Although I keep the TV on most of the time recently to follow the latest updates on the war in Lebanon, I can’t say that I watch much TV because I usually prefer to spend my time doing other things. However, a few days ago I had the misfortune to watch a one-hour live talk show on a local station. The show discussed blogging, and the two guests were a newbie blogger who has been blogging for nearly four months, and another blogger who has been trying to make himself an official leader in a medium where people are more concerned to express their individuality and voice their opinions rather than being led.
The young host did not seem very tech-savvy, but he was smart enough to ask some good questions. One of these questions was asked to the self-proclaimed leader about the unrealistic idealism he is promoting and the many restrictions he is trying to enforce that might send his herd away from him. The answer to this question was mostly blah blah, and I could not stop myself from bitterly smiling when he said: differences between sects in Islam are a fact, and we have absolutely no problem with this at all. This can, and should, be true, except for that this very same person has no problem with calling other sects and their followers with derogatory names regularly on his blog.
The talk show was not a joy to watch by a blogger who has a high interest in the topic like me, let alone for non-bloggers, and even though they looked like they were begging for viewers to call by showing the phone number on the screen annoyingly every few seconds, no on called.
My favourite moment of the show came at the end of it, when the host asked the other guest with much anticipation and a genuine desire to learn, and the look of a puzzled boy on his face: “so, do you mean a blog is a website?” My immediate response was: duh! But then I painfully sighed to the realization that one hour of uninterrupted speeches was not enough for the glorious twosome to answer the most basic question: what is a blog? Because this one hour, which seemed much longer to those who had to endure it, was wasted on shameless self-promotion and useless factually flawed generalizations.
It is one thing to appear in our already corrupted unreliable mainstream media because you are connected enough to grant some time on the air to say whatever on your mind regardless of the absence of value introduced to the audience, and entirely another thing to make the media come after you because you have actually done something worth talking about.