Many in the mainstream media currently fear for their jobs, relevance and future because of the growing trend of the masses turning to Blogfrica for education, commentary, 'news' and diversion while at work.
Essentially, there is a concern that Blogfrica's ever widening influence may well be cutting into the way the mainstream media is consumed by the masses.
That gets you up to speed.
Certainly, for some members of the mainstream media, the prospect of loss is scary. It is a fear inducing endeavor to witness an unknown, 'un-understood' commodity begin to usurp the cache and currency once held in a death grip by the status quo. Particularly scary for the older, more entrenched members. The members that feel they came up the hard way, played by the rules (old rules, tho they may be) and now should be seen as the elder counsels of the industry.
Only...the industry is changing.
That background sets the stage for something that happened on HBO not long ago. Bob Costas hosted a panel made up of old-media journalist Buzz Bissinger (wrote Friday Night Lights), new-media blogger Will Leitch (writes deadspin) and token Negro presence Braylon Edwards (writes name on back of paychecks from the Cleveland Browns).
To capsulize: Bissinger loses mind, calls Leitch names and attacks Blogfrica with the fury only a senile old man could muster for some new-fangled contraption that scares and confuses him.
Nothing to see here, really. Nothing surprising.
Nothing surprising that is, until Jason Whitlock's commentary on the event.
"Some of us don't have the time, patience or inclination to help promote Leitch's book, which spends an inordinate amount of time telling prominent, successful, well-spoken African-Americans that they're not really black."
While we certainly won't take the time to listen to the link that Mr. Whitlock provided, we will take the time to point out that we believe there must be some sort of confusion.
As we have demonstrated previously on these very pages, Mr. Leitch is an avid racist. But we aren't sure that we can take it seriously that Leitch ever told Negroes that they aren't really Negroes.
In fact, if one references an interview we conducted with Mr. Leitch, it is obvious that this probably is not the case.
NOIS: Prior to leaving Mattoon, IL, had you ever seen a live Negro?
Leitch: I had heard rumors of a Negro family in Mattoon around the turn of the century, but that had never been confirmed. I thought I had seen one at an Illinois basketball game around 1983, but it turned out it was just Lou Henson.
So, certainly, it would be difficult to assume that Mr. Leitch is in any position to judge Negro-ness.
Whitlock goes on:
"Ninety minutes before Bissinger's eruption, we shared a car service from our hotel to the Equitable Center Theater where Bob Costas' live town hall meeting on the changing landscape of sports media would take place. It was my first in-person meeting with Bissinger ("Friday Night Lights"), and I found him bright, intense, straightforward and likable.
He told me on the ride over that he hated blogs. I told him that blogs weren't going anywhere and we might as well learn to live with them and enjoy them."
Excellent insight and advice from Mr. Whitlock. The insinuation, that Mr. Bissinger really didn't realize he didn't hate blogs. He didn't understand them. Hence his ill will.
Which brings us back to Mr. Whitlock's comments about Mr. Leitch's telling Negroes that they don't act Negro enough.
"And maybe Will Leitch can come along and tell us if we're all acting black enough."
It's a shame that a respected journalist like Buzz Bissinger simply doesn't 'get' blogging. The real shame is that it led to his appearing foolish on national TV, on a forum that could have led to necessary and insightful dialogue.
If journalists and bloggers have a difficult time understanding each others intent, and it leads to ill feeling (feelings that might too easily be called 'hate'), would it be a jump to say that individuals of different races might misinterpret intent of word and actions?
Again, let's refer to our interview with Mr. Leitch:
NOIS: Why do you hate Negroes?
Leitch: Hate is such a strong word. We fear what we do not understand, fine sirs. I eagerly await my re-education.
Clearly, Mr. Leitch is not the only one due for some refresher training.