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September 16, 2006


The whole concept is inherently false. I blog because I want to, not because I'm hoping to be discovered.

But we already know Siegel is an ass and the Times is slow on the uptake.

Sure, easy for you to say, once you're already blogosphere-renowned. ;)

Of course one purpose of blogs -- of all media -- is to be read. You may have transcended that, but certainly for a lot of bloggers success is measured in viewership just as much as it is for tv networks or the Times.

So I think it may be a trap to try to say we are above the need for readership. But the idea that we are sniping at those above us because we are jealous of their writing's reach -- that's an easy smear for the uninitiated to believe, and one that I think is worth debunking. We don't rail against liars because they reach a bigger audience than we do -- we do it because they're liars, and because no one else is calling them out.

Well, I didn't say I crave for no one to read me. ;-)

But I always write assuming no one will.

Good Bloggers supplement other media and many are far more interesting and informative than most institutional media. We who read and comment like to interact with words, ideas, reactions and any "talk/write about it" door is shut tight when it comes to the institutional media. Blogs have the potential to benefit any Democracy because democracies thrive with a well informed electorate-ordinary citizens throwing about ideas in order to make better decisions in the voting booth. Keep writing, Emptypockets, DemfromCT, et al-you know you are making an impression when the institutional media seems to feel threatened.

Blogging under a nomme de bloggerie is a fortunate part of our communications milieu.

I would guess if I ever attend a Ykos my name tag will be a give-away from afar...wordsmith...elliptical prose, and truer epithets. There was one Droll on then-next-hurrah this week who tossed Greek characters onscreen, and, I believe, some Sumatran folk sayings; but definitely speaking in tongues. My sole offense was suggesting the Droll go read a comment emptywheel had posted about the pedagogic merits of including Herodotus in one's syllabus the first week of class for your students to appreciate the art of historical criticism.

Sometimes it seems we are asking the same questions Herodotus tried to address.

Here are some more germane, I hope, references, though they are somewhat faulted: I noticed LAT nudged Robert Scheer out after some rather caffeine inspired writing of his, some of it excellent, some a tad conservative, late 2005. Also, like your protagonist, at LAT Michael Hiltzik who wrote the Goldenstate blog, defunct link, was visiting his own site with an alias; like Scheer, Hiltzik was touching the spheres of extraordinary perception at times, and got fired for that same fictitious conversation with pseudonymous alter ego April 2006; right after writing an exhilarating article about Patrick Fitzgerald's work.

And, speaking of wingers, the day 2006's yKos opened this adieu for a blogger appeared: some folks had found a famous liberal blogger's real-life name and published it to the web.

Besides bad writing, what the hell is "wicked expedience?"

Oh, another thing: when Ben Domenech was revealed by a diarist at DKos to be a plagiarist, I led the charge at Daily Kos in publicizing his intellectual theivery. Markos was getting lots of media inquiries, and he asked me to speak with a reporter from the Times. We chatted for a while, but it was only on background, because I wouldn't give her my name and she was prohibited by her editor from using anything she got from a source who wouldn't reveal their actual identity. I think the reporter noticed the irony, but it's pretty clear her editor--an editor at the paper that employed Judith Miller--did not.

I agree with the reason the bloggers vent. My reasons for reading them is the same. I grew weary of the Bush cheerleading when I knew what was happening and no one was raising alarm bells. I was frustrated with a profession that use to be the one of Murrow and Woodward/Bernstein, et al. has become lazy and accepts it all as truth without finding out.
There had to be more. There had to be voices out there that spoke to me and was as alarmed as I was.
The blogs are so much more than what they are given credit for.
Cspan seems curious and accepting of blogs as an exciting and interesting new voice. Everyone else puts it down. I suspect because they are very afraid and threatened by them and so, tries to stem the interest by making fun of or trying to say you guys just print junk. They are trying hard to discredit you.
If the msm hadn't fallen down on the job maybe blogs would have grown at a slower pace but, the huge surge does have it reasons and maybe they need to look inward for why the blogs are a true threat to them.

DHinMI, I nearly went off on a fairly long aside about the strange usage of "expedience" but decided to stick to one message. But, yeah, that got me too (it even made me look up the word "expedience" online in case there really was some usage I was unfamiliar with). I think he means something like "convenience" (or possible just "consequence"), trying to say that anonymity makes it easier to speak without consequences, and he got confused thinking of the modern usage of expedience (or really, expedient) as something that makes something else easier or more convenient (ie, that expedites it, like fedex) rather than the classic sense of something that is itself expeditious.

Also, if anyone can figure out what the fuck "anonymity is obscurity's rash" means, other than that anonymity is bad, please parse that one out for me. Is obscurity a thing that HAS a rash, like an arm, or something that CAUSES a rash, like poison ivy? Or is it more like a diaper rash?

Frankly, not having read this guy before, the way he expresses himself makes me marvel that it took a breach of ethics for him to get canned as a writer.

Wannabe Pseudo-NY Intellectual Lee Spiegel
doesn't even make it as something one scrapes off the bottom of their shoe. He truly belonged with the rest of the otherwise-unemployables at The New Republican't. The guy's entire existence gives a new and original meaning to the word "pathetic."

Writing ten words about him in succession is giving him more time in the spotlight - even the spotlight of shame - than he deserved.

But still, he did do one thing of value: if you saved up all the stuff he wrote in the New Republican't and printed out all the streams of crap from online, you'd have a fair supply of toilet paper substitute for use during the coming shortage.

annanimity and ventriloquism are not the same thing

you might not know everybody you are speaking to, and not find that strange

if a person began assuming different personas and parroting his original arguement in a conversation in the meat world, you would recommend that person to a psyciatrist

because annanimity allows the ventriliquist to go undetected (unless the ventriliquist is a total nitwit), there is a desire to confuse the two concepts

ventrilquists can appear sane on the innertubes because others are often not aware that the opposing faction in a debate is comprised of one person

"ventriloquism," as I was just reading, comes from the phrase "to talk from the belly" (like ventral-eloquent). I think we would agree the sockpuppeteers are generally speaking from a different part of their anatomy.

DHinMI, I think your anonymity and the Times tale is important. Some reporters use the blog medium to help develop a story; as that reporter's editor, too, is bound by corporate policies, there is an irony there. But one thing the best reporters at the Times do is keep their investigations going until there are, like the at-first-denied story of the domestic wiretap program, a dozen sources. When you follow the anonymous blog leads and find real connections and published materials which are legitimate resources, the medium has proved its worth.

I avoid the conservative websites unless GoogleNews tricks me; you can get that material from the MSM.

One interesting thing I have noticed recently is a few liberal bloggers citing the WSJ; one I have read observed the simple caveat that if one reads WSJ sections not the editorial page, there is more useful and insightful material there. It is many years since I was a WSJ faithful; but once I was able to help Steve Jobs based on some reporting I found in WSJ. Fast forward to the present.

'Expedient...'I think the fired reporter had to say something cryptic, intellectual, and seemingly mercurial; it contained an oxymoron, as well. But he can look for other work in media.

Here is a somewhat distantly related event reported this week: The Miami Herald recently fired ten reporters who were moonlighting in US propaganda radio broadcasts to Cuba; one reporter was on the government payroll for $35,000 per year, plus his regular job at the cousin of the Miami Herald; link.

Jeez...many bloggers are saddled with obscurity....no wonder....

Why the hell is it that "journalists" like Siegel and Gannon who are exposed and disgraced by bloggers get rewarded with New York Times Magazine interviews instead of the bloggers who kicked their asses?

``Now there's no reason left for me to stay in NY''

Oh yeah? My recollection of my year living in NYC (1980--1981) was twofold:

(a) I hate this fucking city!

(b) This has got to be the most civilized place in the US (other than San Fran, perhaps).

So far as museums, libraries, concert venues (I mean here, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, &c.), and jazz clubs go, you can't beat it.

Wow. I just stumbled into this place seeking something about the Plame case, and now seemed to visiting every day or so, and wondering why since everyone here is some severe degree of crazy. The above exchanges jogged me into realizing why. You folks are crazy alright, like Poe. Crazy but smart and interesting.

And DemFromCT is a big shot! And emptywheel chums with Jobs!

There are Celebs here!

Wow again!


Remember to "Run for life" if you can this coming weekend.
(or sometime later if you can)


I can put sock puppetry in simple enough terms that even the Times can understand it. Though the Times may not publish letters to the editor with "name and address withheld," there are respectable publications that do, if there's a reason for it.

Consider on one hand such a letter to the editor highly praising an article that was published, and its author.

Then consider a similar letter that happens to be from the author.

Pretty obvious that the anonymity isn't the problem, isn't it?

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