Brooks' Blogger-Bashing Continues ...

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Sep 09, 2008 1:00 PM

Despite the fact that he's often squishy, I do enjoy reading David Brooks in the NYT (see, I read newspapers -- several of them, in fact).  He recently gave a tremendous speech at the Young America's Foundation (YAF), which I praised on this blog.  Unfortunately, his YAF speech took a bit of a swipe at bloggers, but this is to be expected.  Unfortunately, he's at it again.  The other day, Brooks wrote a very insightful article on life phases.  But he couldn't resist taking another swipe at bloggers.  Here's the offending quote:

"Dating gives way to Facebook and hooking up. Marriage gives way to cohabitation. Church attendance gives way to spiritual longing. Newspaper reading gives way to blogging."

This, of course, was a throwaway line that had little to do with his general thesis, which was actually quite compelling.  But as you can see, Brooks makes two offensive accusations here in one fell swoop...

1).  He equates blogging with modern-day social ills, such as, "hooking up" and "cohabitation," and ...

2).  He assumes that people are blogging instead of reading his beloved, though antiquated, dead-tree newspaper.  The problem is that while it is statistically true that newspaper readership is declining, there is zero proof that people are blogging instead of reading newspapers.  In fact, I would bet that bloggers are more likely to read a morning paper than non bloggers.  For example, I read the NYT and WaPost (dead tree edition) every single morning -- and usually several others online.  I also read numerous blogs every day...

It is unclear why Brooks hates bloggers so much that he feels compelled to slyly insert criticisms, but my guess is that he resents the democratization of blogs.  In his mind, I suppose, only an elite few should be trusted to analyze the news ...