CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The news that an independent blogger was served with divorce papers from his paid gig with The Plain Dealer because of partisan political activities should be as about as surprising as Liz Taylor ditching a beau. Who really thought the match was made in heaven? The blogs are sluttily bodacious like Mae West, while the newspapers are a stockholders' business.
Remember Fitzgerald, writing in The Last Tycoon:
"'Why, you can hire anyone,' exclaimed his visitor in surprise.
'Oh, we hire them, but when they get out here, they're not good writers -- so we have to work with the material we have.'
'Such as what?'
'Anybody that'll accept the system and stay decently sober.'"
But we have this and this and this and this and this. And this, too, plus this and this. Didn't anybody sense that blogs and newspapers made strange bedfellows?
[UPDATE: 9:58 p.m. -- Lisa Renee Ward at Glass City Jungle weighs in by calling The Plain Dealer asshats, and Jerid at Buckeye State Blog openly mocks Wide Open for failing to remove content by a blogger it has removed. Jeff Coryell says The Plain Dealer's editor sent out an e-mail that inaccurately contends the newspaper did not bow to political pressure over the disagreement that lead to his parting company with Susan Goldberg's publication. As Ohio Goes points out that other Plain Dealer bloggers have contributed to political campaigns, and notes that bloggers often are politically active.]
On a blog, conversation does not range from Gertrude Stein, to tea, George III and 18th Century French portraitists. It's about breaking dishes in the kitchen. Newspapers are the gentlemanly butlers serving pot roast in the dining room. The blogs have a freshness and vitality; the newspapers are stony, like a statue.