Turned up to eleven: Fair and Balanced

Tuesday, December 18, 2001

There are some very interesting "blogwars" going on right now, and I think they collectively mark a "paradigm shift", with apologies to Kuhn and the Simpsons. One that I refuse to link to is the ongoing Jonah Goldberg rant against the various libertarian bloggers, including at least a few respected journalists, who oppose his backassward neoconservatism. He and Kristol must be cut from the same cloth, because both are quite able to turn a phrase, and make esoteric references to books they are fairly sure that their audience hasn't read, but neither seems possessed of a coherent thought! Arrayed against Goldberg in particular are the collective wits of Libertarian Samizdata and Will Wilkinson, just to name a couple. As an aside, Goldberg seems perplexed by what Samizdata is, when the web page has an explanation on it!!! What critical reading skills he displays with that boner!! Anyway, a more serious discussion is going on at Libertarian Samizdata, about some recent academic articles expressing displeasure at the growing blog phenomenon. The conjecture is that people will surround themselves with like-minded e-contacts, and stop getting "unvarnished" news. Well, most of us probably watch T.V., so that probably won't happen to soon, but this seems an awful lot like the pot calling the kettle black. The real problem may be that the self-appointed gatekeepers and opinion shapers may look their power. To quote the bard (probably mangled) "Methinks the lady doth protest too much". In any event, it is pretty damned easy to get as many different opinions as you want on the web, and it only takes about three or four linkages to get from the far left to the far right, from authoritarian to libertarian, and pretty much anywhere in between. If you are interested in Star Wars or Lord of the Rings, you can get to that from almost any starting point in 1 or 2 clicks!!! The "marketplace of ideas" is coming, so ya better start studying, or you'll miss out.