How it’s done

A couple of days ago, Bitter, on Sebastian’s blog “Snowflakes in Hell”, noted that:

This is the second time in a month that Jim has used the blogosphere as a scapegoat for the rumor mill when I could find no evidence to back up the claims. If any readers find evidence that the blogosphere was responsible for spreading rumors about the demise of Daniel Defense this weekend, please share it, and I will make the correction. In the meantime, I find the claims dubious.

The first thing I thought when I read it was “I wonder if anyone has mentioned this to Jim? I met Jim Shepherd at the NRA Meetings in Louisville a couple of years ago ***edited to add: which meeting Bitter initiated and organized at considerable effort, for which thanks is due*** and he didn’t strike me as the kind of person to throw ANYONE under the bus without good reason.

So, I fired off a quick e-mail to Jim with a link to Bitter’s post and asked if he had any comment on it.

Within hours, he replied to both me and Sebastian that it was all a big misunderstanding. He accepted full responsibility for his “inexact” usage of the term blogosphere and assured us that he’d clear it up in today’s Outdoor Wire.

True to his word, in today’s “Outdoor Wire” feature:

Having heard from a couple of bloggers yesterday, I am going to plead guilty to an inexact application of the word “blogosphere”. Some of the very people I’ve characterized as the future of communications feel – justifiably – that I’ve tossed them under the proverbial bus recently.

That’s not the case. What I have done is use a term of art (blogosphere) as shorthand for all the myriad of internet communications. When I received nearly 100 emails and forwards of excerpts of a single report – and dozens of associated rumors- regarding Daniel Defense, I wrote that the “blogosphere was roiling”. A more accurate depiction would have been “rumors have been flying regarding Daniel Defense across the internet”. It was an unintentional shot at a group of individuals who I really do regard as integral parts of information distribution.

Several of the bloggers have called me to account on this one – and I have to plead guilty with a stipulation. It was inexact word usage, not intentional criticism. Calling me out on this one actually makes me feel better about accuracy in new media. Now, if I could only get someone in “old media” to take offense when I accuse them of unbridled bias….

Kudos to Jim Shepherd for accepting criticism without rancor or defensiveness and clearing the issue up quickly.

And perhaps we bloggers could take a word of caution to heart as well: Maybe, versus jumping to conclusions and excoriating our presumed allies in public right out of the gate, we should contact the person with whom we have a gripe and see if it can be worked out, BEFORE employing the “nuclear option” of airing our dirty laundry in public.

Just a thought.

6 thoughts on “How it’s done

  1. Why? It was already public. Not like I'm letting out a secret or anything.

    Sort of a "closing the barn doors after the horses are already gone" kind of thing?

  2. You'll note that I didn't address my gentle scolding to Bitter…and I included myself in it.

    Wouldn't do much good to offer a piece of advice to the gun blogging community as a whole if I sent it only to one, now would it?

    Of course, you're more than entitled to pretend that her post and my using the situation as a cautionary tale are somehow equivalent, but I think the difference is pretty plain…both in the tone of our posts and the fact that mine was a response to the situation, not the initiation of the situation.

    And I think it's also pretty obvious that all you're doing is trying to poke me with a stick…which I'm going to pointedly ignore from here on out.

    But thanks for playing.

  3. You'll note that I didn't address my gentle scolding to Bitter…and I included myself in it.

    No, you just called her out at the very beginning of the post, then proceeded to say that we, as the gunblogging community, should really avoid doing "X", while doing exactly that yourself. Scolding "everyone" is all good and well, but doing the apparently-offensive behavior while including yourself in the scolding seems… masochistic, at least.

    Wouldn't do much good to offer a piece of advice to the gun blogging community as a whole if I sent it only to one, now would it?

    Would not do much good to offer a piece of advice to the journalistic community as a whole if an individual sent it only to one, now would it?

    Of course, you're more than entitled to pretend that her post and my using the situation as a cautionary tale are somehow equivalent, but I think the difference is pretty plain…both in the tone of our posts and the fact that mine was a response to the situation, not the initiation of the situation.

    Of course, you are more than entitled to pretend that your post is anything other than equivalent to hers, but the similarities are pretty plain. Bitter did not initiate the situation – it was initiated when a journalist decided to use one incorrect word when he actually meant another – a journalist who has a documented history of doing just that, in less-than-salutary ways. He decided to use one word in particular, and he decided to publicly publish the article wherein that word was used – a public response to a public document is not only appropriate, it is acceptable.

    Just like your public response to Bitter's.

    The only difference is, you are the one who is saying, "Oh, pooh-pooh on you," while simultaneously doing exactly that which you are so haughtily disdaining. Even discounting the rank hypocrisy, the irony was thick enough for me to initially think this post was some sort of attempt at comedy… Imagine my surprise when I realized it was not.

    And I think it's also pretty obvious that all you're doing is trying to poke me with a stick…which I'm going to pointedly ignore from here on out.

    And I think it is also pretty obvious that all you are trying to do is defend your actions because you have been developing quite the superiority complex over the past year or so, and it comes naturally. *shrugs* Knock yourself out, mate. It is your schtick, I get it, but try not to act so surprised and insulted when us lowly peons dare to have the nerve to disagree with you. It is, after all, rather difficult to provide a digital obeisance to your gloriousness.

    But thanks for playing.

    You are quite welcome. After all, the first step in overcoming a problem is identifying it, and hopefully this conversation has aided you in that task. However, in order to aid you along that path, you need not stress yourself about ignoring future comments – I am quite through here.

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