Though I didn’t pay much attention to the Inquirer feature, I have to admit that the excerpt I read from Russell Shaw of The Huffington Post was actually pretty good. My point, as you’ll read below, is that they could have featured topics that, if nothing else, generated much greater site traffic.
(I never really watched The West Wing myself, but my in-laws have been regular viewers for awhile. Their opinion is that it was about time for that to happen, thinking the show had pretty much run its course. Besides, seven years is an eternity anyway for a T.V. show, and it will no doubt live on in syndication forever somewhere. I know it was good – people like Dee Dee Myers from the good old Clinton days contributed to the show, and I would watch anything with Martin Sheen for some period of time anyway. Besides, it sounds like they were setting it up for Alan Alda’s conservative character to take over. Seeing that happen in real life has been unpleasant enough; I don’t think too many people want to see that on T.V. also.)
I seriously wonder about the Inquirer’s judgment when it comes to this sort of thing. I should point out that, a few months ago, they printed two posts supposedly representing conservative and liberal points of view on the outing of Valerie Plame, one by some wingnut called The Florida Masochist which did absolutely nothing to help the newspaper reader understand what was going on.
On another occasion, their blogging correspondent Dan Rubin posted some story that was supposedly a big deal regarding the fact that MoveOn.org ran an ad over last Thanksgiving showing our troops serving in Iraq in shorts, when some conservative blogger crowed over the fact that that isn’t the standard uniform for our troops, though it is for British troops, so how could those dumb liberals know what they’re talking about? When this was brought up to Eli Pariser of MoveOn, he acknowledged the screwup but pointed out that the most important fact of the ad – namely, that 150,000 of our troops were in Iraq over Thanksgiving – was still correct.
Since I believe the Inquirer needs help when it comes to figuring out and reporting on what it is that’s going on in “the blogging world,” (not much better than the other phrase, I guess), please allow me to summarize what has been transpiring lately at the sites I visit, and I will try to plug some others that are highly worthwhile but less visible.
- Atrios, The Daily Kos, Crooks and Liars, and other sites/bloggers have publicized a site that contains an open letter to Chris Matthews of MSNBC, telling him that he should apologize to Michael Moore for comparing him to Osama bin Laden. All kinds of related stuff regarding Matthews has come out also, mainly the fact that he is an utterly unconscionable shill for George W. Bush.Here are other widely discussed topics at other, less-well-known sites:
- The Daily Kos (among others) has a quote from right-wing uber blogger Glenn Reynolds basically stating his overall disdain for reader blog comments because of their “incivility,” though Kos finds an example of Reynolds’ own guilt on that score.
Update 1: I was looking for an inflammatory quote from Reynolds in the Kos post. This doesn't contain it. I'll keep looking, because I know I saw it somewhere.
Update 2: This is what I was looking for from Reynolds (in the Digby post linked to Kos):
There was a time when the Left opposed fascism and supported democracy, when it wasn't a seething-yet-shrinking mass of self-hatred and idiocy. That day is long past, and the moral and intellectual decay of the Left is far gone.
- Another issue that has received a lot of attention from the individuals mentioned above is the fact that Deborah Howell, the ombudsman for the Washington Post (I believe Dan Froomkin is back in that role now, but I’m not sure – I’ll keep checking) shut off the Washington Post’s reader comments blog when she decided that there were too many comments containing profanity. After Howell and Jim Brady, another Post senior editor, responded in a testy back-and-forth exchange with other bloggers concerning the exact number of the profane posts, the Post eventually relented and reopened the blog (Froomkin eventually re-entered the fray and said the profane posts constituted “a tiny minority”).
- Tim Russert, on “Meet The Press” last Sunday, asked Illinois Senator Barack Obama about Harry Belafonte’s recent disparaging comments towards Dubya. If Belafonte were working for Obama or acting in any official capacity with his organization, that would be understandable. However, this is not the case, leading to the conclusion that Russert asked Obama this question because he and Belafonte both are black, and somehow Russert thought Obama would know by osmosis or something, which is borderline (if not overt) racism.
- Savant at The Brand New Bag has all kinds of good stuff on the Dubya/Jack Abramoff connection (as does TPM Café).I’m actually starting to wonder if the paper wants to portray bloggers generally as somewhere between tweedy academics who actually have talent and all-out cranks who digest cable news programs 16 hours a day and then crank out stream-of-consciousness rants in between ingesting coffee and Skittles. Is that the rationale behind their topic selection?
- Brendan at Brandoland has been all over the problems with the Iraqi Reconstruction for the last couple of days.
- The Bulldog Manifesto/The Talking Dog have an excerpt from an interview with an attorney representing prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
- Itsez is full of populist rage over what working Americans have to deal with today (wages, health care, etc.).
- Liberal Serving comments on the apparent reappearance of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in a small town in western Maine (I always reserve judgment on that sort of thing myself or withhold it altogether).
I guess next Wednesday’s “burning issue” will be the bloggers’ take on the rumors of a lesbian relationship between Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston. Stay tuned!