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Yelling With My Mouth Shut

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. Coordinated 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 Post, 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. ---- More: Allah, Ace, Commissar, Wizbang. *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.

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Comments

I heard the knucklehead who wrote this on Batchelor's WABC show Friday night ... everything they were saying was "the left wing has found a voice" with blogs, and they kept pointing at Kos. And by the way, did'ya know your a member of the "organized" opposition?
Sheesh.

I saw this on Charles' blog last night and...well...aghast and disgusted just doesn't quite make it.

Matthew Klam is primarily a fiction writer. Klam was on CSpan this morning, 7:30am east coast, and if you go back to Charles' thread looks like some callers got in and questioned Klam's glaring ommissions.

If I wrote what I'm thinking about the Helium Heads, you'd bann my butt.

(let's just say, "Pedro is your Daddy.")

"A ten page New York Times article." It actually wasn't. It was a NY Times Magazine article; they're actually entirely separate publications, with no editorical overlap whatsoever. (Ditto the Book Review.) I realize that this confuses people due to the obvious reason that they're distributed together, but, for instance, the Book Review is also sold separately. All three are distinct publications with separate staffs. Honest.

"She found her niche "...nice euphemism for a a part of the female anatomy.

Come on, you should take Klam's little swipe at right wing blogs as a compliment. "Coordinated attack" sounds so...I dunno...professional.

Big Dan Rather said you were all just a bunch of hungover guys in pajamas. Klam makes you sound like political Ninjas. I say go with it. Go ahead. Scare the hell out of them.

Cox the Wonk, and Other Stories...??

I guess I'm missing the reason for surprise (let alone outrage) about this 10-pager. I mean, it's the NYFT, fer crissakes. WHAT more or less does anyone really expect?

Microsoft ignored the Internet for a LONG time. When arrogance (temporarily) abated, and they finally realized they no longer had a stranglehold (ring any bells yet?) on networked computing, it cost them million$ to catch up. But as they did, they used a brilliant strategy - develop parallel (read: proprietary) technologies they could control, give them away (like their open-source counterparts) and take back what was 'rightfully' theirs.

IMHO, this article represents the analog to that strategy as we'll most likely see it playing out in the Old vs New Media saga. NYFT doesn't retain it's readership and influence by exhibiting excellence - it does so by keeping that readership in the dark, WHILE PRETENDING TO ENLIGHTEN THEM.

The facts: fact-checking, information-hungry, partisan AND non-partisan bloggers are eating Old Medias' lunch.

NYFT Response (between the lines): "Oops - we almost misssed this vital new "upstart" crop of "information junkies". These "rough-and-tumble" wired bohemians are carving out new realms in communication, expression and politics. And the NYFT is here to bring it to you.

OBTW - HERE are the only ones you need to take seriously..."

I think we should be cheering articles like this. They are the functional equivalent of the skunk's scent sac spraying fetid mercaptan on EVERYTHING, when it believes its life is being threatened. And I believe thrashing like this will eventually lead to the inevitable 'eeewwwwww!!'.

But that's just me. ;-)

I only skimmed it because it was -- oh, how to put this politely -- FUCKING BORING, but I think conservative bloggers dodged a bullet on this one. Kos et al. didn't really come off too well, I didn't think.

Just took a look over at Kos, by the way, since Google News now uses it as one of its "news sources." A Geheimbundler is complaining that the NYT... er, sorry, Gary! That the NYT Magazine is too right-wing:

"These days I mostly ignore what the establishment media says about bloggers. It's usually a predictable mix of condescension, ridicule, and thinly veiled anxiety that the blogs are gaining influence at the expense of 'real journalism.'

"But Matthew Klam's piece on political blogs in this weekend's NY Times stands out. It takes all of the above attitudes to dazzling new heights -- and tops them with a few other staple Times prejudices: contempt and loathing for passionate liberalism, a contrasting and mysterious silence about right-wing excesses, and plenty of old-fashioned class snobbery."

Poor guy's getting it from all sides this morning!

"All three are distinct publications with separate staffs"...but owned by the same corporation, right? So, at some level, somebody has executive management responsibility for all of them.

"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..."

I seriously doubt it. As I have written upstream aways, the REASONS those of us on the left write and the RESULTS of the Bush Administration are not going to go away.

If they do come, four more years of Geroge will simply make those reasons larger and those results worse. George W. Bush is slowly screwing up the country and the world. Period.

I have noted upstream that none of my good friends here can argue worth a straw against this assertion, or present any serious evidence to the contrary. Because it is correct.

So write we will on the Left, whatever events may hold.

Americans live comfortably enough to often be completely unreasonable, and to ignore bad results for quite a long time.

But no one can ignore worsening results forever. Bad policy will out, and the bad policy is certainly not going to go away with four more years of GWB.

Since the day, long ago now, that the most marginalized among us pulled behind Howard Dean, no one on my side of the fence has been under the illusion that 2004 would be anything but a horrible struggle with no certainty of victory.

The depth of ordinary unreason and working disconnection from reality in this country, as on this blog, has been that great.

But since we want better RESULTS, and want them badly, we are out pounding the pavement and making damn sure all our people get to the polls. Even Kos will be coming out of his ivory tower to join us at it in Ohio.

We may fail. We may not get what we want. But I see no evidence of corresponding efforts on the pavement or on the phone banks by our adversaries, so I think reports of our immanent demise are a little premature.

If we merely fail at the polls, we'll be back. The voice of reason, and of realism about results, will be in your face and in your ears for the entire 1461 days which follow.

Give us "four more years" of worsening results and by 2008 we won't just be opening the door. We'll kick it in.

When so-called MSM writers and broadcast "journalists" start taking shots at you, you have their attention. I like that.

This week my wife asked me "what's a blog"? and then started reading a few I pointed her to. The reason she asked was hearing talk radio guys giving bloggers credit for breaking the memo story (in their coordinated attack. ha!)

I have said it before and I'll say it again:

If weblogs had existed during the Watergate scandal, bloggers would have been all over Nixon. There is no conspiracy. Bloggers spontaneously focus on what interests them - and the truth is one such interest, rather than dogma.

Political borders are in fact not solid in cyberspace: there is much dissent, and everyone's allowed his say. Is that conspiracy?

(Side note: I just realized that we're positively not living in THE MATRIX. If this was a computer simulation, its overseers would try to suppress blogging. Hmmmm... now why would someone want to suppress or diminish blogging...? Have you noticed how Dan Rather looks more and more like a robot these days...? Just kidding.
;-P)

-A.R.Yngve
http://yngve.bravehost.com

Give us "four more years" of worsening results and by 2008 we won't just be opening the door. We'll kick it in.

Who's tha fascist again?

"Americans live comfortably enough to often be completely unreasonable, and to ignore bad results for quite a long time."

Heh...

"But I see no evidence of corresponding efforts on the pavement or on the phone banks by our adversaries"

That, Joseph, is because if every Republican campaign worker took off tomorrow for a month-long vacation cum drinking spree, Kerry would still lose in November.

That the Left will be still be around in the next four years, I make no doubt. So will rats and cockroaches.

The Left, though, will spend those four years -- and all the years, decades, and centuries afterward -- in a Hell as much of their own making as any other greedy children, their noses pressed against the windows of a candy store to which entry is barred. They will see millions of people, doing things ranging from important to self-indulgent...and they will be ignored by those people.

To my mind, the most important word from your quote of Klam is "obsessive".

You know: anyone who actually worked-out on the facts is verging on mental defect.

Joey

I call "projection."

The Angry Left's purely visceral reaction to the fact that GW even breathes is the stuff of unreason and unreality.

Everything from 9/11 being an American/Israeli conspiracy to Saddam being not such a bad guy after all to calls on DU or Indymedia for an armed revolution if GW wins the election speaks volumes of how the Left thinks about people who look at their tenets and reject them.

This is even evident in the cynical handwringing about "healthcare" one finds in Leftist columns and blogs. It's not that moderates or conservatives disagree with the premise that the Healthcare industry needs attention, even reform, it's that when moderates and conservatives suggest an approach or solution different from the anointed Left solution that the frothing at the mouth takes place with fevered charges that conservatives want to keep people sick and dying.

Not only do I want GW to win. I want the win HUGE and devastating to the Dem party. I want the Dems beat back into irrelavant minority status.

Because I want the Dem party to reform itself. (the best thing the Republican Party did was force wingnut Buchanan out). To kick out the anti-American leftists that run it, to return to a party of mature, anti-left and LOYAL opposition. Liberal and left are not synonomous, but you wouldn't know that looking at the modern Dem party.

Is the Pope Catholic?

"That, Joseph, is because if every Republican campaign worker took off tomorrow for a month-long vacation cum drinking spree, Kerry would still lose in November."

Now, now. Keep it family friendly, please! Michele's kids might be looking over her shoulder as she blogs.

Also, go check out the NYT Campaign 2004 story on voter registration in Ohio and Florida this morning, or drop by my blog for a summary.

But if you do, please keep the comments clean. We're in a culture war, after all!

Mr. Marshall, "cum" means "with" in Latin. It probably should have been in italics.

hmmm... freudian slip on Joseph's part?

Oh! I'd better clarify that last...

Joseph, I wasn't referring to your lingerie.

Ten dollar words and he didn't know "cum" can also be used as "with", heh...

Wonkette is boring. The less said about her the better.

=darwin

Re: "She found her niche and she gets paid for reveling in it."

The same could be said of any prostitute. That's not much of a claim to fame or an argument in her favor.

Am I the only one who noticed that Wonkette is kind of ugly?

Like a young Ron Howard in drag.

I guess I do not have a liberal (or is it progressive, or have they moved on to a new word?) mind-set, but I did not even see Mr. Marshall's comment on the use of the word cum coming. I should be able to say in this context "the use of the word cum coming", but who knows what someone taking it out of context might do with it. I took Latin in high school, but remember little. I knew the word as it is used in English before I ever heard it used as slang (OK, I am old :) ). I am trained in science and mathematics, but proper use of language matters to me. It is not a good sign when the slang use is much more widely known than the original meaning. I say we try to reclaim the word by using it properly (the suggestion to use "cum" would have made me think it was being used in its slang sense).

Mike

Joseph Marshall wrote
Now, now. Keep it family friendly, please! Michele's kids might be looking over her shoulder as she blogs.
Leave it to a leftist to pick out the off-color meaning in something, just like a giggling junior-high-school student. Which is the level I now expect from the left.

Wonkette is the National Enquirer of blogs. There are copies (links) everywhere, but nobody takes either of them seriously.

I wonder how long it will take the MSM to wake up and realize this.

"Leave it to a leftist to pick out the off-color meaning in something, just like a giggling junior-high-school student. Which is the level I now expect from the left."

Hey! Why should they have all the fun?

Mike

Not to worry. Joseph is a left-liberal and in the words of Dennis Prager
To understand modern liberalism and its political party, it is vital to understand Democrats' desire to blur any distinctions between child and adult. Ever since the 1960s, liberalism has been largely a movement dominated by children (of every age). ---
Liberals and Democrats are not comfortable with adult-child distinctions. They therefore frequently treat and regard children as adults and frequently treat and regard adults as children.

Joseph saw the word "cum" and channeled his inner Beavis.

What's a little scary is Michele's even considered right-leaning. I'd call it national-security leaning and anti-bullshit.

While at the DNC Hewitt and I were entertaining some MSM reporter types up in Bloggers’ Roost when Hugh so succinctly summarized the tenor Klam projects:

MSM Reporter: “How do you explain the way the mainstream press is treating bloggers?” Hewitt: “I understand jealousy.”
I laughed off my chair.

Upon further review, I'm gonna go with the Balloon-Heads Theory.

"Coordinated attack"?????

What a load of crap. I am totally uncoordinated.

What makes Wonkette a blog? The site's just a gossip column with permalinks. But of course the press drools all over her. She's the epitome of everything a New York journalist wants in a woman: a WASP with a dirty mouth.

I have two words for the New York Times Magazine's fact-checkers: "flat-lining".

AP reports Cheney had a heart attack...

"AP reports Cheney had a heart attack..."

Liar.

Jeez, Michelle, jealous much? Maybe you should write the National Review and ask them to profile your brilliant writing.