Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dueling windbags

I guess my swipe this morning at Roy Peter Clark's contention that it's our "duty" to read a newspaper hit a nerve. Indirectly, through the comment thread on a third blog, Mr. Clark responded in kind.

His Poynter piece generated quite a bit of talk in the online journalism world, most of it disagreeing with Clark's premise that we owe it to the profession to buy newspapers -- not merely read them online -- in order to keep the flame alive and keep ourselves employed. One of those taking issue with Clark was another journalism pontificator/consultant named yelvington. He wrote a piece today that was very respectful -- "I'm generally a big fan of the Poynter Institute and I often quote Roy Peter Clark ... " -- but ended up sticking up for the dream of a sustainable online revenue model. People should read their news online more, he said, not less.

So I commented yelvington, praising his take on the subject and offering a link back to my own morning news meeting diatribe. I said in that comment, thinking of my description of Clark as "a pompous windbag," that he, yelvington, wrote with much more grace than I did.

Well, lo, Roy Peter Clark himself came off the mountain to join our little side discussion.

Thank you, Steve, you put the yell into yelvington. I appreciate the good word even if we differ on this important topic. And, as for you, Mark, you are right. Your counter-attack lacked grace -- and was inaccurate. I may be a windbag, but I'm not pompous. In fact, I think writers who call other writers pompous windbags may be expelling a little too much wind themselves. Cheers.

I love that -- especially the "Cheers" signoff.

Hey man, I may be pompous, but windbag? I don't know. I do know this: Put us together and we're a couple self-important blowhards, for sure.

Meantime, and with all due respect, Mr. Clark's still wrong about my duty.