What Is John Brummett Talking About? (Updated!)

Oh, look, there it is again, the old “parasite” charge leveled by an Old News-Paper Guy against those diabolical bloggers, news aggregators and other horrors of the modern world.

Today it’s Arkansas News Bureau columnist John Brummett, who approvingly quotes on his terrible blog screenwriter David Simon’s assertion from Congressional hearings on the plight of the newspaper business:

Here’s an excerpt from The Washington Post’s coverage: “Though scolding publishers for their ‘martyrology’ and mismanagement, he (Simon) spoke of how ‘aggregating Web sites and bloggers contribute little more than repetition, commentary and froth’ and added: ‘The parasite is slowly killing the host.’ ”

I am proud to contribute parasitic repetition to what he said.

This is a tiresome charge, as well as ridiculously ignorant. And you know, Brummett might have more of a leg  to stand on in making this charge if his own employer’s website weren’t such a perfect representation of the very “parasitism” he decries.

Hm, where have I seen that before?
Hm, where have I seen that before?

For example, go to the Arkansas News Bureau home page and search for, say, “Blanche Lincoln” in the little search field up at top right.

Know what you’ll find on the search results page? A whole bunch of posts lifted in toto from the Arkansas blogging community, including images ripped from the sites. Scroll down and you’ll see full posts from The Arkansas Project, Blake’s Think Tank, The Tolbert Report, the Arkansas Times, et al. They do provide links back to the original sites, but bylines are omitted.

Why, casual readers just might assume that this content was developed by paid employees of the Arkansas News Bureau! They would be wrong.

Seems like John Brummett’s operation is all for this parasitic behavior, but only so long as it’s the big guys sucking the blood of the little guys. “Parasitism for me, but not for thee,” eh, Brummett? Yes, yes, by all means, let’s go with that.

UPDATE: More on this matter in a feisty post from Blake Rutherford at Blake’s Think Tank, which nicely amplifies and expands upon the argument above.

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7 thoughts on “What Is John Brummett Talking About? (Updated!)

  • May 7, 2009 at 10:13 am
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    Brummett…Brummett…Brummett. Let’s see, oh yes, he is that famous author, the one who took off for Washington, DC as the next “must read” author, needing only to spend a year researching information for his book on the Clintons of Arkansas. Of course, we all know how that turned out, or didn’t.

    Now, on the 2nd of this very month, Brummett opines in a column it is indeed time for universal health care and then postulates how he thinks it could all happen. Quoting his column, “The new public health insurance corporation could resemble the Postal Service, which is to say it would function as an independent government operation charged with providing a basic essential service and pricing that service at cost, neither to require government subsidy nor make a profit. Private insurers would be challenged to emulate FedEx and UPS, to operate with efficiencies to keep prices competitive with the public option. But they would be encouraged to provide enhanced services and performances that would entice customers to pay a little more to get a little better.”

    Yes, I expect he is entirely correct. Government sponsored health care would likely resemble the US Postal Service. Why, in today’s DG, Page 2A, one can find a headline like this: “Postal Service in the red $1.9 billion for the quarter.” Yes, Mr. Brummett, I suspect you are exactly correct…the Universal Health Care system we can expect will likely function exactly like a hybrid of the US Postal Service and the EPA and the IRS. Completely inept management, rules set up to govern how much and of what we can eat and drink and smoke, and a totally intrusive system of agents to provide enforcement of these rules.

    So, Mr. ARPro guy, let folks like Brummett ramble on. He works in a dying industry, one slowly strangling itself, he is a failed author, and he can’t really get the hang of this new age stuff even as he tries desperately to do so and disparages it in his columns all at the same time.

    What a joke.

    Reply
  • May 7, 2009 at 11:07 am
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    “What a joke,” indeed, Cameron.

    And to be clear, as one of my email correspondents suggested this morning that I might be “biting the hand that feeds me” in critiquing the Arkansas News Bureau’s blog content re-publication: I’m delighted with the traffic referrals that I receive from the bureau site, as I’m sure they’re pleased with the referrals I send their way. That’s life in the “link economy,” as they say.

    But wholesale republication of content is another thing completely. If I were to publish Brummett’s columns here in their entirety, I suspect I’d be receiving a “cease and desist” letter from the Stephens Media legal shop pretty swiftly.

    So for a highly paid columnist like Brummett to deride bloggers for being parasites, while affecting an air of blissful ignorance and disregard for the inherently parasitic nature of the entire journalistic enterprise in which he has built his career, is pretty rich.
    D.

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  • May 7, 2009 at 12:33 pm
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    The word blissful could only be used in reference to a liberal such as Brummett.

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  • May 7, 2009 at 12:43 pm
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    Who is this John Brummett guy you are talking about? Is he that guy that picked on Kristin Fisher back last year? I did not know he wrote for a newspaper.

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  • May 7, 2009 at 5:10 pm
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    Less Brummett and more of the stuff people really care about. Let’s get real! What drives traffic? Pictures of the triad of evil from your site or a hot chick in a bikini.

    Now quit with this political and media commentary and get back to some really good stuff.

    If you really feel forced to talk about politics, how about a serious, in depth look at the potential opponents for Sen. Vitter. Now that would be some good blogging.

    I know it isn’t Arkansas but use the angle that it could happen here if it could happen in a neighboring state.

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  • May 7, 2009 at 9:12 pm
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    You know David, it’s really your own fault that the Arkansas News Bureau is gettin’ all your good content for free. You got rid of that “Contribute” link. I noticed it gone a while back when I was tryin’ to drop a C-note on you for all the laughs, info, and bikini-clad gals. Oh well…

    Reply
  • May 9, 2009 at 3:02 am
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    Ha Ha, they even aggregated this post !

    Click on the link.

    Reply

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