Vanity Fair doesn't get it

by Paul William Tenny

I found something called a "blogopticon" from Vanity Fair (via DHD) this morning that separates websites and blogs by news/opinion, and scurrilous/earnest. Nikki picked it up because her site made the news/earnest quadrant which is mildly amusing given how "scurrilous" some of her opinionated posts are, and so that made me wonder how much liberty the creator took with some of these other sites on the list.

Turns out the amusement doesn't end there.
There are a lot of things subjective about blogs, but what they do and where they fit are pretty plain. Even under the most liberal definition of the word, there's just no way that Instapundit, NewsBusters, ValleyWag, FireDogLake, of really Deadline Hollywood belong in the fair side of news. Several of those blogs most of which sit firmly on the far-right of the political spectrum feature uneducated, offensive, and sometimes racist rants and hateful content. The same goes for several blogs in the opinion/earnest quad, with people like Michelle Malkin, probably the only Japanese American who thinks Interment camps during a time of war is actually a good thing, and that Supreme Court justices she doesn't like ought to be assassinated. There's so much disgusting trash that it's hard to know if this was a half-hearted attempt at humor or parody, or if someone just put all these sites in a hat and dumped them on table somewhere at Vanity Fair HQ.

Probably 75% of the blogs on the chart belong in the scurrilous/opinion quadrant and it'd be hard to argue otherwise.

Not-so-amusingly, most of the blogs in the actual opinion/scurrilous quad don't feature opinions of any kind, and in fact they report more news than 2/3rds the sites that Vanity Fair thinks do. Perez Hilton, WWTDD, The Superficial, Egotastic!, Pink is the New Blog -- celebrity news sites all of them. The authors may throw in their own sleazy (yet mostly amusing) thoughts here and there, but these guys are reporting more news (as in events that actually happened rather than what they think of those events) than most of the so-called news sites featured there.

This mashup is such a mess that it's not possible to properly categorize everything without starting out all over again. Whose dumb idea was this, anyway?

Disagree with where I'd put these sites if you will, but I'm pretty sure that regardless, Nick Denton must be thrilled, because I'm seeing free press for five blogs in his corporate network and that's just in one quad.

in Internet


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