Sep 282010

The Grog’s Gamut/#groggate furore continues unabated.

I’m actually gobsmacked at the temerity and tenacity of The Australian in it’s weak-kneed defence of James Massola’s act of spite in outing Greg Jericho, alias Grog’s Gamut. Is that a tad too strong….’act of spite’? Personally, I don’t believe so. What other rationale can possibly be applied to such an act of pettiness? I’ve yet to read anything remotely approaching a logical rationale from Massola

Over the past two days, there have been a plethora of opinions expressed on the matter, from a wide variety of sources. Massola himself not withstanding, we see today his editor – Chris Mitchell, perhaps, difficult to tell because the editorial is ironically, anonymous – come to Massola’s defence. How back-handed can The Australian possibly become, than to issue a refutation to the tsunami of disdain from the blogosphere, supporting the actions of one of it’s foot soldiers, all in what amounts to an unsigned post it likes to call, ‘editorial’?

So, what is an ‘editorial’ if not another form of anonymous blog post? Is an unsigned editorial – and let’s be clear here, Chris Mitchell doesn’t write every single editorial – anything other than an anonymous letter, post to the ether, tweet or blog post? I think not, so I’m going to take issue with the insulting slight aimed directly at the citizen journalists out here, in the real world. In the last line of that anonymous ‘editorial’.

“That’s fine, but let’s not elevate the right to pursue what amounts to vanity publishing on the net to an issue of freedom of speech.”

‘Vanity Publishing’? Pot-Kettle-Black, Mr Mitchell, or whomever you are. Don’t attempt to define what your underlings do as anything other than expression of opinion, personal opinion, which mirrors the ideology of their employer. The simple fact that the James Massola’s within your partisan stable derive monetary compensation for their efforts in no way, shape or form detracts from, or rises above the status of those out here in the real world who will take them to task when they make mistakes. It is WE, the citizen journalist, blogger, media observer, tweeter who are doing YOUR job. The job of the Fourth Estate, of keeping the populace informed and holding those in positions of responsibility to task. You are supposed to represent the Fourth Estate. What are you, Anonymous Editor? Self-serving rationalist, or important component of the checks and balances that form part of a modern democracy?

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