Saturday, April 28, 2007

The New Deal

Whoever this Atrios fella is, I think he has it about right:

Left of center blogs filled various connected vacuums which were created by a triangulating-against-itself-Democratic party, a media with a "no liberals on TV or radio" rule, and the post-9/11 media prostration to the Bush administration and its complete abdication of its responsibility with respect to the Iraq war, all of which followed its campaign 2000 prostration to the Bush candidacy. Overall what blogs have been able to do is create an unfolding political narrative which has been largely absent elsewhere. Sometimes it's about emphasizing different things, sometimes it's about combating DC conventional wisdom, sometimes it's about highlighting things which are being ignored. But taken all together it's about telling the story of politics in a different way.


I remember years ago I'd know exactly when the few compelling liberal voices would have their moments. I knew when Joe Conason's column would hit the NY Observer, when Paul Krugman's column would hit the NYT, when Michelangelo Signorile's column would hit the New York Press. There were so few of them, voices in the wilderness, and there weren't enough to sustain a narrative.

That's pretty much it. The old-media darlings are wasting their time worrying about revenue models and such. It wasn't the revenue model that was the problem, though that is shifting tectonically right under their feet.

Their problem is that they don't recognize, even still, that there is simply a sizable bloc of politically-aware people out there who have had it with staid, diffident establishmentarianism. I have no use for a pundit who, by virtue of sheer longevity, thinks he has cred, and then shreds said cred with useless columns that mindlessly compare the intemperate rhetoric of Harry Reid straight across with the baldfaced lying and shameless incompetence of Alberto Gonzales.

It is hopelessly unserious writing and analysis, and since none of the other media monkeys have the balls to honestly criticize one of their own, it is left to us to do it. That it is generally done in the most vituperative, incivil manner available at any given time doesn't lessen its value one iota; that they choose to focus on the flavor of the commentary instead of the uncomfortable truths contained therein is exactly the problem at hand.

These old-school bozos are going to have to get with the program and start producing something of value, rather than more CYA boilerplate and empty-headed feints at sensible centrism. They are not centrists at all; they are, as Atrios points out, merely aristocrats, claiming their turf, talking to each other about each other, and all their little cocktail-weenie-appletini kewl kid friends.

Well, they have MySpace for that shit nowadays. Even if I had the opportunity, I can't imagine why I would want to work with these idiots, or even "dialogue" with them. I have nothing to say to any of them. I don't have a house in Nantucket, or a cushy sinecure pumping out twice-weekly pablum for the bewildered herd.

So we're working around them, and the sooner we're mercifully rid of the lot of them, the better off we'll all be. They've had every opportunity to bring out the best. Instead they've been content to enable the worst tendencies of a diseased, sclerotic system.

And the worst part of it for them, despite their tiresome ministrations about "civility", is that they know they're being ignored, that the only reason we even bother with them anymore is to point and laugh. For a bunch of preening ego-trippers, that's even worse than getting fired.