May 09, 2005
a code of "ethics"
A lot of people are grumbling about a code of ethics for blogs now, usually after bloggers nailed their lying asses to the wall for some breach of "the code" THOSE malfeasants were supposed to be following when they violated it. I call bullshit.
I am not a journalist and I don't operate a mainstream blog. I DO, however, believe in my own Code of Ethics. Anything and anybody is fair game.
I tip-toe the line at "malicious intent," but I believe that someone offended by what I write would have a difficult time proving that I have a "reckless disregard for the truth." I make no bones about being malicious sometimes. But unlike the Mainstream Media, I don't lie about it. THEY are the ones who display a reckless disregard for the truth.
I read posts such as this one and I worry about what blogging may mutate into one of these days. Blogging right now reminds me of some free-wheeling jam-sessions I had with musicians in my life. Let it go and let it flow. Have a drink and play loud. Sing your ass off. Those were good times.
But this worries me:
Now, it may be that we blog in a rarefied part of the blogosphere. Most of the blogs we read are written by law professors or lawyers, and we operate under a set of professional norms; as Larry noted, norms constrain behavior. Few of us blog anonymously, and even those who do blog with colleagues who surely know who they are. No one blogs anonymously to mask conflicts of interest or sloppy fact-checking; anonymous blawgers are anonymous to be more honest, not less.
You should never HAVE to blog anonymously. But a lot of people do, because this shit can cost you your job. I KNOW!!! It happened to me.
I'm going to go back to the Den Beste Theory and admit that 90% of blogs are pure crap. But I see a division in the ranks happening here, where some people consider what they write to be "serious" blogs while I think their crap is boring. But we're already getting an elitist mentality intruding into what once was a "Deadwood" kind of town, wide-open and wild.
Do I have a "serious" blog? FUCK NO, I don't. I just want to write well and entertain the readers who visit me. I'm not out to change the world or bring the New York Times to its knees. What is this shit? "Most of the blogs we read are written by law professors or lawyers." Well, good for you, honey. 90% of THOSE blogs are crap, too.
I've had some experience dealing with how ethical lawyers are. I don't want to play by their "code." And I won't do it on my blog.
If you don't like it, sue me.
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