A lot of people are making hay over Recode founder Kara Swisher’s remarks that Google is a “thuggish company” (the quote made notable by the fact that her wife is a Googler), but I found her defense of tech bloggers who operate outside the mainstream media to be equally fascinating:
Do you really think these media giants are threatened by you?
People are worried about what’s goingto happen to journalism—and they should be. Every day, the blogosphere is getting better and print media is getting worse; you have to be an idiot not to see that. The fact that we’re still arguing it is comical. It’s like arguing gay marriage: I’ve had it. It’s done, you’re wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
What do you make of the argument that online tech journalism is too close to its subject?
As soon as you tell me what the ethical problem is, I will be happy to answer. But the “problem” seems to be that the journalist has some say in the business. That doesn’t mean that they’re selling ads or writing nice stories to be nicer to advertisers. That’s bullshit—nobody does that.
But some people do.
Of course. But the good people don’t. Why do we have to get pilloried for other people’s behavior? I’m not responsible for the people who cut corners. I wish that they didn’t, but it’s not what we do. The new meme is that tech journalists are too in bed with their sources. It’s the nature of journalism to need to be close to your subjects. And either you’re able to be tough on them, which a lot of us are, or you get in bed with them, and some people do. I just don’t think it’s new.