Bill Conlin Could've Been a Helluva Blogger

Bill Conlin Could've Been a Helluva Blogger
January 24, 2007, 11:22 am
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As most of you have seen by now, the biggest turkey this weekend has been Bill Conlin, who lashed out against bloggers via e-mail exchanges with Crashburnalley's Bill B. With every exchange, Conlin upped the ante of his invective, finally ending it by naming the Jewish people he knows and reciting the Bill of Rights in defense of his careless-if-not-actually-racist remarks. This of course has only brought about a new day's discourse, such as that of John Braittan from The Progenitor of Severe Gluteal Discomfort, who has an interesting response to Conlin's latest missive. Bill B. has also put together an FAQ regarding some of the questions he's facing in the aftermath, his tone different than in his original e-mails, which were fun but barbed for sure, intended to elicit a response, which he got.

Although I find it continuously interesting, I try to steer clear of  engaging in the Bloggers vs. Print Journalists War that seems to be escalating, because I honestly like print journalism and its personalities quite a bit. As a blogger, I'd have a lot less to talk about without the work they do every day, a fun job that has to be incredibly difficult. Their ability to build relationships and gain access to people and private institutions while remaining objective and interesting commands respect. I couldn't have been happier to hear that the Daily News's subscription base just saw its first annual increase in a decade.

However, I can't with any honesty say I've ever been a big Bill Conlin fan.

Much more after the jump...

Conlin's work fails to reach many readers of my generation, and his pomposity
alienates him from readers of numerous age groups, or at least this has
been my experience. He continues to hold an esteemed professional
position that would seem to disprove this sentiment, so what do I know.
I also love it when I find myself really enjoying one of his columns,
which still happens sometimes (and the theme is that I am occasionally reading him, so he's succeeding there).

But what strikes me as particularly odd in all of this concerns that
which I dislike most about Conlin—that too often he overly injects
himself and his beliefs into his work, straying too far from "just the
facts" reporting and climbing onto stilts to sit at his typewriter.
Some people probably love his work for this exact reason. When I open a
newspaper or visit a site like Philly.com, I'm more of a Todd Zolecki
fan, someone who gets inside the story and shares exactly what's going
on, without a lot of BS and bloviating. Why does this distinction
strike me as odd? Because Zolecki's work rarely if ever leaves me with
the sour taste of someone just spouting their (often negative)
opinions, which, oddly enough, I encounter much more frequently in
blogs. I don't mean any disrespect to blogging in this regard (um,
obviously); strong words and first-person pontification fit the medium
very well. I just find it amusing that Conlin hates something that can
at times closely resemble his own chosen style.

It's easy to understand where Conlin is coming from though. He's an
elder statesman, a man of tradition, and something of a grouch, and
across all professions, guys like him hate change. Tim Panaccio, on the
other hand, has a blog, as does Zolecki,
though they do it very differently than most of us and probably don't
piss Conlin off nearly as much. Blogging has changed the way in which
people get their sports information for better and for worse, but many
bloggers make every effort to credit the mainstream press outlets we
read and learn from on the daily. Enrico emphasized the importance of
this from the day I started posting here.

Guys like Bill Conlin stir things up. Bloggers do as well. I'd never
heard of Crashburnalley before its author crossed paths with Conlin (an
even more memorable entrance than Kramer's back-less tux twirl, Bill
B.). But Conlin should be interested to know that before all this, I
hadn't read or heard a thing about his original article on Jimmy
Rollins either. But I could read their exchanges and the reactions
they've spawned for hours.

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