May 3, 2008

The J-S's farcical featury tour

Of the Quesosphere (thanks to whomever I stole that from).

While it somehow managed a score with its citation to Mike Mathias's excellent, well-focused piece here, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's weekend Crossroads feature "Best of the Wisconsin Blogs" continues in its ill-considered proclivity.

Semi-coherent local radio shouting meathead Charlie Sykes "wins" Best of the Blogs with a five-sentence contribution (that's Sykes's entire blog entry — and the first of the five sentences is a cliché so grotesque even pro wrestling's abandoned it: "It's on.") containing the most uninformative, unenlightening, and downright pedestrian observation of the Barack Obama-Jeremiah Wright "controversy" that couldn't be imagined.

Meanwhile, to grab just one example, Mike Plaisted throws down this feisty and typically well-written number, inspiring a lengthy comment thread featuring some of the higher quality back-and-forth to be found 'round these parts yet Charlie Sykes, whose own blog consists of 99% other people's work (except reproduced in all-italics — it's even typographically annoying), gets the accolade: "Best of."

And not Jim Bouman's digital slide show/reportage tour of Pabst Farms (the photo captions alone are "Best of" material).

At least if the J-S selection committee had an intentional sense of humor, it would have honored Charlie Sykes for this April 28 howler:
Went to see Ben Stein's new movie "Expelled," yesterday. Powerful, provocative, and definitely worth a view.
Oh definitely, if you're into bullshit and lies and the embarrassing spectacle of Ben Stein blaming Charles Darwin for the Nazi Holocaust.

Presumably the J-S picks two blogs from the "left" and two from the "right" for its "Best of" edition and on reflection it isn't so surprising that its potential field of nominees in the latter category is slim.

But why on Earth Charlie Sykes would even qualify as a Wisconsin blogger at all is a mystery and, more importantly, with so many thoughtful and talented writers out here, that the J-S would favor a blatantly self-referential corporate plug rather than acknowledge the existence of dedicated, independent local writers is very telling.

Next thing you know, a member of the Journal-Sentinel's editorial board will be making regular appearances on Sunday INCITE!

The best blogs are far too piquant for JRN HQ anyway. It's in the business of journalism, where journalism never lists the ship.

No comments: