A ten page New York Times Magazine*
article about bloggers blogging the conventions bring us this startling revelation: Wonkette is a sex-obsessed, trash-talking publicity whore who likes to drink.
I know. Ground breaking stuff. Oh, by the way, I just saw a bear shit in the woods. Other riveting news flashes include the fact that Josh Marshall is vitriolic and Kos is in love with himself.
So, a ten page article about bloggers, touching on the subjects of convention blogging, site traffic, the election and its campaigns and nary a mention (save Instapundit) of a right leaning blog.
Oh, wait. We have this:
bq. Earlier this month, a platoon of right-wing bloggers launched a coordinated assault against CBS News and its memos claiming that President Bush got special treatment in the National Guard; within 24 hours, the bloggers' obsessive study of typefaces in the 1970's migrated onto Drudge, then onto Fox News and then onto the networks and the front pages of the country's leading newspapers.
would suggest that they all got together and planned out this "assault" in advance. I think the word that Matthew Klam is looking for here is cooperative,
which would imply the truth: That right-wing bloggers worked separately but together, sharing information and sources in an effort to get to the truth behind the memos. How that translates into assault in Kam's mind is beyond me. Well, not really. When you write an article with the mindset that the voices from the left are disproportionately more important than the voices on the right, I suppose a word like assault
will just come naturally.
Mr. Klam made the effort to bring a right-leaning voice to the piece, interviewing Charles Johnson for 43 minutes
. Alas, all of Charles's words ended up on the cutting room floor. Because spending a paragraph writing about Wonkette's peachy cream skin and strawberry blonde hair is far more important than bringing a bit of the old "fair and balanced" to Klam's article.
That Republican conventions bloggers - notably Command Pos
t, Roger Simon
, Hugh Hewitt
, Red State
, et al
, are completely absent from the article is not really suprising, given the slant Klam carries with him. The smear job on the Rather bloggers, on the other hand, reads like an afterthought, as if Klam realized he should include something about the opposing voices and, like a petulant child, chose to stick his tongue out at the right wing blogs rather than say something of value.
I've pretty much come to terms with Wonkette being the face of female bloggers, at least in terms of how the media sees us. All I can do is keep on plugging away here, in the hopes that somewhere out there is a Nick Denton type person willing to throw money at a blogger who doesn't rely on dick jokes and the affected swagger of a few margaritas to make her commentary readable. However, [a rather big however] I do think that Wonkette will be around long after this election is over, long after the last Supreme Court ruling is made and the inauguration workers are sweeping up the confetti. People like
her, obviously, and there will always be something in D.C. to snark about. There will always be sex jokes to tell and innuendos to be made. And more power to her for that, really. She found her niche and
she gets paid for reveling in it.
As far as the rest of the article, Klam only served to tell us what most of already know: The site stats of Kos, Marshall and Black may be huge, but their heads are larger, looming like three enormous, helium balloons above the blogosphere.
It will be interesting to see how the results of the coming election will effect those balloons. A pin positioned in just the right place will cause a collective pop loud enough to cause an aftershock in the blog world, leaving Matthew Klam with 5,000 words to write and only Wonkette's baby blue eyes and expletives deleted with which to fill the pages.
*Corrected from earlier version which left off the "magazine" part.
Update: Yes, this was obviously meant to be a piece on lefty bloggers. So why be upset over the fact that no right bloggers are mentioned? Simple: If Klam was strictly going for a ten page article on the lefty powerhouses, there was no need to include the "coordinated assault" slam on right bloggers. And what was the point of interviewing Charles for 43 minutes if Klam's slant was already set in place? Maybe Klam had intended for this to be a piece on blogging the campaigns in general, but he became so enamored with Kos and crew and their bohemian lifestyle while hanging in New York City that he decided to just make it an ode to them. Either that, or he was so smitten with the batting eyelashes of Cox that he temporarily lost control of his ability to think like a journalist. Honestly, if that paragraph about the right wing "assault" wasn't there, I probably would have filed the article under "things not worth blogging about." But, by including that paragraph, Klam opened himself up for scrutiny. He should have stuck to fawning over high profile lefties and looking into Wonkette's smoldering eyes rather than try to unecessarily stick it to the right.