Over the past few days, a pretty big deal has been made out of Jerod Morris, the previously undiscovered blogger from Midwest Sports Fans, and the post he wrote which linked Phillies’ outfielder Raul Ibanez to steroids.
Though Jerod never directly accused Ibanez of taking steroids, he only speculated about it, the mainstream media caught onto what Jerod wrote and how unprofessionally he approached it. In Wednesday’s Philadelphia Inquirer columnist John Gonzalez published his account of Jerod’s piece. And that’s how this national debate began.
Wednesday afternoon, Gonzalez and Jerod appeared on Outside the Lines along with FOX Sports Senior Writer Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal acted uncharacteristically childish and lectured Jerod on the guidelines media accountability. But where does the real fault lie? On Jerod’s post which would have likely faded away somewhere in the blogosphere without Gonzo’s attention or on Gonzalez, who validated the bloggers opinion?
Blogs provide a platform for anyone to write anything, which has a lot of pros and a lot of cons. That works out well because you get passionate fans, who care just as much as the readers, writing. On the flip side, anyone can post anything, and have no accountability for it… that’s a scary concept.
The line that separates the blogosphere from mainstream media is fading rapidly. What Gonzalez did was fade it even more, in an attempt to put the blogger in his place. When mainstream media points out what a blogger has said in the form of a newspaper article they give that blogger attention and validate his work. Had the columnist not mentioned the story it would have been taken for what it’s worth– a blog post, which is unfortunately, for me or any other blogger, something close to the equivalent of a sports talk caller’s opinion.
Blogs are by the people for the people, but validity is key and once a legitimate news gathering organization picks up on what is said that person’s opinion becomes valid.
We certainly can’t ignore blogs or act like neanderthals and pretend or wish they don’t exist, but we have to take them for what they’re worth. Hopefully I have earned your respect and trust, even though I’m not affiliated with an organization. I strive to be the most fair, responsible, and accurate blogger.
This has been an interesting week for us bloggers. I just hope that all blogs aren’t lumped under the Jerod Morris umbrella.
Jerod will join me tomorrow in a podcast to discuss all of this tomorrow. Check back for that, because it should be interesting to see his take on the whole thing.