In Defense of Amanda Congdon

Is it Amanda Congdon’s fault that she became the face of independent online video as far as corporate media outlets are concerned?

Is it her fault for being the financial beneficiary of old media’s ham-handed attempts to join the conversation online?

Is it her fault that for a generation or more, the role of news anchor has devolved from respected authority to a hollow simulacrum meant to give the appearance of respectability and authority?

Yes, Congdon has made some regrettable decisions, isn’t breaking any rules that needed breaking, and has been obnoxiously strident in responding to criticism, but by indirectly implying that she’s in a position to speak for bloggers, you’re justifying ABC and HBO’s investment in her.

Independent journalism doesn’t win if it becomes conflated with the simultaneous rise of new sources for mediocre infotainment and stealth advertorials. The mistake people are making is that they are perpetuating the idea that outlets like ABC News still respects the lines between fact, opinion and editorial that Violet Blue calls on vloggers and bloggers with the goal of fairness and accuracy to respect.

Sitting behind a desk in a million dollar studio is only a position of authority if you continue to give it that privilege as a viewer. Congdon doesn’t, and as a cynic, I’d say neither do most behind the scenes in broadcast news. She made her choice to sign up with the mainstream media machine, and as oblivious as she may be, I say let her live with that decision in peace.

After all, she’s doing more to undermine the authority of the broadcast news business than a thousand vloggers ever could.


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