Sunday, October 17, 2004


Webloggers, if not the first to pick up on a doozy story are certainly the first to brag about it. Followed closely by an uneasy journalist or two. "Holding traditional media to account!" the weblogger brazenly proclaims. Sharp witted and razor tongued! Slicing a swathe through traditional news providers! Making An Impact! Impact? Perhaps. I can't tell you how off-putting it is reading a journalist trying to blog on the front page of a daily paper's business section. It just doesn't work. Quite frankly most online ranting is substandard stchk not worth emulating online let alone off. Please paid paper journos, do not lower your profession's reputation by adopting the web loggers biased self-interested tirade.

All this begs the question; if the weblogger is supposed to be holding print and broadcast media to account, then who holds the weblogger to account? The weblogger. Note use of singular.

Some may argue (and argue tirelessly as is the average weblogger's want) that web loggers hold themselves to account. Perpetually launching attacks upon one another, perpetually revolting, as it were, at the slightest provocation. Perpetually linking and bantering, trackbacking and backslapping. At one moment disdainful at another reflective. That the blogosphere by defining itself at various angles "left leaning" "right leaning" and rare degrees of "neutrality" holds itself taut, prevents itself from lapsing into apathy and languid blogrolling. Some might argue all this, but perhaps they might be fooling themselves. Who really, would blow the whistle on a fellow 'logger? Who really, would blow the whistle on a minnow when the whistle could be blown on whale?

Hmm. Who would do that. Who would expose a newt? Defined by creativity, resourcefulness, by inexhaustible political analysis, by independence and individuality - the weblogger. Or so the weblogger would have you believe. Motivated by linkage and stacked sitemeters, by a shot in the spotlight, by 15 fleeting minutes basking in the dim glow of his/her solitary monitor. Who could blame a sprat for craving it so. The weblogger. A middleaged public servant. A poorly paid deviant with time on his hands and a keyboard within arm's reach. Scratching and pinging himself, gurgling merrily over his own twisted genius. Slapping his own back (for who else will?) linking his own posts (for who else will?) trolling his own blog (for who else is there that matters?).

All (25) of these blogs belong to Rusty Shackleford, who has been rorting openly and without discipline the TTLB eco-system for two months too long. Crossposting, cross linking and crossdressing. Aided and abetted. But will he be brought to trial? No. He will not. Because, as specified in the weblogger's code of conduct one must "never diss a guestblogger". Besides, exposing him involves linking him. Which would mean he'd get that 15 mins in the sun. Damn it.

How best to discipline this miscreant? Let the punishment fit the crime. Here are 25 of Rusty's trackback URL's. You know what to do (if you don't go here and here). Ping him now, relentlessly.

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