Anyone talking to media knows that telling a journalist something "off the record" means you're telling them so they know it. It's not going to stay secret. But it also clearly means that the comments aren't to be used a primary source. The point of "off the record" is to steer a journalist the right way so they can dig in deeper and get the real story from a real source, on the record. TechCrunch, though, just reports stuff "off the record" directly. Remember that next time you're being chummy at a party with Arrington.
Some great points made here -- but I do think the idea that "bloggers = journalists" is primarily pushed by people who want to point out that bloggers are not journalists.
I recall that a few of the rumor sites wanted to qualify as journalists, mostly for shield law protection, but I believe that was in an effort to continue being bad journalists, usually as a result of using off-the-record sources.
I don't think most bloggers (or even most citizen journalists) would consider themselves to be journalists -- nor do I think most would want to fit into that category.
In other words, the whole "bloggers are not journalists" debate tends to be fought on one side (journalists), and ignored on the other (bloggers).
Via Daring Fireball.