We Are All Just Assholes With Blogs

Actually, that’s not fair: there are some people who are bona fide experts in certain areas. But most of us, regarding most subjects, are just assholes with blogs, whether that blog be electronic or made from dead plants. And someone needs to tell Campbell Brown, former CNN host who recently attacked TEH TEACHERS UNIONS!!, that simple truth (boldface mine):

You are a former TV journalist with a known “name,” and that is the reason that papers like the NYT and the WSJ extend you the space to air your views. Celebrity. Not any pretense of “real journalism” credentials, or because newspaper editors said to themselves, “You know who we really need to hear from on this teachers union issue? Some retired cable news anchor.” Celebrity. That is why you are given a platform. Not that you don’t have viable thoughts, but so do thousands of other intelligent adults who are not offered the same platform. Given that, it’s not too much to ask to disclose that you are married to a Romney advisor. So just disclose it graciously.

Let’s leave aside using the rare teacher who is a sexual predator as a means to undermine teacher tenure*. The reason Brown is published in a high profile venue isn’t her policy expertise or years of actually educating people**. It’s because she’s famous. Which is fine–hell, the Huffington Post’s entire business model is built around this concept. And sideboobs! But if you’re going to parlay people’s trust in you due to your celebrity, then you should be straightforward and disclose possible conflicts of interest.

Even assholes with blogs do that.

*One of the great misunderstanding surrounding teacher tenure is that it’s like collegiate tenure, which is really difficult to lose. K-12 tenure simply means you can’t be fired at will. Conflating the two has its political uses for some however.

**For once, could someone ‘give back’ by actually teaching as opposed to telling those who teach how it’s done?

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3 Responses to We Are All Just Assholes With Blogs

  1. Cedar Riener says:

    Amen. Regarding disclosure and credibility, I had similar thoughts about Joel Klein’s recent advertorial in the Atlantic.

  2. Bayesian Bouffant, FCD says:

    I’m an asshole without a blog, I guess that puts me one point ahead.

  3. joemac53 says:

    If you don’t mind, can I use your blog to be an asshole for a minute?

    Dear former celeb,

    You don’t know what the hell you are talking about, so please STFU.


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