Books, and suggests tonight’s audience retaliate by beating up the nearest hippie with a gray ponytail, tell him you did that last week.”  Since this columnist was the only attendee with that tonsorial style, it made most laugh and started a conversation.


We met Jim Pascoe and got so distracted by the fact that he was from Pennsylvania and the fact that this columnist went to high school with someone else named Pascoe that we never got around to finding out if the fellow blogs or not, and if he did, was he going to cover the event.


Another of those in attendance runs a site offering discount tickets to events in Los Angeles and that might be of more interest to some of our readers than anything else that transpired at 431 West 7th St. so that item is included in the story.


Kevin Roderick of LAObserved was there wearing his journalist’s cap.  When Hugh Hewitt asked him a leading question about the Los Angeles Times, where Roderick had been a reporter, he diplomatically sidestepped the question.  The LAObserved item combined details Roderick had gathered first hand with links to the most cogent subsequent blog comments about the night’s proceedings.


One of the people attending the event was doing a commendable job of taking notes and jotting down quotes, even though his blog won’t be up and running for another month or so.  Look for www.biglizard.net coming soon to a computer near you.


The we met a young lady who writes for a site, Singleshot, that provides a daily e-mail newsletter that focuses on one quality feature story per day that is related to Los Angeles.  She had just done a story about rings that can be used as bottle openers.  Her comments indicated a sold journalism foundation backed by a keen reporter’s eye for interesting aspects of LA Life.  Heck, anyone who wanted to do lazy journalism would probably benefit greatly from getting that daily report and have a smorgasbord of quality topics delivered directly to their e-mail in-box.  Odds are there is no way she could ever work a reciprocal plug for Just Above Sunset online magazine into one of her stories, but since it is possible some of our regular readers in Great Britain, Germany, Australia, or Peking, might very much like to know about Singleshot, so we’ll include it in the story. 


The fellow who writes Rene’s Ramblins earns his living by specializing in the study of Vitamin D, but when he writes for his blog, he makes a concerted effort to appeal to a much broader audience than just his research colleagues who would probably be the only one who could understand it if his writing described the specifics of his 9 - 5 job. 


We noticed Cathy Seipp was in attendance and went up to her and asked:  “You’re the mom of famed, blogger Cecile DuBoisaren’t you?”  She realized immediately that we were using this approach as an opener to start a conversation and gather some material for a story.  She provided us with a few details for our story.  We learned that the young blogger was home because it was a school night.  Has an Associated Press staff member ever missed an assignment because news was happening on a school night and mom had ordered the writer to stay home and do homework?


Also attending the event in the elegant wood paneled (a less lazy journalist would have learned what kind of wood it was) bar on the third floor of the LA Athletic Club was an LAPD officer who blogs anonymously. 


A roll call of blog club members in attendance would include the following links (we apologize if we omit any blogger who was present and not listed here) 

The roll call of the fraternity’s membership reaches humorous proportions when the folks at the event explain why some of the bloggers who were conspicuous by their absence weren’t there.  The missing blog celebrities would be: Matt Welch and Emmanuelle Richard.



Copyright © 2005 – Robert Patterson


Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
The inclusion of any text from others is quotation
for the purpose of illustration and commentary,
as permitted by the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law. 
See the Details page for the relevant citation.

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