As many of you may know, pundity extraordinaire' Joe Klein, the centrists columnist who writes for Time Magazine, began blogging recently. The blog, "Swampland" has had some more than interesting skirmishes with liberal bloggers around issues of accuracy and decorum. Joe has, on more than one occasion, been the lecturer-in-chief on etiquette and on playing nice in the political arena, with liberal bloggers, who are focusing on accuracy, generally throwing up their hands and concluding that Joe is simply eating too many cocktail weenies.
Well. Glory-be. But a few weeks dealing in the blogosphere may have had an impact on Joe Klein. Recently, Joe said this
As a newcomer to this blogging business, I've been interested in the Edwards dust-up. As readers know, I've been critical of the tone of the left-wing blogosphere in the past. But I think that Yglesias [Matt Yglesias, liberal blogger] raises an important point here and anyone reading the comments section of any Swampland post knows that troglyditic right-wing cavedwellers fester there, in a vomitously vile manner, too. And I'd add this: Radio. I was driving into Springfield, Ill last night for the Obama festivities and caught the ever-vile Sean Hannity "interviewing" the even-more-vile Dick Morris about Hillary. Just disgraceful...and they were mild compared to the crap I've heard from Rush and others over the years.
It's obvious that the current level of vitriol on the left is a reaction to nearly twenty years of sewage emanating from Rush et al. ...The intemperance on the left has three other sources (1) justifiable fury over the Bush adminstration (2) justifiable fury over the way the media treated Clinton and, to a certain extent, Bush and (3) ideologues of any sort tend to be obnoxious.
Whaaaaaaa .... ?
I personally want to welcome Joe Klein to an understanding of the world of a liberal activist. It seems that his time in the blogosphere has given him a much clearer picture of what the right-wing noise machine is really like. Perhaps we need to get Cokie (and her pearls), Broder, Stephanopolis, Russert, et. al. to start living in the blogosphere for awhile where they can see the coordinated message machine at it's roots?
Make no mistake, there are plenty of left-wing nutbars who inhabit liberal blogs comment sections. It's a public arena and there will always be nutbars of all stripes. But there is a qualitative difference on the right in that, while liberal blogs marginalized nutbars into the commentariate, right wing nutbars are
the bloggers. And these right-wing bloggers respond to and generate talking points to be spread by the rest of the nutbar noise machine, i.e. radio and Fox. Anyone spending a little time swimming around the entire blogosphere can see that very quickly. Looks like the population of Swampland has provided Joe Klein that very exposure.
Welcome to reality Joe!