Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Oh help! Save me from Ted Rall!

So, apparently the blogosphere has garnered the attention and disdain of Mr. Ted Rall. See the link above. He wrote an op-ed about blogs and bloggers and such. In particular, he's very angry about right-wing blogs. In part of the article in particular, he writes:
Death threats against liberal pundits are commonplace among, and essentially unique to, the right-wing blogs. And the GOP thinks that's OK. Nowhere can one find a responsible mainstream Republican to speak out against this hate speech. Borg-like, the various right-wing blogs simultaneously discuss the same stories, applying identical rhetoric. They create blacklists and urge their readers and fellow bloggers to threaten and harass their targets. Surfing this cheesy world of flag-draped neo-McCarthyite HTML makes it impossible to deny Columbia Journalism Review writer Steve Lovelady's conclusion that most are "salivating morons" who form an ideological "lynch mob." Worse, many of the right-wing bloggers are flat-out liars.
Oh please. Anyone who has been following the issue surrounding Jeff Gannon, its discussion at the Daily Kos, and Powerline's recent interaction with this group knows that he is looking at this from one side of things. In fact, I read several of the most popular conservative blogs in existence, and I have never seen anyone call for anyone's death or the harrassment of a blacklisted target. I've never seen a blacklist, for that matter. The Daily Kos, on the other hand, is possibly the most popular liberal blog out there right now, and it is filled with vitriol worse than you can imagine. Not necessarily from its author, but his readers certainly seem to bulge at the seems with it. What is Rall talking about? It'd be nice if he named names.

Next, he complains about Eason Jordan's firing. Let's be clear about this, Mr. Rall: You don't accuse the government of purposefully killing journalists, even torturing them, and then not have any facts to back you up. I don't care if you think he's right about it. Journalism isn't about opinions. It's about reporting the facts. That's where integrity comes into play. He wasn't doing his job with integrity, Teddy. That's why bloggers wanted the video to be released, and that's why CNN fired him (though we'll never know for certain what he really said).

Rall ends the article like this:
Bloggers are ordinary people, many of them uneducated and with nothing interesting to say. They're sitting in their rec rooms, regurgitating and spinning what real journalists have dug up through hard work. They don't have sources, they don't report, and no one holds them accountable when they make mistakes or flat out lie. Yeah, there's a new sheriff in town. Unfortunately he's drunk, he's mean, and he works for the bad guys.
Gee, does that sound like anyone I know? Sounds hypocritical to me.

I'll agree with what the guys at Powerline had to say about this: It was the blogs who did the digging that uncovered how the CBS memos were obvious forgeries. They did real reporting in that situation. CBS did not. What flat out lies have been perpetrated by the blogosphere so far? I'd love for Rall to give us something besides baseless accusations.

As for uneducated, let's take a few examples. I myself will have a BS in Chemistry in a matter of weeks. If I take up the offer from Northwestern, I'll have a PhD in about 5 years. You can call me what you like, but uneducated is not appropriate.

Or, let's take Hugh Hewitt. Hugh is probably the godfather of the conservative blogs. I'm willing to bet that he's the most read conservative blogger out there today, and if he isn't, I don't know who is. Hugh has won 3 emmys. He teaches law at a law school. He has worked for the White House in the past. I'd say those are amazing credentials. What do you have, Mr. Rall? A possibly completed engineering BS and a BA in Art? What makes you so much more qualified to comment on the state of the world?

The bottom line is that Rall is wrong on every part on the blogs. Additionally, and this is my own personal opinion, his artwork is atrocious. And he argues against blogs for being heavily partisan? Every comic he draws with Bush depicts him as a wild-eyed, lunatic dictator in full gestapo military garb. Yeesh.

But hey. As long as we're giving this much attention to a Universal Press Syndicate cartoonist, why don't we give the attention to someone who deserves it, like the incredibly talented conservative artist, Glenn McCoy?

No comments: