Take a wider view...
A blog is just a simple CMS system with RSS that anyone can use.
Blogs don't own RSS, every single CSS system, and SBI for that matter uses RSS.
The WSJ and every other major news outlet uses RSS feeds for content, which they subsequently add to their own feeds.
Most of these sites for instance don't write their own book reviews, and most use services like AP.
Almost every article directory has an RSS feed, yet I am sure everyone in this discussion submits articles for publication in article directories.
This is what I am doing.
I select a whole load of 3rd party articles, wrap it with suitable keywords, and feed them to blogs.
All the content has been through at least 1 human quality control check, quite often 2 or 3.
The autors wrote the articles to get seen, and to get backlinks.
My article niche sites have just one feed, an article directory site may have 100+
Thus I regard what I am doing is not splog, but in many ways is like a highly targetted niche article directory.
Whether I automate the process or not is irrelevant.
Blog and Ping is more controversial, but can be equally justified.
Imagine you have a large content site and recently discovered RSS. Your competitors have been using RSS for a while, thus every bit of their content has already been fed into the ether.
Your content is equally relevant to your competitors.
I think such a website could be highly justified in adding RSS to their sites, automatically feeding all new content naturally, and also gradually adding their archives to the feeds.
But how fast should they be allowed to do it?
Say they have a 10,000 page site, full of quality articles. They would have to add at least 1 existing page to their RSS feed every hour to have it all available within a year.
Some might argue that this is a bit too slow, and that they should be allowed to do it in 1 month.
Thus they would have to add 1 article every 6 minutes.
This process is effectively blog and ping, just sanitized without the marketing slant, where someone has created such a site overnight (it could be equally good content), and then overdoes it with the blog and ping.
Now the WSJ article focused initially on blogs made up of randomised words, just junk.
If you drag other forms of RSS usage into the arguement and categorisation as splog, you may just find you are guilty of it yourself, and that every major player on the internet is guilty of it as well.
If I have taken articles from various article directories for republishing, who is to say they are not high quality. Often these articles are written by experts in their field, and they want to be republished.
Sure they would prefer me to send their article to a 500,000 mailing list than add it to a niche blog, but a backlink is a backlink.
Now I was slightly worried that Google had taken things too far the other day on Blogger. XML-RPC stopped working for a number of my blogs, and I started seeing captchas.
Now a few days later my content is being posted fine, and all those posts that did not appear had actually been cached.
I believe Google took drastic action because someone obviously was being abusive, and then eased off the restrictions.
At the time I was only posting 4 articles per day maximum to any blog. Hardly excessive and in my opinion not abuse.