Thursday, December 29, 2005

The First Annual "Do As I Say Not As I Do" Award

The latest drivel from Kathleen Parker, a syndicated columnist for the Orlando Sentinel, a Tribune* newspaper irked me enough to interrupt my vacation.

Of all the stories leading America's annual greatest-hits list, the one that subsumes the rest is the continuing evolution of information in the Age of Blogging. [...]

It is this latter--our new enemies--that interests me most. I don't mean Al Qaeda or Osama bin Laden, but the less visible, insidious enemies of decency, humanity and civility--the angry offspring of narcissism's quickie marriage to instant gratification.

There's something frankly creepy about the explosion we now call the Blogosphere--the big-bang "electroniverse" where recently wired squatters set up new camps each day. As I write, the number of blogs (Web logs) and bloggers (those who blog) is estimated in the tens of millions worldwide. [...]

Schadenfreude--pleasure in others' misfortunes--has become the new barbarity on an island called Blog. When someone trips, whether Dan Rather or Eason Jordan or Judith Miller, bloggers are the bloodthirsty masses slavering for a public flogging. Incivility is their weapon and humanity their victim.

This is the same Kathleen Parker, Tribune* Media columnist, who approvingly quoted a friend calling for the execution of several presidential candidates.
Here's a note I got recently from a friend and former Delta Force member, who has been observing American politics from the trenches: "These bastards like Clark and Kerry and that incipient ass, Dean, and Gephardt and Kucinich and that absolute mental midget Sharpton, race baiter, should all be lined up and shot."

She later changed "shot" to "slapped," leading some to wonder whether she had made the whole thing up in the first place.

Incivility? There's plenty of that to go around. But the Tribune's* Parker, who, true to form, managed to work in a clumsy and not-too-oblique comparison of Al Qaeda and bloggers, has absolutely no room to talk.

*Newspapers may contain opinions or language that may be considered inappropriate by some viewers. The newspapers linked to do not reflect the opinions of Illinoize or Rich. The newspapers linked to are not affiliated or associated with Rich or Illinoize.


Anonymous,  8:57 PM  

LOL, yeah, we need more American heroes like Dick "I had other priorities in the '60s other than military service" Cheney with not one, not two, not three, not four, but five deferments. Only he can tell a man like Kerry what it is to be a hero.

Anonymous,  10:21 PM  

If Bloggers are Al Queda, does that make Rich Miller Osama?

Anonymous,  11:46 PM  

Get a load of this quote from Kitty Parker:

==These effete and often clever baby "bloggies" are rich in time and toys but bereft of adult supervision.==

She could use a little supervision herself.

Anonymous,  12:58 AM  

If pertinent blogging is so easy, then why are the Sun-Times and Daily Herald failing so miserably at it? *beep*beep* I guess the Tribune is kind of trying.

Bill Baar 7:00 AM  

Bloggers still depend on MSM for a lot of content. But I have a much wider spectrum of MSM to chose from.

I'm just as likely now to link to storied from The Guardian or Der Spiegel as I am from the Trib or Sun Times.

Change is tough but it's for certain so Ms Parker better find her niche in the new order.

grand old partisan 8:42 AM  

Anon 8:57, get off it. Cheney has never claimed to be a hero, nor has be ever claimed that Kerry was not (in fact, he very publically praised Kerry's service record many times during the campaign). There is a difference between questioning someone's patriostism and heorism of a veteran (which Cheney did NOT do) and questioning their ability or willingness of a candidate for national office to what is in the best interests of American's national security (which Cheney has every right to do, regardless of how many deferments he got).

Extreme Wisdom 9:32 AM  

I find it interesting to see the divide shifting. Though some make this about left & right, they are missing the point re: Parker's Screed.

The MSM is running scared. While they will always provide a foundation for content, they are losing control of the gatekeeping function, and they don't like it.

Instapundit and Hewitt have been blogging about WAPOs (Washington Post) attempted hosing of a military blogger, and how that blogger is eating their lunch.

Just another MSM property with egg on their face. links to a post that explains these types of attacks as a business cycle/strategy issue.

It's good reading. Parker is just executing a FUD attack. As Rich rightly points out, she doesn't rise to her purported standards.

This isn't left & right (there are many talented left & right bloggers). This is old v. new paradigm, and Parker is throwing a tantrum over the ground shifting under her feet.

It's fun to watch.

Anonymous,  10:33 AM  

Rich - I guess I can't take issue with your example of Ms. Parker's incivility with that awful quote, but overall I would have thought you agreed with her main theme.

The way I read it, she says the value of the blogosphere is people like you who use your space to create a great dialogue. But what makes the blog-world less attractive to many of us are the "snark , sass and destruction" oriented comments. Of all the blogs I read, you make more of a point to ask participants to be constructive and refrain from the same behavior Kathleen is decrying in her column.

Yellow Dog Democrat 10:39 AM  

If she's going to play fast and loose with quotes, she might as well get her homonym's right.

"Incipient" means emerging or barely exposed, which when coupled with "ass" makes a cute pun.

But I'm sure Parker's "friend" meant "insipid", which means "dull".

Obviously, any effort by MSM partisan stormtroopers to distinguish themselves from bloggers is absurd. Blogging may or may not be journalism, depending on the blogger, but the same is certainly true of political columnists and t.v. and radio talk show hosts. O'Reilly and Limbaugh are not Murrow, and Parker and Coulter are not Royko.

Anonymous,  10:47 AM  

now, now, gop, you aren't going to claim that the swift boat boys' ads weren't done in conjunction with the Bush/Cheney Admin? Just because they did the attacks by proxy doesn't make them any less sleazy. gop'ers sure don't like combat veterans -- witness what they have done to Kerry, McCain, etc. of course, most are chickenhawks (easily verifiable through a number of websites)

Bill Baar 9:14 AM  

A bit of a tangent but here's something in the BBC on Mil Blogs courtesy of Norm at NormsBlog.

Rich Miller 4:49 PM  

Anon 10:33, thanks for the kind words. Of course there's plenty of incivility to go around, there's too much of it on blogs and I have crusaded against it on my blog (much of which was cynically manufactured, by the way, and mostly disappeared shortly after I moved to a new site).

But there's also far too much incivility among newspaper columnists, TV and radio talk-show hosts, and other talking heads, and has been for years. Those cretins have no standing to push back against blogs.

People like Parker are projecting their own woeful shortcomings on bloggers, and that has to be pointed out.

If an Illinoize blogger suggested that candidates be lined up and shot, I'm certain that the blogging community would demand that the person be forever prohibited from posting again.

The Tribune, on the other hand, still publishes that ridiculous hack. Parker, the Tribune, and everyone else who publish her disgusting screeds ought to look into the mirror before lashing out elsewhere.

So, I say to all those in the MSM who would rail against the incivility of blogs, but don't do anything to stop the incivilities in their own mediums: “And if thine eye offends thee, pluck it out."

[Updated to clarify a point]

Mike's used sports section,  3:30 PM  

Right on Rich!

Conservative or not, that incivil lady is just plain annoying.

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