back to article Indignant reader defends Idiot 2.0™

Oh dear, oh dear - it appears CNET's blogging pundits are not actually a legitimate target for us proper hacks, those of us who've done English O-Level and read a couple of novels. In case you missed it, this hack yesterday took exception to this crap by CNET's Steve Tobak. Ok, I admit it - I was at the time bombed on whiskey …


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  1. alex_c
    Thumb Up

    Good for you Lester

    I think the line has been firmly drawn in the sand...

    Now, in case the line is not enough, all we need is a wall, some machine gun nests and perhaps the odd "Red Alert"-style Tesla Coil to keep the whinging warped masses on the other side of the line from the rest of us..

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Bah Humbug !

    I think everyone is sorely in need of a holiday..

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Good point ...

    To be fair to him he does have a point; the original article was a crock of shit.

    But he could have made said point a little better me thinks.

  4. Chris
    Thumb Down

    Pot, Kettle

    It seemed to me that both the original blog entry, and El Reg's rejoinder were equally self righteous. Anyway. Merry Christmas, all.

  5. Dam

    You fail

    Yes, you, lesther.

    You got flamed (righteously) and put this here for everyone to see in an effort to get support and/or humiliate the author of the email.

    And you failed.

    Merry holidays, still.

  6. Count Ludwig

    Letters Poisoned by Alcohol

    I too thought I detected traces of Glasgow breath-freshener in Lester's rant. But it reminded me too much of my own mis-sent ramblings, much repented at sober lesiure, to afford me any shadenfreude. The thing to do now, Lester, is keep your head down and work very diligently and quietly for a while, and promise yourself three times you'll never do it again. And hopefully the Ed. of the Vultures will not be too hard on you when he calls you in for that "little chat about how things are going."

  7. Billy Goat Gruff


    FOTW? Fair Point Well Made...

    It's always good when someone sticks it to the opinionated - which I guess happened on cnet and then, frankly, in this email.

    what the hell were you reading a 'blog' for anyway? you know it only gets you annoyed.

  8. Richard

    Let it go Lester...

    You really don't come out of this looking very good Lester. Let it go. I think your article is guilty of pretty much everything you accuse Tobak of. Particularly the comment about "amateur bloggery". It has no place on El Reg - perhaps you should take your bile elsewhere?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Give it up. No, really.

    I don't think it's so much about defending "Idiot 2.0" - more that your article was such an utter waste of electrons.

  10. Ian

    In other news...

    ...all film criticism stops other than established directors commentating on their peers' films. Music criticism requires five years in the rank and file violins.

    Anyway, the original article that caused Lester's wrath is written by a man who doesn't know the difference between delve and dole. So not merely is he self-righteous, he's also illiterate. ``qualified to delve out management advice'' indeed.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Childish but...

    ...Lester and Tobak sitting in a tree....

    Seriously, guys, get a room. You can smell the hormones from here.

  12. Rob

    I'm with you...

    ... I'll stand up and be counted for the "Anti-2.0" crowd. Self publication for the masses, oh dear, they should have all stuck to wanking for self gratification, thye can do that in the privacy of their own homes and we don't have to be subjected to it.

  13. Matt
    Paris Hilton


    I agree that Web 2's idea that everyone is a journalist is, well optimistic! I also agree that the original article Lester commented on was an example of where Web 2 leads you.

    However, Lester's article itself wasn't really a shining example of good non-Web 2 journalism either. On the other hand he's got it out of his system now and is probably in the pub as we speak.

  14. Kane Silver badge

    There used to be days...

    ...when only people with some kind of technical competence (ok, the ability to cut and paste some HTML together and a working knowledge of software like CuteFTP) would rant and rave through the internet. Now, with the advent of blogs and sites like MySpace/Facebook etc, it seems that anyone who can distinguish between the @ key and the letter 'a' has an opinion. (Or not, if you actually read the content of some of the profile pages available...) Even if the opinion is misinformed, badly structured or misspelt.

    I'm all for individual opinion and expression, no matter how badly it's written, but when will this 2.0 empowerment nonsense end? It just seems to me that a whole shitload of big business people are opening their eyes to the fact that a majority of the worlds population is now online (see? Isn't having an uninformed opinion a fun thing?), and wants to make lots of money out of the suckers. Monetising Individual Proletarian Consumerist Bandwidth anyone?

    If I wasn't such a cynical bastard at heart, I would reckon it's all just a massive conspiracy for M$ to offload more crappy OS/Software packages to the general joe public. After all, you can't get to the blog without the OS to get to the browser first....

    I digress.

    I have to agree with Lester on this one: wtf is this self-confessed amateur bloggery doing passing itself off as journalism?

    And more to the point, is this the future of things to come? Is this the way the interwebthingy is going? Will it end up that the entire human population is so wrapped up blogging about each other and their "humble opinion", that the race won't actually be achieving anything that is really worth blogging about? A day-by-day snapshot of every little piece of observation made by anyone with a connection to the outside world?


    If that's the case, Where Is My Paris Hilton Angle?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Rant 2.0

    Odd, it's not ok for "amateurs" to write in blogs, but ok for press to use "public" photos because they can't be arsed to pay pro photographers to take the pics. Maybe self importance is the real issue here.

    Now I shall continue my overdosing on chocolate....

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Come now, I hardly think it matches up to the high-standards of FoTW that El Reg normally exhibits. The spelling isn't atrocious, its more than a few sentences long, doesn't contain useful suggestions like "You are a bunch of twats" or repeat Anglo-Saxon words in great number, use l33t-speak etc.

    I was looking forward to a laugh at the expense of the poorly-written ravings of a complete tool, but was sadly disappointed :-)

  17. yeah, right.

    aha, open season.

    As I was going to comment on your previous article before you locked out comments (wisely, perhaps), I just had this to say about it:

    You wrote: "This is Web 2.0 in all its glory - everyone an expert, everyone indignant, every two-bit hustler a pundit ready to expound and proselytize."

    Yes Lester, you're quite right in that. More right than you know.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    utter bowl-licks

    Why is it then that footballers make the worst commentators in the world? They obviously know about sports!!

    Journalists in the field of biology haven't necessarily performed open-heart surgery but I'll bet they know how to write about it...

    Research and literacy will take someone a long way. Presumably further than those who don't believe journalists can learn anything other than "how to write"

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    The Web 2.0 sucks...

    as proved by this ridiculous slagfest.

  20. Duncan Hothersall
    Dead Vulture


    And I wish to register my outrage here. Thank you very much for your time. Happy Christmas. Oh, and if I don't get a flying car this year I am going to be OUTRAGED ALL 2008 TOO.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    journalists and no management experience.

    "how the hell do journalists really sit in their chairs and slag off CEOs when they've most likely never sat in any form of management chair in their lives"

    Because being on the inside of something inevitably colours and biases your perceptions and judgements, and sometimes an outsider can see something more clearly without the weight of years of preconceived assumptions, for one. When you play a given social role for many years, you become part of an in-group; learn to talk the jargon, learn to think the way the group thinks, and basically take to heart many habits of thought and unacknowledged preconscious attitudes that colour how the world seems to you. Other possibilities become closed off in your mind; self-reinforcing feedback sets in; it doesn't occur to you to think in certain ways or ask yourself certain kinds of questions because you aren't in the habit of doing so in those ways.

    From the original blog:

    "Sure, lots of executives are incompetent or dysfunctional. But is a journalist qualified to make that determination?"

    Well, often enough, yes; often enough, execs make such stupid and blatantly damaging decisions that *anyone* with a degree of basic common sense is qualified to make that determination. Journos may not have "done" management themselves, but they've probably *seen* quite a lot of it, since observing and reporting on the behaviour of companies is their daily lot. Their experience may be shallower but it's also a lot broader. If they've seen a lot of execs making similar bad decisions down the years, when another one does it they're entitled to speak out.

    It's a commonplace, but also a fallacy, that you aren't fit to evaluate something unless you have spent years doing it yourself. Almost the other way round: only an outsider can properly evaluate something without succumbing to group-think. They'll need some study, training or other experience to give them the mental toolset they'll need to understand and evaluate the concepts and strategies involved in the activity, but they don't need to be a part of it themselves.

    See also Hagbard Celine's SNAFU principle.

  22. Keith T

    re: There used to be days...

    Refreshing for others to see through the 'personal choice' veil.

    'Choice' is being provided by business - not through some altruistic means - some one out there needs paying for the server space and the comms.

    Tell the folks it's 'freedom of expression' and they'll be so grateful they'll put up with all the adverts whether targeted or not.

    Encourage the masses to talk more and more bollocks and you get more and more adverts looked at.

    Not really 'freedom of speech', just more marketing.

    Use it by all means - loads of photo hosting and pretty chat rooms like Facebook but remember what it's really there for.

    A quote from Blazing Saddles comes to mind

    "You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons. "

    Grabs flameproof suit and runs for the exit

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Was I the only one here who thought that Lester's post, along with this, literally stunk (stonk?) of satire...?

    Just to put a little bit of sanity back into this little circus of easily riled people, think about it. Lester wrote an indignant, self-righteous and angry commentary... about an indignant, self-righteous and just plain angry commentary. And disabled comments


    yhbt, 'n so forth.

    Paris icon because she cries due to your lack of analysis

  24. Olly
    Dead Vulture

    Now to the important point...

    Why haven't we all gone to the pub yet?

    Seriously, surely we all have much more important appointments with Beer/ Sherry/ Whisky/ Sambuca/ Vodka/ Bolivian Marching Powder?

  25. Marco

    Lester has a point

    A former executive attempts "journalism" and gets on the back of real journalists for getting on the back of executives.

    Now, journalists are supposed to comment on things, executives are supposed to run companies.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Journos of the World unite against the scourge of Blogger 2.0...

    Lester, does your Journo union require you to defend yourself vigourously against all attacks on Journos anywhere? Or just against jumped-up "psuedo-Journos" TM (AKA Bloggers).

    Firstly, if you hate Web 2.0 so much, WTF were doing reading a blog in the first place?

    Secondly, as bloggers go, his bile wasn't all that bad and certainly not worth giving extra attention from your misplaced rant.

    Thirdly, the so-called FotW wasn't a Flame. No Swearing. No riddiculously poor grammar/spelling. No case of totally missing the point or irony in an article. NO USE OF CAPS. No mention of Paris Hilton!

    Lester, everyone here knows you can do better. Please take a holiday, sober up and get back to your day-job. And make your New Year resolution to stop reading Blogs and certainly not to take them anymore seriously than they deserver (which is not at all).

  27. Kurt Guntheroth

    how hard is it to spot stupidity?

    The real question should be, "Does it take a Harvard MBA to spot a silly business decision?" For many business boners, the answer surely is "no". Not just no, but heck no! In fact, the real real question many times has got to be, "What could they have been thinking to make this stupid idea sound OK?"

    Same goes for poor journalism. As if it isn't enough that bloggers and other self-publishers pretty much self-identify as not being professional journalists.

    Good journalistic style does call for some restraint and humility when pointing out the magnitude of stupid decisions. But certainly no professional qualification is needed to say, with hindsight, "WTF?"

  28. Pete James
    Dead Vulture

    Call Mr. Plow, that's my name, that name again, is Mr. Plow!

    I'm a tad annoyed. You see, I don't like all this sneering at people who do blogs, or write stuff for publishing or stick up pictures. It's all very elitist to me, keyboard jockeys bitch-slapping someone who dared voice an opinion based on some pretty pathetic reasoning such as spelling. I don't think anyone has a lesser or greater right to publish something on the web than anyone else. If you disagree with something published then fine, but gleefully indulging in the pettiness of grammar or baying insults is a classic Nathan moment.

    Oh well, if it gives you a little damp spot in your Y-fronts then so be it.

    Happy Christmas Lester.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It occurs to me

    That real journalists can use blogs for getting first hand accounts from people who happened to be there, or to get insider views on events, you certainly can't get the whole story from a blog that would indeed be one sided, and lacking authentication, it's simply more possible context not required but nice to have if it's there. That being said I doubt Lester actually hates bloggers they don't do the same job it's not likely they will be taken for journalists no matter what they say, so I would assume he's having us on, nice one Lester back at you one of these days (when you least expect it).

  30. Morely Dotes
    Thumb Up

    Tobak is a git

    That is all.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Origonal "blogger" said why should reporters be allowed to write stories crticising (I can't spell it STFU) CEOs and other such high fliers when a reporter hasn't performed in that role. That's a pretty retarded statement. I mean on the scale of retard that's right up there. But it's also the kind of retarded crap we're used to nowdays, to be honest it's nothing new.

    Why should Jeremy Paxton give MPs such a hard time it's not like he's ever been an MP! Idiots.

    Blogs are just the guy down the pub given more time and longer words.

    The fact that CNET may have published it as news is pretty funny.

    The fact that Lester got narked and went off on one gave us some lols.

    The link to the /r/aid with the flying peniss penises penisus bollocks dicks at the bottom of the page was funny.

    The fact that so many people are BAWW BAWW BAWW over it all is also funny.

    Man all this junk does give us the lulz though.

    Anyway web 2.0 is just .com and it's all gonna go down the same way and make a bunch of guys in suits who know when to leave the ring very very rich and a bunch of nobodies going "what happend."

  32. Matthew Barker

    Woe to us in this age of specialization

    Are journalists really now not allowed to understand the subjects about which they write? That sounds like real specialization!

    "I know how to turn the know, but I'm unqualified to push the door open."

    And is the keeping of public diaries now really considered journalism? I was hoping it was a bad dream.

    Is our blogger hero the only "journalist" who knows anything about fields of endeavour other than writing?

    I s'pose the Renaissance was all a mistake. If all of those smart chaps had just

    stuck with one specialty instead of actually studying and learning about multiple areas of human endeavour, we'd not have any need for these bloggers to set us straight and point to specialization as the shiny road to the future.



    PS: The Reg needs to add a new comment icon for comments about bloggers.

  33. Peter W


    when I read the original story I thought "comments disabled as Lester knows he's being a hyprocrite here!".

    Luckily this comment page is now open so I can say - Lester, that was a dreadful article and you have now compounded it by having a go at someone who has merely pointed out that it was a dreadful article.

    Coat as it's cold outside.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    The existential dilemna...

    Hang on a tic.. Online scribe #1, responding to online scribe #3's reaction to online scribe #1's grouch on online scribe #2's grumble over the scribblings of online scribes #4 through #40000..??

    I just dont know whose crap I am eating anymore!

    There is nothing else I can do..

    Mavis?! Fire up my blog! I have something to say, and the world must hear it!

  35. Stu



    I had no idea I'd have a whole El-Reg article written about my response! Yes I am that Stuart. I suppose I did get the best response award after all.

    Yes I was a bit post-pished too, not on wiskey or methamphetamines mind you. But, it seems, totally unable to take any such 'I'm the centre of the universe' extremism in an article - I still think u had it coming Lester! ;-)

    But just what was the real reason you disabled comments on that article? As already stated, I think because u knew u were talking total bollocks.

    And Its nice to see some comments above defending my point too, and not by anonymous cowards either.

    I shall print this article out and have it framed.


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