Blogs, Bloggers, and Pajamas

November 1st, 2008

Before I started writing one, all I knew about blogs was what I heard from the media. This was mostly reporters and pundits with their noses in the air making snide comments about ignorant people at home in their pajamas writing about things they don’t understand. Then I began to notice that serious bloggers often beat the media to stories or correct their mistakes. Perhaps the best example was bloggers catching Dan Rather in the act of peddling forged documents.

So, I did the research. I looked at a lot of blogs and concluded I could do it about as well as most folks. I was worried about the pajamas part because I never wear them, and I’m not about to start. So sometimes I write in a robe or in my underwear, with Cat snoozing on the sofa nearby, but neither of us is ever in pajamas. Who’ll know, unless I tell?

And let’s be realistic. Everybody knows that many columnists and some reporters write their stuff at home and send it in to their editors. Who’s to say they don’t write in their pajamas, their underwear, or less? George Will, of course, would be in freshly laundered and starched pajamas buttoned all the way to the neck. Others, undoubtedly, are less formally attired and less hygienic. And perhaps some, like former New York Times reporter Jayson Blair, are hidden in a cluttered apartment with a nose full of coke filing stolen stories datelined a thousand miles away.

I’m sure the professionals would say they should be judged by the quality of their product, not by where they do it or how they dress. I would say, in response, touché!

Having defended us bloggers against the cruel criticisms of outsiders, I feel obligated to make a few observations about the many blogs I’ve perused.

I have to say that a lot of blogs are marvels of excellent writing, critical thinking, and fresh humor. A few, in fact, are absolutely delightful. Some of the good ones are about serious subjects like politics and religion, and others are about nothing more than the pitfalls and pratfalls of daily life. I try to leave an encouraging comment when I find one I especially like.

Having said that, let me say that there are people who shouldn’t write blogs. Some write atrociously, some aren’t very bright, and often those shortcomings occur in tandem. Extremists of all stripes are usually somewhere in this group, and all they’re doing is embarrassing themselves. And sometimes me and Cat.

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