Mainstream journalists are congenitally thin-skinned; insecurity seems almost a precondition to employment in a big-city newsroom. This has always been a notable irony, given that the journalism business routinely shoots people off their pedestals (often after putting them there in the first place).
One of the healthier aspects of the rise of bloggers as media watchdogs has been the way journalists have had to start developing thicker skins — not ignoring their critics but also not reacting with the pure defensiveness of the past. Professionals are still sensitive about all this, but at least a few have started listening.
Lately, some bloggers have been showing a certain sensitivity of their own. In several cases folks have responded with fury to what they perceive as the mainstream media’s wrong-headed condescension toward the online world, even when the articles in question have struck me, at any rate, more as mild criticism (though with hyperbole thrown into the mix) than outright attacks.
Are media organizations saying occasionally absurd things about bloggers? Of course. But this is not the same thing as a collective mainstream media counter-attack. Sloppy journalism can seem that way, but it usually isn’t. Some of the lame Big Media coverage surely falls under the Occam’s Razor umbrella — the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. (Or, as someone once said more pungently, “Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity.”)