Industry News

Rumor Romp – I Debate KTLA’s Eric Spillman For The Los Angeles Times

Here’s a taste of my first entry:

Dear Eric,

If my hands are not covered with blood, then they are covered with a filth that will never go away. It’s my fault that I’m such a shoddy journalist, but I never could have hurt so many innocent people without blogging. The horrible things I’ve done online would never have happened if I wrote for a high school newspaper, let alone a professional news organization:

  • In April 1998, I confused “Catalin” for “Kaitlyn” and incorrectly posted to a newsgroup that a certain actress had tested HIV-positive.
  • In numerous online postings in the spring of 1997, I ran paragraphs of quotes published by others without attribution.
  • I repeatedly taunted my esteemed colleague Michael Louis Albo (in addition to plagiarizing a few of his jokes), provoking this mild-mannered gentleman into first dumping my ass out of his car in Boyle Heights, then smacking my head into a lightpole in Beverly Hills and finally dragging me around a parking lot in Chatsworth while delivering a lecture to me on journalistic ethics.
  • Not only have I repeatedly slept with people I blog about (and sometimes borrowed money from them), I’ve gotten many of my best scoops while horizontal.
  • I’ve made up stories about businessmen in the San Fernando Valley, costing them sleepless nights and a lot of money. In my mind, what I was doing was constitutionally protected satire, but many of my readers didn’t realize the difference between my reporting and my cruel attempts at humor.

Eric, you don’t have to convince me that bloggers are dangerous. Out of the more than 50 million blogs online, I’m sure that fewer than 1% are reliable journalism. But in the information game, there is something more important than journalism — and that is merit.

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