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Barbarians At The Gate

Townhall's Kathleen Parker play's pinata with a hornet's nest in an article about the new enemy of a decent and civilized society, bloggers. Most bloggers, she claims, are the angry offspring of narcissism's quickie marriage to instant gratification.

Update: In the comment section Phinn points out a Pajama-esqe winner:

Newspapers are filled with carpal-tunneled wretches, overworked and underpaid, who suffer near-pathological allegiance to getting it right.
That's so going to come in handy later...


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Comments (23)

I think she might have a po... (Below threshold)

I think she might have a point that gets lost in the over-generalization and melodramatic descriptions she uses.

I asked on my own blog why people blog and/or why people read blogs as a result of this article. I don't necessarily agree with Parker on the whole of the "sphere." But I do think she raises some interesting questions about the state of the sphere.

The Blogosphere is part ind... (Below threshold)

The Blogosphere is part independent investigation, part contribution, part buzz and surely plenty of babble. As in any discussion in the arena of ideas and thoughts you have to learn the difference between chaff and wheat.

My question about her ariticle comes from the following:

We can't silence them, but for civilization's sake - and the integrity of information by which we all live or die - we can and should ignore them.
If she had the ability, would she 'silence' the voices? Certainly she is getting a kick out of the buzz she is generating with her article. Intentional and smells a bit bloggish to me. :)
No need to repeat the above... (Below threshold)

No need to repeat the above comment or those at the sites linked. What a waste of electrons and sad use of any ink and paper this swill meets.

I can think of a few reporters I've met who represented the illegitimate asexual offspring of narcissism, period. I think she's one too.

"We can't silence them, but... (Below threshold)

"We can't silence them, but for civilization's sake - and the integrity of information by which we all live or die - we can and should ignore them."

I love the part about "the integrity of information by which we all live or die." Doubtless Rather and Mapes were "real" concerned about "the integrity of the information" they were passing off when they tried to influence a national election with fake-but-accurate "news."

Spare me your protests about a "lack of civility." It's precisely because the MSM have no sense of integrity that the angry blogosphere has arisen. An enraged public spoonfed decades of MSM bullshit has finally found its voice, and is striking back. If you want to know the cause, Lady, look in the mirror.

3 trophy heads listed:... (Below threshold)

3 trophy heads listed:

Dan Rather or Eason Jordan or Judith Miller

Judith Miller?

She's doing fine last I heard. The union is covering her ass.

How about Trent Lott?

Wasn't he the first fly ridden head to decorate the blogosphere's "bloody stick"?

Boycott here!! Spam her!! ... (Below threshold)

Boycott here!! Spam her!!

Kathleen Parker was on the grassy knoll!


We found a witch! May we bu... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

We found a witch! May we burn her?


I think she's over or under... (Below threshold)

I think she's over or under medicated. Blogs are fun and all but their threat to civilization has yet to be gauged.

If she weighs the same as a... (Below threshold)

If she weighs the same as a duck...

Kathleen Parker, never hear... (Below threshold)

Kathleen Parker, never heard of her.

Dang it! McGehee beat me t... (Below threshold)

Dang it! McGehee beat me to the Monty Python reference.


Newspapers are filled wi... (Below threshold)

Newspapers are filled with carpal-tunneled wretches, overworked and underpaid, who suffer near-pathological allegiance to getting it right.

As soon as I read that, I stopped reading.

Kathleen Parker (who?) apparently has an unreliable connection to reality.

For those who would like a ... (Below threshold)

For those who would like a better sense of Mrs. Parker's writings, I suggest this archive.

I've followed her work off and on for several years. Despite the blogosphere's near-pathological irreverence for the "MSM," I will note that she is a established, syndicated, mainstream columnist. She's been at this commentary game far longer than most of us.


Ms. Parker columns are trot... (Below threshold)

Ms. Parker columns are trotted out by my local newspaper from time to time to show the conservative perspective. Perhaps she is more elitist than conservative. She obviously has no faith that the marketplace of ideas will sort out who to pay attention to, and who to ignore.

PW, she may have been aroun... (Below threshold)

PW, she may have been around since the Stone Age, but she doesn't appear to have the slightest grasp of Hayek's principles of economics -- that a spontaneous, decentralized organization, particularly as to the gathering and dissemination of information, is more effective than a centrally-controlled system.

She can tell people to "ignore" the decentralized system, but she can't wish away reality. It's like telling the passengers on a crashing airplane to "ignore" the laws of physics. It's ridiculous on its face.

A decentralized information network will always be more effective than the insulated cabal of "professors, lawyers, doctors, philosophers, scientists and other journalists." And not because I say so. It's a basic economic truth.

I got a real laugh out of the part where she suggest that these Annointed Chosen Ones of Information are only people standing between "civlization" and death. Fluffy histrionics are always entertaining.

I think she misses a huge p... (Below threshold)

I think she misses a huge part of blogging, the mental release it provides the people doing it. Most bloggers, whether they realize it or not, are only blogging for themselves, not so they can be the NYT. Sure there are some legitimate journalists out there who purely write to inform others, but most people are doing it to blow off a little steam.

I couldn't give a damn if someone else was reading my site. I write because it makes me feel better not to have to keep it inside me all day that John Kerry is a real a-hole! Or that Howard Dean is a complete lunatic. I have crappy grammar and an even crappier disposition when I write, but it allows me to have decent disposition with the people I have to interact with on a daily basis.

Hey, there haven't been any Post Office shootings since the blogosphere has taken off! It's just good medicine.

Her piece is fairly frustra... (Below threshold)

Her piece is fairly frustrating, now that I look at it. I think it makes a few points (points that I made elsewhere, earlier, in fact), but getting to those two points requires chipping away at much of the rest of her column.

I wonder if gemcutters feel the same way.


Well, I finally read more a... (Below threshold)

Well, I finally read more about the article by Parker and retract my first comment. I think she is just bitter over something.

Kathleen has been one of th... (Below threshold)

Kathleen has been one of the most reasonable columnists around. And she replied very courteously to my correspondence of some time back.

But she is mistaken here. Writers write - they don't tell others to not write. Can anyone think the media will do a better job if alternatives are suppressed?

Blogs are silent ghetto-blasters. You indeed don't have to listen. The boom-boxes gave you no choice.

I think "blah, blah, blah" ... (Below threshold)

I think "blah, blah, blah" could be superimposed on the column and it'd amount to just about the same expression afterward.

Whenever someone devotes such intensity to analysing bloggers, you know they're run out of themes.

It's the internet. People write. Humans engage in excess and sometimes great information. It's humanity...all the foibles, grandiosities, profanities, inspirations, helps, mundacities and beauty that are possible.

Parker said:When ... (Below threshold)

Parker said:
When a mainstream journalist stumbles, they pile on like so many savages, hoisting his or her head on a bloody stick as Golding's children did the fly-covered head of a butchered sow.

Maybe so--and I agree with some of her points about the distorted self-image of many bloggers--BUT... how is piling on "like so many savages" any different from how the "mainstream" (cough) media shreds usually-decent public figures at the tiniest hint of a POSSIBILITY of the politically incorrect (not to mention "stumbles")?

Hasn't she noticed Rove's or Rumsfeld's heads atop those bloody sticks--or Scooter Libby's? And if most newspaper editorial staff writers/editors had their way, Bush's head would have been finished off by the vultures long ago.

I have to wonder why Parker is so disturbed by blogs--more than likely, she's been the recipient of "unhinged" attacks from the lefty blogs. There ARE a few MSM-types on the right who hate "the blogosphere" simply because of the vile behavior of the crazed Kos/DU types.

Happy New Year, rightnutter... (Below threshold)
Devil's Advocate:

Happy New Year, rightnutters trolls,

May the Kool-Aid keep you on the path of righteousness, so that you can condone torture, "renditions", and inprisonment without being told what the charges are, and generally being deprived of due processs. May the Kool-Aid help you spy on American citizens and residents (all tax-payers) without warrants.

You rightnut little fascists finally have what you want: a dictatorship!

So, stop whining, rightnutters. Democracy has finally been defeated. You won. This is the Nazi Republic of America. Happy now?

Mr. Advocate, You ... (Below threshold)

Mr. Advocate,

You and Ms. Parker appear to have similar relationships to reality.

The UMass college kid who claimed he was visited by the FBI for checking the Mao book out of the library has admitted that he lied, in case you had not heard.

Perhaps you are also unaware of the long-established "inherent authority" of the president to "conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information," recognized by federal appeals courts and assumed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review in 2002.

The "renditions" (I don't know why we are using scare quotes, but I'll play along) you mentioned have been demonstrated to be perfectly legal -- other countries have legitimate interests in our prisoners all the time (and vice versa). This has been routine going back many decades (including Democratic presidents, in case you were unaware, including the most recent one.) The export-for-torture hysteria has as much basis in reality as the feds who allegedly harassed the liar who checked out Mao's Little Red Book.

We do not live in a dictatorship since we have a functioning Congress. And a finite term of the President's elected office (i.e. a definitive ending date). At least we did when I read the papers this morning -- has something unusual happened since then?

I mean this in all seriousness when I say that your hysteria has morphed into paranoia, and that you should seek professional psychological care.






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