Clearly, this is a man seeking an intervention

July 7th, 2006 → 4:43 pm @

Apparently, this post from Wednesday hurt Jon Friedman’s feelings; it only took him two days to come back with a response, slugged “Columnists are people, too.” Here’s the money quote:

“I contend that too many bloggers hurt themselves. They come across as loudmouths looking for an argument or a way to exploit the relative celebrity of their subjects. It’s kind of pathetic when writers can’t find something original to say and have to resort to criticizing someone else just to be heard.”

There’s so much to say about these three sentences it’s hard to know where to start. (Relative celebrity? Really? And isn’t trenchant criticism better than public fawning?) So instead I’ll just point out two tiny, completely inconsequential errors in the following section:

“I was recently blasted by several bloggers who objected to my topics, angles and conclusions (Have I left anything out, folks? If so, I’m sure you’ll let me know ASAP).
A reader responded to one blog: ‘Wow — I had no idea so many people felt so strongly about Jon Friedman. Kind of makes me feel bad for the guy.’ Thank you for that, but no worries.”

1. Actually, yes, you did leave some stuff out: I was critiquing the absence of any actual reporting and the number of glaring errors in your piece about Time.

2. That quote? About kind of feeling bad? That wasn’t a reader…that was me. Here are some clues: it says “By Seth Mnookin” and the only place it appears is on my website.

Take the weekend off and get some rest. Really: it’s kind of pathetic when writers can’t find something factual to say and have to resort to making mistakes just to be heard.

EDIT: A friend (and former editor) points out a much more on-point criticism about blogging: “the problem with blogging is it’s like the village voice letters section of old–the back-and-forth goes on long after anyone other than the two participants could possibly give a shit.” Sigh. As usual, he’s right. I’m done. (And please, Jon, don’t try to tempt me back by writing about how Fortune should really consider publishing every other week.)

Post Categories: CBS Marketwatch & Jon Friedman & Media reporting