Michael Gorman Responds

ALA president-elect Michael Gorman has pulled a "Sony Barari" on his blogger piece: he claims it was satirical.

Is disdain the best way to criticize problems with the blogosphere?

Furthermore, Gorman says:

Rest assure that my views on 'blogs' have nothing to do with my activities as ALA president-elect or president. I merely air my views and believe that everyone (including me) has a right to speak in any way they wish and that others have a right to respond.

Given how others are reading this story (cf. ALA President Not Fond of Bloggers and More Tedious And Self-Serving Attacks On Bloggers), is that an excuse a president should be making?

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Digging A Deeper Hole

First of all Sony Barari's piece was CLEARLY satirical, it said right in it. I don't know why I feel the need to defend him still.Second, Sony was a student, this came from the ALA president elect, big difference.Ok, pointless stuff out of the way>>Is disdain the best way to criticize problems with the blogosphere?No, it shows he's no better than what he's criticizing. Actually, in my mind, it makes him worse.>> Given how others are reading this story (cf. ALA President Not Fond of Bloggers and>> More Tedious And Self-Serving Attacks On Bloggers),>> is that an excuse a president should be making?No! I, for one, thought the original article was mostly harmless. This response is just pathetic. Saying that he's old fashioned in his beliefs that to be heard and taken seriously you should be in print is just plain sad coming from someone in his position.Yet one more reason I question the ALA, and one more reason I am not a member. Something tells me the -elect is never going to leave his title.

Re:Digging A Deeper Hole

I was amazed that someone in the position of president-elect would write something like that and then use "satire" as an excuse. I think it is unfortunate that someone who represents ALA would both write such an unfunny and ignorant essay even if it was intended as satire.

Now, if he had written an essay about the need to eat bloggers to solve the hunger problems in Ireland, that would have been funny.

Ha Ha, only kidding?

You would think the leader of the ALA would have the courage to stand by what he wrote, rather then respond with a "Ha Ha, only kidding." defense. It is an ill-fitting response for a leader in his position. He may not have been speaking for the ALA when he wrote either article, but I think this refusal to take responsibility for his comments reflect badly on our profession as a whole. I will not support Mr. Gorman or any of his efforts again..

Re:Ha Ha, only kidding?

I find this claim of "I was only kidding" interesting in the light of a few LISNews conversations last year about conservatives (not Newzters) saying horrific things and claiming it was all a joke. At the time I challenged folks to find a liberal who did something similar.While I wouldn't classify Gorman's remarks as "horrific" since he didn't call for the elimination of "blog people"; it seems we have a left-leaning example of a person who tries to blame "humor" for a hurtful comment. Ironically, if you substituted "some" for "all" in Mr. Gorman's original piece, it would sound much wiser. On the other hand, I get the feeling that many people in the traditional media are not accustomed to reading long texts and prefer bumper sticker reasoning.Hopefully Mr. Gorman will take more personal responsibility for his words and actions in the future.

I ... see ... Blog ... People

First of all Sony Barari's piece was CLEARLY satirical, it said right in it.

Please call your congressional representatives and ask them to support H. 809.7, a bill which would require all satirical works to be clearly and explicitly labeled as satire. Do it for the children.

Maybe Gorman's LJ piece wasn't particularly good satire or worthy of publication, but the title, the Devil's Dictionary-ish first sentence, and the snarky reference to McCarthyism at the end all indicate that he actually did intend to be satirical. And he does appear really to be talking about certain qualities demonstrated by some bloggers which are indeed unattractive and ridiculous, and which possibly took him aback when he first encountered them in libraryland.

Saying that he's old fashioned in his beliefs that to be heard and taken seriously you should be in print is just plain sad coming from someone in his position.

Gorman said one "should go through the publishing/editing process," not "should be in print." Totally different head. One may still argue that Gorman's wrong there, but isn't Blake's misreading of that line from the ALACOUN email the kind of thing Gorman was talking about in the LJ piece? ("It is obvious that the Blog People read what they want to read rather than what is in front of them and judge me to be wrong on the basis of what they think rather than what I actually wrote.")

I suggest that at least a few of the folks jumping all over Gorman's column in their blogs are unwittingly demonstrating "Blog People" behavior and proving him on-the-money.

Re:I ... see ... Blog ... People

>>Gorman said one "should go through the publishing/editing process," not "should be in print." Totally different head.It is? How is publishing/editing different? I really don't think I'm reading this wrong. What did he mean?>>I suggest that at least a few of the folks jumping all over Gorman's column in their blogs are unwittingly demonstrating "Blog People" behavior and proving him on-the-money.Obviously. Gorman jumping all over us for jumping all over him seems like the wrong approach. I never said he didn't have a point, he really went about it the wrong way. I'd expect that from a blogger, but not a president elect.>>And he does appear really to be talking about certain qualities demonstrated by some bloggers which are indeed unattractive and ridiculousWhile that may be true, he says "the Blog People" , I didn't take that to me some blog people.I'll support H. 809.7, for the children.Funny, 2 results on the first page of a search for his name on Google are related to this.

Re:I ... see ... Blog ... People

Oh, and like Bibliofuture said, well, he didn't say it, but quoted it:"This ad hominem attack has all the charm and flair of a college student engaging in his first Usenet flame war in 1983." (Which is, I suppose, like what you said, "wasn't particularly good satire or worthy of publication", but that wasn't as funny.)And that, I think, in the end, is the most important point, for me, I would've expected better from him.I'm comma-happy tonite.

Re:I ... see ... Blog ... People

Given the existence of many fine edited online-only publications, I don't see how one can argue that an editing/publication process requires printing to be involved. If Gorman did mean "in print," that isn't evident in the words he wrote.

I'd expect that from a blogger, but not a president elect.

Maybe I just don't have a high enough opinion of ALA offices or a low enough opinion of librarian-bloggers (some of whom probably have more influence in libraryland than folks elected within ALA). I just see the LJ column as another thing a librarian wrote.

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