Wolf Packs Don’t Hunt Wine
Rich at The Wine Cellar, a good blog with intriguing content, has a disturbing post. It’s not his opinion that is disturbing, it’s the implications of the post.
Rich refers in his post to the resignation of Eason Jordan, a CNN executive. Jordan was brought down by bloggers who spread word of an off the record comment he made at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland concerning American soldiers targeting journalists.
The story that has emerged from Jordan’s resignation does not concern the validity or absurdity of his off the record statement, but rather the power of bloggers. Jordan’s rabid pursuit by bloggers and subsequent resignation comes after a similar episode that led to the downfall of Dan Rather of CBS news at the hands of bloggers.
Rich of Wine Cellars casually asks, "How long before oenobloggers make similar marks?"
Is the mark being made by bloggers a big red one that results when you go for blood? Is the reputation of bloggers being pegged as unaccountable character assassins?
One thing is clear, in the scheme of things the work, no, the pleasure, being pursued by wine bloggers is truly inconsequential. We talk of wine’s delights, of eating good meals, of crazy regulations restricting our ability to buy wine, and the crazy notions put forth by the likes of biodynamicists.
To contemplate whether wine bloggers might make a "similar mark" as the "ideobloggers" who write in the pursuit of strident agendas is a natural thought given what we are seeing from those on the righteous edge of the blogosphere or the those bloggers chasing fame through ruin. The thought has occurred to me too whether wine bloggers might one day "make a mark".
I wouldn’t count on it.
I’ve said it before and will say it again. The real work in wine reporting is being done by the full-time journalists who are consumer advocates, who help advance the knowledge of those in the industry, who report on the work of the world’s progressive winemakers and grapegrowers. The best of these writers and reporters work full time reporting, they work with editors and they work with resources and contacts that come only after establishing reputations for integrity and hard work. With respect to the bloggers of wine, and there are a number of outstanding ones, they simply aren’t there yet. Wine bloggers are still defining the scope of their vision at this point. They are still learning how to be consequential; how to garner an audience; learning what kind of information is desired in this forum.
I admire the tenacity that it takes for individual bloggers to run down a story, report the facts, and acquit themselves admirably in the process. I worry over the way the blogosphere can rapidly turn into a pack of wolves. Happily, I don’t see this tendency among wine bloggers, even when we all see something terribly unjust or ridiculous in our little inconsequential world of wine.