Friday, March 14, 2008

Why Costas' Inane Comments Should Be Celebrated, Not Ridiculed

As noted in a few places across the Interwebs today, Bob Costas became the latest in a long line of journalists to denigrate bloggers:

''I understand with newspapers struggling and hoping to hold on to, or possibly expand their audiences, I understand why they do what they do,'' Costas said. 'But it's one thing if somebody just sets up a blog from their mother's basement in Albuquerque and they are who they are, and they're a pathetic get-a-life loser, but now that pathetic get-a-life loser can piggyback onto someone who actually has some level of professional accountability and they can be comment No. 17 on Dan Le Batard's column or Bernie Miklasz' column in St. Louis. That, in most cases, grants a forum to somebody who has no particular insight or responsibility. Most of it is a combination of ignorance or invective.''

``It's just a high-tech place for idiots to do what they used to do on bar stools or in school yards, if they were school yard bullies, or on men's room walls in gas stations. That doesn't mean that anyone with half a brain should respect it.''

If you click through to some of the other sites and read the comments you'll see some not too surprising reactions: Costas is an idiot; Costas is a hypocrite; He's arrogant, he thinks sportswriters should be allowed to just issue proclamations from above; How can he say sportswriters are accountable and bloggers are not, what a load of crap; Wow, that's too bad, I used to kind of like Bob Costas; Sure, me, too, but he's been irrelevant for a decade at least; Wait a minute, maybe he's got a point, there's a lot of crap blogs out there.

Anyway, there's one obvious reaction that's mission: elation.

Ask yourself why a giant of the sports media world like Bob Costas would deign to speak about a few dudes clickety-clackin' away in their Mom's basement? I mean, seriously, why would he care enough to say anything at all?

I'll tell you why - warning: BASELESS SPECULATION ™ ahead - he's scared shitless feeling the pressure of a growing and challenging medium.

Read his words again. That's what the last gasp of a dying order sound like.

Okay, maybe that's a stretch. But let's understand what's happening here: he's not analyzing the blogosphere and making a factual statement or offering a reasoned analysis, he's making a defensive, emotional attack on something he doesn't understand. In short, he's lashing out. And here's the beautiful thing: you only lash out at something you fear.

Memo to bloggers everywhere: keep doing what you're doing. If Bob Costas is unnerved, then you're winning. Go back to your Mom's basement at once and re-double your posting.

Oh, and Bob? I used to think you were a pretty smart guy; surely you must be familiar with the meaning of this word.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Excellent post.

Of course they're scared. Costas is a smart guy-that's for sure. But he's not used to being called out. It's his job to write about sports-if he writes that the Yankees won the 1976 World Series, he's gonna get called out. Sure, he has experiences I've never had, but now we're free to disagree with him publicly and make him look silly. That they can't abide.