Monday, December 22, 2008

Althouse on Transcendent Blogging

I like Ann Althouse and I consider her to be one of the more interesting bloggers on the web.

That said, her take on today's Matthew Yglesias drama is a bit soft and squishy. Althouse wrote a post, "
One of the Great Lessons of the Blogosphere: Never Palmieri on an Yglesias," where she noted:

I'd never heard of "Third Way" until I read this post. Now, I think it sucks. Not because of something Matt once wrote about it - which I hadn't noticed - but because of this completely creepy intrusion into Matt's space. Why didn't Palmieri email Matt and ask him to quote a statement from the Center for American Progress Action Fund? Maybe she did and he refused. But either way, the invasion of a man's blog is unjustified, wrong, and also stupid. It's stupid, because even if you don't mind pushing around a respected blogger, you're doing it where everyone can see.
That sounds fine, but Althouse - who's friendly with Yglesias - goes soft on the ideological component of Matt's primitive discourse, to which I replied in the comments:

Ann: You're way too nice to Yglesias. Who cares about a fellow blogger's plight when he's so hip to slam every moderate-to-conservative under the sun with the most filty language imaginable?
Althouse responds:

He is an important blogger, and this problem transcends the political slant of his blog. But I like Matt and have done 2 Bloggingheads diavlogs with him. He had a great position with The Atlantic that most bloggers envy, yet he gave it up supposedly to become more politically active, and look what happens. I'm interested in the dynamics and ethics of blogging. And I want to be part of the outcry so that people learn a lesson - and it's the lesson that I've stressed here, not Matt's personal plight.
There is a lesson here, but it's probably not the one Ann has in mind. That's neat to be doing Bloggingheads, and I suppose, no offense, there's something heuristic about video talking-heads mutually stroking their egos during obscure online performances.

I just think it'd be extremely difficult to have a friendly conversation with someone who's one of the nastiest hard-left commentators online. But's that's me. Folks sometimes praise my writing as akin to William Buckley's, and I'm humble in gratitude. But I don't have Buckley's apparent ability for amiacable repartee. Besides, I find Yglesias' blowoff of the Third Way - his slur on the org's "hyper-timid incrementalist bullsh*t" - to be neither enlightening nor classy (more on that in my essay, "
Matt Yglesias, Jennifer Palmieri, and the Third Way").

Althouse is classy, though, and for someone who refrains from hyperpartisan demonization of political enemies, she's mighty tolerant of those who engage in it.

2 comments:

Grace Explosion said...

She thinks she's teaching him a lesson. I think her side of the comment and interchange comes off as odd. She seems juvenile. I mean, much of what he was saying was juvenile. Now she's teaching him a lesson. (Which makes her only appear juvenile as she poses as if she's above him and sinks to his level, imo.)

Is she the "Mommy Government" spirit of the left??

Merry Christmas to all.

Donald Douglas said...

I think Althouse wants us to learn a "lesson" about the ethics of blogging, Grace. I just can't stand Yglesias, and I frankly can't see why she's so soft on him.