“Practicing cheap and dirty politics, playing fast and loose with the facts and even lying: Accusations like these, and worse, have been slung nonstop this year,” writes New York Times media reporter Jim Rutenberg.

Yep, Mr. Rutenberg is a bit huffy–that?s because the accusations are being hurled at the MSM (mainstream media) of which the New York Times is the flagship, and–oh the impudence of it all!–the charges are being made by an “ever-growing-army of Internet writers, many of them partisans.”

For the most part, the MSM disdains the bloggers because they have the audacity to challenge the veracity and motives of the MSM. “New York Times is also a favorite target of critics of all political persuasions,” the piece goes on. “The paper came in for particularly harsh criticism on conservative sites this week for its article about the disappearance of 380 tons of powerful explosives from an Iraqi military complex. The article quoted the Iraqi interim government as saying that the disappearance occurred after the fall of Baghdad.”

As a blogger, I spot an error right there–the Times not “a favorite target of critics of all political persuasions.” The New York Times is rarely criticized by liberals because they know it is “their” paper; its critics are almost always conservatives who are increasingly annoyed by the newspaper?s increasingly obvious partisanship. Yes, some bloggers are crude (as the Times points out), but the real reason the MSM doesn’t like them is that they are challenging the hegemony of the MSM. It’s time for a really diverse media, and the bloggers are leading the charge. Of course, I’m not really objective about this.