A Blogger's Rant: The Pajama Jokes Are Getting Really Old

It's time to retire all the old jokes about bloggers' PJs and come up with some fresh new insults. Here is what I'm wearing right now: a blue collared shirt (ironed), gray linen pants (belted) and tan desert boots (Clark's). I tell you this not because you asked, but because I am a blogger, and, to judge from the way the world speaks of my kind, you probably assumed I was wearing something more along the lines of this.

Pajamas. I'm talking about pajamas here, people. That's what we bloggers supposedly prefer to wear, whether we're anonymously destroying a reputation, draining the lifeblood from legacy media organizations or harmlessly popping Ritalin and writing Gossip Girl recaps.

Just ask New York Times investigative reporter James Risen. Defending his scoop on Afghanistan's mineral wealth to Yahoo's John Cook, Risen says, "Bloggers should do their own reporting instead of sitting around in their pajamas."

Hard to argue with that. But I would add: Professional writers should come up with their own colorful put-downs rather than relying on tired, overused turns of phrase that aren't even particularly apt.

It's Bedtime for Pajama Jokes

Jokes about bloggers in pajamas were already a cliche by 2005, when a group of blogs banded together to form Pajamas Media. They were even more hackneyed by 2008, when Sarah Palin swatted at "some blogger probably sittin' there in their parents' basement in their pajamas." Now it's 2010. Paul Krugman blogs. So does Hendrik Hertzberg. So does James Fallows. So does...well, everyone.

To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld, who was offended by his dentist's bad Jewish jokes as a comedian rather than as a Jew, I object to characterizations like Risen's not as a blogger but as a reader. Bloggers may frequently be too lazy to pick up the phone and break news of their own, but when it comes to finding novel ways to make fun of people, we're the very soul of enterprise.

The James Risens of the world could learn something.

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