Lee Siegel yesterday harshly criticized many left blogs’ more-than-shrill reaction to the New Republic‘s suggestion that left-blog influence may be being traded for cash, and its revelation at the same time of the existence of systematic backroom coordination of news coverage, via “Townhouse,” a secret email list connecting the elite of leftwing blogging.
Siegel was deservedly scathing in his comments about the character and quality of the dialogue found on many of the most influential left-side blogs.
In response to Jason Zengerle’s most recent post on The Plank–“Hope you’re not tired of this Kos stuff”–no, I for one am definitely not tired of Zengerle’s artful and honest exposure of someone who, more and more, seems to represent the purest, most classical strain of hypocrisy. All the MSM has to do is reach out and touch the angriest, most vitriolic blogger, and he or she melts like butter on the beach….
..when bloggers do get the MSM to turn its head their way, the training wheels come off and they usually fall flat on their faces.
It’s a bizarre phenomenon, the blogosphere. It radiates democracy’s dream of full participation but practices democracy’s nightmare of populist crudity, character-assassination, and emotional stupefaction. It’s hard fascism with a Microsoft face. It puts some people, like me, in the equally bizarre position of wanting desperately for Joe Lieberman to lose the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont so that true liberal values might, maybe, possibly prevail, yet at the same time wanting Lamont, the hero of the blogosphere, to lose so that the fascistic forces ranged against Lieberman might be defeated. (Every critical event in democracy is symbolic of the problem with democracy.)
Even beyond the thuggishness, what I despise about so many blogurus, is the frivolity of their “readers.” DailyKos might have hundreds of responses to his posts, but after five or six of them the interminable thread meanders into trivial subjects that have nothing to do with the subject that briefly provoked it. The blogosphere’s lack of concentration is even more dangerous than all its rage. In the Middle East, they struggle with belief. In the United States, we struggle with attention. The blogosphere’s fanaticism is, in many ways, the triumph of a lack of focus.