"Parasites' is a word that gets thrown around a lot in media these days. Just this week, former Washington Post editor Len Downie used it to describe the Huffington Post. Wall Street Journal editor Robert Thomson has said the same thing about Google and other aggregators. So it's worth remembering who the real media parasites are: the countless blogs that scrape content from legitimate news sites and republish it, word for word, with no regard whatsoever to copyright.
Blogs like Josh Tesh's.
You're probably thinking, "Surely he can't mean the Josh Tesh -- the multi-talented composer, performer and instrumentalist, former co-host of Entertainment Tonight, and all-around lifestyle guru?" Friends, that is exactly who I mean.
It has recently come to our attention that Tesh, in his somewhat under-appreciated capacity as a professional dispenser of commonsense advice (tagline: "Intelligence, Inspiration and Encouragement for Your Life") has been running a blog, aptly called The John Tesh Blog. Its content consists mainly of articles copied and pasted, often in their entirety, from such mainstream news outlets as CNNMoney.com, MSNBC.com, ABCNews.com, Oprah.com, and our own sister site, Walletpop. Today's offering, for instance, is a handy-dandy guide to fall cleaning, courtesy of RealSimple.com. Tesh -- or whichever member of The John Tesh Organization is responsible for maintaining The John Tesh Blog -- simply reused the entire story, with a couple sentences of added introduction. ("Cleaning. Well. No doubt about it - there is real, and true satisfaction at what you've accomplished when it's all said and done.")
We emailed Tesh at the address listed on his blog about his use of Walletpop's content only to receive an automatic message saying his mailbox was full. That figures: John Tesh is a very popular man. But maybe he would be more popular still if he stopped acting like a parasite on his blog? John, that is some free intelligence and inspiration from us to you.
Hey John Tesh: Why Are You Lifting Everyone's Content?