Jules Witcover, a professional journalist (which means he writes for a newspaper and gets paid for it), wrote a column which starts off well; the author is annoyed at all the ex-campaign workers now out of work and popping up as political analysts on the cable news networks.
But then suddenly, in the middle of this mild lamentation in an otherwise unremarkable piece, Witcover veers wildly off-topic to make a furious sally against the barbarian horde beating at journalism's gate -- the Cheeto-stained finger tribe of blogging savages.
With the advent of the Internet, the art of the blog has been born and has flourished, the moniker being an abbreviation of "web log," meaning logging onto the web. A blogger has an unlicensed license to offer all manner of views, speculations, rumors or just plain fantasies to a receptive audience with or without forethought.
Shocking, isn't it? Anybody who wants to can use this electronic soap box to say anything he or she feels like saying. As Jules W. points out, you don't have to have a license to blog, or a college degree, and the stuff you write might be totally untrue or (gasp) the exotic produce of a diseased imagination.
Such writing, unrecognized by the sanctioned authorities, unfiltered by any school, scares the hell out of old farts like Witcover, a member of the last generation of paid newspaper journalists. For one thing there is no way to judge such unauthorized opinions except on their own merit, or lack of it.
But for the Cheeto™-stained tribe of anonymous scribes, hunkered over their laptaps in their parents' basements, writing witty deconstructions of the sniffily-expressed fears of establishment journalists, it doesn't matter a bit that Jules Witcover and his tribe have problems with the First Amendment. We're not paid to care about that.
In fact, we're not paid for anything, and that's the way puunditry should be, in my humble opinion. People should get paid to chase down and write up and broadcast the news, i.e., the happenings. Opinions are like buttholes; everybody has one.
Speaking of bloggers, I found this nice itemette at First Draft.