Saturday, February 28, 2009

Eric Zorn takes Steve Rhodes apart

Hey this would be kind of fun if I still lived in Chicago***: Eric Zorn unloads on Steve Rhodes. Like, really unloads, pretty much devastates. (Fun starts at the post's update and gets really good in update two.) Steve Rhodes offers some feeble and unconvincing responses here.

I'd note that I strongly disagree with the original proposal of Zorn's that seems to have started the tiff, which Zorn summarizes as "mainstream news gathering organizations ought to stop giving everything away on the internet, band together and offer bulk subscriptions to their online content." That's a bad idea.

But on pretty much everything he writes about Rhodes, he is right on!

Notable in Rhodes' response: The distinctly insecure and defensive tone. Samples:
  • "I'm not a self-styled visionary, I'm a real one"
  • "I have created a community -- one that I think is far more loyal to me and the Beachwood Reporter than to Eric Zorn and Change of Subject"
  • "As far as advertising and revenue streams, again, the Beachwood Reporter proper is not a model and I've never claimed it to be"
  • "in terms of paying writers, my writers are partners in this venture, not hired hands"
  • "Zorn pretends that I don't have 20 years of experience behind me"
This last one is followed by 1,537 words of Steve Rhodes' personal resume. That is not a made-up number of words, that is actually how many words Rhodes spends on his personal resume in this post.

Now, to you, as a reader, does the inclusion of a 1,537-word resume make you more or less confident that this is a guy willing to let his arguments stand or fall on their merits? ... And when a guy says, like, "I am too a visionary!" and "I have too created community!" and "I'm just intentionally not making any money or paying anybody!" ... Does this make you more or less confident in this person? Just wondering...

***In other news, I am still very glad I no longer live in Chicago.

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