The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Behold, I Bring You Peace, Goodwill, and Also This Gratuitous Vintage Pinup Girl

Posted on | December 21, 2011 | 19 Comments

There are exactly two kinds of ideas in the blogosphere:

  1. Bad ideas; and
  2. Ideas worth stealing.

Therefore I’ll begin with a hat-tip to William Teach at Pirate’s Cove, from whom I swiped the idea of using vintage cheesecake to grab attention for an odds-and-ends aggregation — as Jimmie Bise of Sundries Shack calls it, “clearing the browser tabs.”

Jeff Goldstein has a long post in which he talks about “offending some with my use of the word ‘incestuous’ [to describe certain aspects of the conservative blogosphere] though it strikes me from my recent attendance at BlogCon that the networking that goes on there is intended to bring about just such relationships, which doesn’t make the relationships inherently bad — but does describe figuratively the way opinion is often disseminated through a hierarchy of sorts.”

You should read the whole thing, which involves what I was feeling bad about yesterday: The discord caused by the (evidently advance-coordinated) endorsements of Rick Perry by Ace of Spades, Red State and Mike Flynn.

My own reaction was, “Are you freaking crazy? Perry? Really?”

However, some other bloggers who were more favorably disposed toward Perry — and I guess Jeff is included in that number (Correction: Jeff endorsed Bachmann) — were left to wonder why they didn’t get invited to participate in this JournoList-style conspiracy on behalf of the Smilin’ Texan. But I’ve gotten bad vibes from the Perry campaign from the get-go, and sowing enmity and suspicion in the blogosphere is just what could have been expected. And since we’re on the topic of doomstruck campaigns . . .

Newt Gingrich supporter Bill Quick is magnanimous:

The whole notion that news reporters have to be unbiased is hokum, by the way. It gained currency in the twentieth century, mostly as the left took over the mainstream media (and the journalism schools, another 20th century development). Like much in the march of the left through western civil society, it was a tactic, a deliberately designed lie to cover up the fact that the journalism establishment was biased to the hard left, to the point that Walter Duranty could visit the Stalin’s murderous Soviet Union and come back singing paens of “unbiased” rhapsodic praise for it.
Give me an honest reporter any day — and that includes being honest about his own opinions and biases.

Despite being wrong about Newt, Bill is right about this: Prior to the 20th century, newspapers were almost always blatantly partisan in their political outlook. The ostentatious pose of journalistic neutrality was, as Quick says, invented by liberals for nefarious purposes. A story can be factually accurate without being neutral, let alone “fair and balanced.”

I’m tempted to dig up the obituary I wrote for The Washington Times when former CPUSA Chairman Gus Hall died, just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about. But trust me: Readers were not left in doubt as to whether a no-good Commie traitor like Gus Hall was doomed to everlasting torment in the flames of Hell — a neutral, objective fact.

Speaking of neutral objectivity: For all I know, Shushanna Walshe of ABC News could be to the left of Gus Hall in her politics, but her daily “Good Morning, Iowa” digest is must reading, if you want to know what’s happening in the Iowa caucus campaign. I found it by accident while Googling for a particular item about Rick Santorum and was strongly impressed by this massive and nearly comprehensive aggregation.

And in other news:

OK, so much for tonight’s foray into Blog Ideas Worth Stealing. On the other hand, there are Bad Ideas like publicly drooling all over a candidate you haven’t officially endorsed. Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell.

UPDATE: What would an odds-and-ends headline aggregation be without a shameless profit opportunity, huh?

Yeah, there’s no way that Amazon order is going to reach you in time for Christmas now, but the great deals continue and you can buy some more great stuff for you, right?

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Comments

  • http://twitter.com/proteinwisdom proteinwisdom

    “However, some other bloggers who were more favorably disposed toward
    Perry — and I guess Jeff is included in that number — were left to
    wonder why they didn’t get invited to participate in this
    JournoList-style conspiracy on behalf of the Smilin’ Texan.”

    Not so. I endorsed Bachmann.  I care not a whit that I wasn’t invited to participate in the Perry posse roll out, if that is indeed what it was.  I’m only interested that there appeared to be some kind of coordination — but even if there wasn’t, the subsequent posts pointing to the “blogs” going for Perry in contrast to the pols going for Romney struck me as the creation of a new narrative worth exploring.  Largely because I know many blog commenters and bloggers on the right who haven’t gone for Perry, and who haven’t accepted the establishment idea of Romney, either.

    Turns out it’s the kind of post you aren’t supposed to write:  we can point out the journolist machinations of the left, but to even ask if something similar is at work to drive a narrative on “our” side is evidently a heresy of sorts.

    Besides, I was told I’m not really interested in narrative or the transmission of memes, etc.  I’m just pissed I didn’t get a Joy McCann link.

    10-years of writing on narrative, intentionalism, identity politics, and the poststructural techniques for manufacturing consent and creating consensus truths was but a clever way to eventually cover my tracks in the off chance I ever didn’t get a link from Joy McCann.

    I’m very very crafty that way.

  • Anonymous

    Roger that. Sorry I misread you.

    And, like you, I’ve been annoyed by the way in which two candidates — first Perry, then Newt, and now apparently Perry again — have been offered as The Only Viable Alternative to Mitt Romney, The Worst RINO in the Whole History of RINOism.

    The whiff of consultants is overwhelming, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Herman Cain — who didn’t hire Eric Erickson’s Consultant Buddies, LLC — never had that “Only Viable Alternative” meme in the blogosphere.

    Am I bitter and possibly also paranoid? Yeah, but what the hell: Joy McCann didn’t link me either, which means I’m so inconsequential that nobody cares.

  • http://twitter.com/xRedRoverx Kristi

    The angle of that paint can is ALL WRONG.

  • Anonymous

    What paint can?         ;)

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    You are a thinker, and a funny guy.  If they ever get your meds just right,  you will be truly dangerous.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    It’s like you think gravity is some kind of darned law or something . . .

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    The great American Free Press tradition was forged in rampant, virulent partisanship and front-page editorials.  The term “yellow journalism” came into being when political diatribes infected the first “color” comic strip, The Yellow Kid.  Where bigger cities had multiple newspapers, they were almost always each aligned with a political faction.

    Little has changed beyond the pretense of “objectivity.”

  • K-Bob

    I don’t know nothin’ from no coordinatin.’

    Sometimes events happen close enough together to appear simultaneous-y.  Sometimes there’s actually a conspiracy.

    But once in a while bloggers get way too inside blogistan for their own good.  If you guys were musicians, you’d be complaining about not getting hired for hits at the local square dance or something.  In a hardcore marketplace like music, complainers do not get the job unless everybody else is booked, and the bandleader is really, really desperate.

    The whole web is all about links.  But it’s not “about” the links, anymore than music is “about” changes.  The composer gets the royalties, not the guys on the record.  The bandleader gets paid more than the sidemen (once you get beyond the local bar scene).  And the sidemen get paid better than the comedian who introduces the bands.  Every step up in the chain means you are doing more to contribute to the success of the effort.  The creative guy is at the top. He gets the most money because he creates content.

    What does the audience want? The audience wants content.  Links, like sidemen, are way down the list.  Like sponsors.  And venue owners.

    Lead by example, and ignore the ones who don’t follow.  It’s a gigantic, fabulously big marketplace, after all.

  • SDN

    And the fact that there aren’t any actual conservative papers left.

  • jwallin

    I’ve never had problems with the press being biased.

    It was the press DENYING they had a bias and sneering and belittling anyone that said they did.

    Despite countless surveys, polls, essays and anecdotal evidence by turncoats and insiders.

    That takes an extra special amount of arrogance and disdain towards their potential readership.

    Which is why their readership is declining.

    You can only tell people they’re stupid, treat them as if they’re fools and sneer all while doing so until some of them decide they’ve had enough.

    Well, WE’VE HAD ENOUGH.

    Ask Politico, NYT, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Media Matters, TPM et cetera, et alia, et ad nauseum.

     Pissing on your reader/viewers and telling them it’s raining isn’t a recipe for return visits/views.

  • Quartermaster

    I don’t blame Paul for being annoyed. They’ve been dealt with over and over and now that he seems to be surging the establishment is going crazy.

    Sabrepoint has a post about the newsletters as well as the links to the newsletters. They aren’t PC, but I don’t think they are racist.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    Naw, its not racist to point out that the only time crime is down in black neighborhoods is when its time for the welfare checks to come out. That’s a perfectly reasonable statement to make. Not a bit racist. Anybody would shit their pants when they see a black man walking toward them on a day when there’s no welfare checks due.

  • Pathfinder’s wife

    So pointing out that a lot of Black communities have a huge crime problem as well as an overdependence on welfare is now a verboten topic due to its “racist” content?

    You’re right — we should just leave things the way they are, that way nobody’s being racist by saying mean things. 
    That is after all, the most important thing.

    I have more than enough criticisms of Ron Paul (in fact, I’d say he finally crossed the bridge too far this week) but these shouts of “racism!”…well, they are leading the conservatives and the GOP down a path that I”m not sure you want to go (or maybe some do because they really do like a lot of the things in the status quo — which brings up a whole other can of worms).

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  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    You’re damn right its racist, because its implying that all that black people, every damn one of them, think about is committing crime and drawing welfare. Why that son-of-a-bitch is even allowed to run as a Republican is starting to be a matter of grave concern to me.

  • http://www.thepiratescove.us/ William_Teach

    Oh, Gil Elvgren, one of my favorites! Thanks for the linkage, R.S.!

  • http://qwertyaltofuori.blogspot.com Red

    Bah! Damon’s got a movie to promote. Nothing to see here folks. Move along.

  • Anonymous

    Pure Americana… and babeliciousness

    Thus, linked-You Know Who’s Kinda HAWT?  Miss Argentina 2011 – Antonella Kruger
    Merry Christmas to you-n-yours, gentlemen

  • Anonymous