Who the Hell is James Taranto?

Interesting piece about the the blah-blahsphere in the Opinion Journal, and frighteningly accurate:

Because political blogs are predictable, they are excruciatingly boring. More acutely, they promote intellectual disingenuousness, with every constituency hostage to its assumptions and the party line. Thus the right-leaning blogs exhaustively pursue second-order distractions–John Kerry always providing useful material–while leaving underexamined more fundamental issues, say, Iraq. Conservatives have long taken it as self-evident that the press unfavorably distorts the war, which may be the case; but today that country is a vastation, and the unified field theory of media bias has not been altered one jot.

Leftward fatuities too are easily found: The fatuity matters more than the politics. If the blogs have enthusiastically endorsed Joseph Conrad’s judgment of newspapering–“written by fools to be read by imbeciles”–they have also demonstrated a remarkable ecumenicalism in filling out that same role themselves.

Does he even read Best of the Web? Because, as everyone kows, it is the WSJ’s and James Taranto’s patriotic duty to point out on their BLOG that John Kerry is a wishy-washy flip-flopper. Plus, we learned yesterday that really it is the left-wing blogs which are worse.

PS- Michael Moore is fat.






20 replies
  1. 1
    ThymeZone says:

    —”written by fools to be read by imbeciles”—

    I’ll sign up for the former, if those are my only two choices. Foolishness is temporal, but imbecility is forever.

  2. 2
    cleek says:

    damn those bloggish whippersnappers and their unstudied opinions! they just don’t have the professionalism, culture or editorial excellence to produce such fine unbiased opinion-makers as the WSJ Opinion Pages…

  3. 3
    norbizness says:

    All you need to know about the reactionary punditocracy can be summed up in a two-word National Review headline from 2004: “WE’RE WINNING!” I guess republishing White House press releases for cash is a nobler calling than blathering for free, though.

  4. 4
    norbizness says:

    Sorry, Billmon has the quote juxtaposition to end all quote juxtapositions.

  5. 5
    Pb says:

    Comedy gold.

    Journalism requires journalists

    Maybe you should hire a few, then. Glenn Greenwald has more journalistic talent in his little finger than this guy has in his whole body.

    written by fools to be read by imbeciles

    Who’s the more fool–the fool who reads the blogs, or the fool who pays for the Wall Street Journal?

  6. 6
    jcricket says:

    Breaking – Richard Lowry (National Review) admits he was wrong, and that the right-wing blogs refusal to face reality in Iraq actually hurts the war effort.

    Most of the pessimistic warnings from the mainstream media have turned out to be right — that the initial invasion would be the easy part, that seeming turning points (the capture of Saddam, the elections, the killing of Zarqawi) were illusory, that the country was dissolving into a civil war.

    Shocker. All this time I thought it was the liberals that were refusing to take a good look at the “good news coming out of Iraq” and the “irrational Bush derangement/hatred syndrome” that were the real problems. Consider me schooled.

  7. 7
    jg says:

    PS- Michael Moore is fat.

    Be careful what you say about our future VP. We imprison without trial and torture now,

  8. 8
    Ed says:

    Since the sourcing for one AP Iraq story is possibly questionable thus making all AP Iraq stories suspect, does this idiotic WSJ Editorial make all WSJ Editorials idiotic also?

    Just askin’

  9. 9
    TenguPhule says:

    Since the sourcing for one AP Iraq story is possibly questionable thus making all AP Iraq stories suspect, does this idiotic WSJ Editorial make all WSJ Editorials idiotic also?

    Not according to the Right.

    This has been another edition of obvious answers to simple questions.

  10. 10
    norbizness says:

    Ed: No, but the entire output of John Fund, Daniel Henninger, Peggy Noonan (for God’s sake!) certainly nudges me in that particular direction.

  11. 11
    Zifnab says:

    If the blogs have enthusiastically endorsed Joseph Conrad’s judgment of newspapering—”written by fools to be read by imbeciles”—they have also demonstrated a remarkable ecumenicalism in filling out that same role themselves.

    Shorter WSJ: “I’m rubber and you’re glue… and you’re also a stupid head.”

  12. 12

    “damn those bloggish whippersnappers and their unstudied opinions! they just don’t have the professionalism, culture or editorial excellence to produce such fine unbiased opinion-makers as the WSJ Opinion Pages…”

    While I agree wholeheartedly that “objectivity” is little more than an albatross to hang about the necks of “The MSM,” there is something to be said about editing and professionalism. A lot of really good bloggers – John Cole, Glenn Greenwald, and Greg Djerjian just to name three – could find themselves paying publications after some face time with a good editor.

  13. 13
    cleek says:

    there is something to be said about editing and professionalism

    yes, and the thing to say about it is: what the fnck do big-name print pundits get away with being so unprofessional? don’t they have editors?

    *wave to George Will*

  14. 14
    Davebo says:

    The most idiotic post on a blog currently is Debbie Schlussels rant about Barak Obama Hussein Obama’s muslim heritage.

    Yet Schlussel is much more than just a blogger. She’s been published in the New York Post, Wall Street Journal, a frequent contributor to Fox News and also appears regularly on Sean Hannity’s show.

    And I have no doubt that were she to offer an opposing view to this piece the Wall Street Journal would jump at the chance to publish it.

    So I say, physician, heal thyself.

  15. 15
    RSA says:

    Who the Hell is James Taranto?

    Didn’t he direct Reservoir Dogs?

  16. 16

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  17. 17

    Which would I rather do: write an occasional letter to the editor, and send it off to the local paper, where it will be ignored, or whip off a quick note on BJuice or Kak, where it will be ignored.

    As I see it, the political orthodoxy of the blogosphere at least saves me the postage. (But, damn it, John, it was more fun making fun of the President when you at least nominally supported him, and, more importantly, his policies. Can’t you at least pretend?)

  18. 18

    There is an unfortunate amount of accuracy in the WSJ editorial, it also makes its point by ignoring the good Blogging that’s out there and ignoring the Tabs that compete for ink & pulp with WSJ. It also fails to notice that in the ramp up to and initial phase of the Iraq war the MSM played cheerleader rather than practice their much vaunted journalism. Probably due to their position, the ed also manages to ignore the effects of the corporate hegemony in “journalism” that does not affect Blogs.

    I make no pretence of journalism, my header specifically states “commentary and advocacy” though there are some who do indulge in journalism – “Loaded Orygun” does some and sometimes gets there first and best. I just try to be entertaining and to encourage a little extra thought. (and throw the occasional “ing-bing.”

  19. 19

    The MSM is still where it’s at as far as news gathering. I don’t care what anybody says, there aren’t too many blogs that actually break news. Gossip, yes… News, not so much.

    That being said, the blogs have completely destroyed the MSM’s ability to publish opinion. I can’t name a similar op-ed writer that I have any respect for any more. Every single one of them has been a shill for the status quo.

  20. 20

    TOS — that’s why it’s the opinion editor of the WSJ who’s whining; his job is in jeopardy. That said, people don’t buy the paper for the news; they buy it for the editorials, the real estate ads, the classifieds, and the lifestyle section.

    Yahoo has already taken care of the lifestyle section. Craig’s List does in the classifieds. Zillow et al. are as good as a realtor, and they’re going to kill the housing section in just a few years. If the blogs do in the editorial section…who’s going to pay for the news?

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