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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

I Take Inspiration From Ms. Dowd

My wavering concentration failed altogether at this point in her column, which, so far at least, is dedicated to smacking the blogs of the various Dem candidates:

Bob Graham dubs himself "the original blogger" because he has filled more than 4,000 color-coded, laconic notebooks over the last 30 years with a running diary of his every move, from ingestion of morning cereal to debarkation from a plane. (A typical Graham entry: "3:20 p.m. — Take bus to hotel.")

His blog doesn't pick up the tempo. He offers the rhyming motto: "Hate the war? Miss your job? Don't just sit there, vote for Bob!"

I like that motto! Maybe I can steal it for the Bush crowd, Al Franken style.

"Hate your job, miss the war? Vote for Bush 2004!"

That's what I'm sayin'.

UPDATE: Dr. Drezner links to some folks who managed to take this seriously.

A common theme is captured here: Implying that [lame blogs by politicians] means the Internet is "over" is like saying because of infomercials, TV is "over", or that because of campaign books, the autobiography genre is "over".

And our current favorite for "Good Argument Taken Too Far" is Matthew Yglesias, who said, basically, (1) Ms. Dowd is probably right that there is a lot of junk out there, since most of anything is junk; and (2) "I'd guess that most [blogs] are bad, since the blogs I've never read are probably much worse on average than the ones I have seen or else I would've heard of them."

Point (1) is not in particular dispute. However, his commenters are in open defiance of point (2), wondering about new blogs he may have overlooked, or niche blogs that are considered excellent by their tiny audience. Do not conflate popularity, or visibility, with quality!

Mr. Yglesias has an update attempting to clarify his point. We are now wondering whether he comes back again to surrender, or walks away. I should add that I am only interested in a "misery loves company" sort of way.

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