By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Born to blog

WBZ-TV (Channel 4) political analyst Jon Keller is going to start blogging on Monday. Keller’s blog is supposed to pop up somewhere here, according to a press release from the station, which continues, “Jon will update ‘Keller @ Large Blog’ several times every weekday with reports on breaking, political news as well as political analysis and his take on the political scene and upcoming election season.”

I’ve known Keller since we worked at the Phoenix together in the early 1990s. A couple of years ago we even debated the merits of John Kerry’s presidential campaign on The New Republic’s Web site. Keller’s a natural, and I’m looking forward to reading what he’s got to say.


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6 Comments

  1. Wes

    Keller too often commingles his opinions with what he deems newsworthy. Folks in the media handwringing constantly about lack of readers/viewers/listeners when they ought to be doing a bit of self-examination.

  2. Henning

    I agree it should be interesting, but find that Keller often a) parrots conventional wisdom, b) belabors the obvious, and c) lets opinion drive analysis a bit too much.

  3. Anonymous

    Couldn’t agree more with the first 2 comments here, especially Henning’s. I find Keller’s commentary unremarkable at best, and often annoyingly obvious and overblown. Sorry, Dan, I don’t mean to be unkind about someone who may be a good guy.

  4. Neil

    Well it’s on the air. It’s overproduced shill-ware in which Keller touts CBS4’s Brighto. Another example of the idea of a blog being co-opted by a sleek corporate “flying sheets of Lucite” entity. They want credit for the implied forthcoming nature of a blog while in fact merely using it as just another marketing channel. I’m shocked I tell you. Shocked!Every entry contains a link to some CBS4 (“major”, “exclusive”) piece. So much for Keller as an independent voice. Here’s a typical hard-hitting entry:I can’t spill all the beans about our major Survey USA Fast Track on the governor’s race until we break the results beginning at 5pm on CBS4 and cbs4boston.com, but here’s an appetizer:…Go get ’em, Jon! (And unless we eat spilled beans, that’s a pretty goofy mixed metaphor.)No comments allowed which they disguise by saying “email Jon your comments” which means others can’t see them, so there’s no sense of dialog. Then it’s little different from publishing your column online, only in smaller bits–doesn’t seem like a blog at all with no comments. A one-way blog is only half a blog. An “og”.Having no comments is especially irksome when Keller posts nothing but a link to a news article on the (surprise!) CBS4 site, followed by a bunch of questions (see “Curiouser and Curiouser”). You’re setting up a dialog even while disallowing it.So I hand it to you Dan, and Mark too. Putting up with the riffraff must get annoying but it means you’re in the fray and that seems to me the whole point. Which these others miss.Which reminds me–the “Helluva blog Chacky” watch! Last entry, Globe Ombudsman blog: February 13. Can we make it a month without an entry? Can we make a no-entry pool? I say–27 days. Any takers? My theory is, no comments, no sense of two-way, then it just becomes extra workload to somebody who considers interacting with the masses distasteful. I wonder how the economics work–maybe if Chacon wasn’t given a bump in his paycheck to “og”, the Globe can’t complain if he neglects it.Keller and Chacon will both struggle because the role of corporate shill conflicts with the personal nature of the medium, making them look like phonies. Keller in particular ought to look at the way Slate lets Mickey Kaus loose–Slate’s his publisher, not his master.

  5. adamg

    Chacon updated his blog yesterday – with a promise to be more consistent.

  6. Neil

    By the way, Chacón’s new entry is only a republishing of a memo that he writes anyway for internal distribution. Which isn’t written in the first place, for that matter, but is simply a concatenation of letters from Globe readers, with no response from him other than, “as you can see, comments from readers are varied and enlightening.”In other words, all he’s doing is recycling–he still hasn’t written anything specifically for his blog.I say it’s a contract dispute–why should I have to write more than I did before, without extra compensation? Or, since the position is inherently awkward (powerless, ridiculous, a hypocritical sop to readers, etc…), why bother to expose myself more than necessary, with nothing extra to show for it. Again, corporate entities make blogs to get credit for appearing forthcoming, but are unwilling to deal with the chocolate mess that goes with it.

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