Today the internets were aflame with news from last nights Watch The Throne listening session. Selected tastemakers were invited to a secret location for a chance to hear one of the most anticipated albums of the year. After being divested of electronic equipment they had a chance to listen to the album in its entirety. With no recording equipment they had to rely on memory to fill their blogs, tweets etc with news on the album.
Well that was the theory anyway. One enterprising blogger took it upon himself to sneak some sort of recording device into the session and today along with his review posted some snippets from the album.
Reaction was swift and damn near universal with most everyone else who was at the listening session calling it a stupid and foolish move, while the rest of the internets joined in on the slander attacking everything from his choice in clothing to the ignorance of recording a session and releasing the snippets on your own site.
This raises a question inherent to blogging and supposed popularity on the internet. Most sites pride themselves on exclusive connections to artists, taking care to retweet when an artist mentions them, or posting “exclusives” whenever they get the opportunity. It is through these exclusives that these sites distinguish themselves from competition and make a name in the crowded blogosphere.
So what’s the limit for posting a leak? When WTT leaks to the internet every site will post something from it, as is the case with pretty much every popular release. Its a common practice and won’t change because of todays incident. So is everyone mad because its Jay and Kanye? Two artists who probably have the least to lose from an album leaking let alone some poorly recorded snippets? Or is because he thought and had the nerve to do something that no one else did?
It’s easy to throw slander on the internet, but as a wise woman said today all of us live in glass houses so perhaps we should check our own homes before we throw stones. Not saying that what the person in question did was right, but what is the limit to the blogger’s role? When did a journalist ever have to defend his sources? What distinguishes a journalist from any hack with a recorder? The questions remain.