The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing -- Edmund Burke

Home  TOC  Sitemap  Search

Alerts - Petitions - Polls - Surveys

Archives  Features  Cartoons

About Us  Contact Us

Conservative Calendar of Events

Election 2002

Columnists  Guest Voices  Bios

Publishers Corner

 

Nick's nasty bout with blog envy

La Shawn Barber

The Renegade Report

La Shawn Barber

lbarber@americasvoices.org        
archives

 

"I am personally acquainted with hundreds of journalists, and the opinion of the majority of them would not be worth tuppence in private, but when they speak in print it is the newspaper that is talking (the pygmy scribe is not visible) and then their utterances shake the community like the thunders of prophecy."
-- Mark Twain, (1835-1910) American writer, journalist, humorist

January 12, 2005

Envy, an emotion we all face from time to time, is defined as "a feeling of discontent and resentment aroused by and in conjunction with desire for the possessions or qualities of another."

As long as other people have more of what we want material possessions, influence, charm, good looks, business acumen, etc., the old green-eyed monster lurks.  While most of us try to keep envy in check, some display it in newspapers like the Star Tribune for all to see.

In a most vulgar display of blog, class and "male appendage" envy, Star Tribune columnist Nick Coleman had the blogosphere asking in unison, "Where was this guy's editor?"

In a December 29 column/rant, he lambasted Power Line bloggers Scott Johnson and John Hinderaker in a meandering, juvenile and over-the-top screed.  Named TIME Magazine's "Blog of the Year", Power Line was at the forefront of "Rathergate", the scandal in which CBS's and Dan Rather's sloppy research (and forged memos) was embarrassingly revealed.

Coleman's envy-tinged ire apparently stemmed from Power Line's criticism of some of his work.  Among other things, he accused the bloggers of being political operatives who received fat checks for fact checks.  Charging them with "pursuing a right-wing agenda cooked up in conservative think tanks funded by millionaire power brokers", Coleman implied that their nicknames might be compensation for certain .... shortcomings:

"If you read Powerline, you know them better by their fantasy names, Big Trunk (that's Johnson) and Hind Rocket (Hinderaker).  I will leave it to the appropriate professionals to determine what they are compensating for, but they have received enormous attention from the despised Mainstream Media and deserve more."

That a man Coleman's age based on his white-haired headshot is so inept at controlling his resentment could almost be excused if the piece had been clever.  But unrestrained nonsense (played straight) containing false statements published in a mainstream newspaper seemingly devoid of editorial oversight is not clever.

Coleman (and the Star Tribune) has received far more attention than he deserves, which may be the method behind his begrudging madness.  "Both Coleman and the PL [Power Line] crew live in the same city and both have their work accessible on the Internet.  Yet Power Line was able to have a national effect and get their message across in a way that Coleman could only dream about", wrote blogger Joe Carter of Evangelical Outpost.

So why another article about Coleman?  Exposing his misplaced tirade may serve as a lesson to like-minded journalists whose antipathy toward the dynamic, open-sourced and self-editing collective known as the blogosphere, teeming with citizen-journalists, is an unbecoming, unproductive and player-hating way to go through life.

Nasty columnists won't impede the blogosphere's growth, either.  Its effectiveness and speed in fact-checking the media is far-reaching and unstoppable.  After Coleman's hit piece was published, for example, numerous blog posts (with links to others) sprang up, dissecting, eviscerating and pulverizing it.  All before lunch.

Calling Power Line the "biggest link in a daisy chain of right-wing blogs that is assaulting the Mainstream Media", Coleman claimed that the purpose of journalism is to serve the "downtrodden".  Who are they?  Aren't journalists supposed to serve all by seeking truth?  Power Line's Scott Johnson contacted Coleman's editor at the Star Tribune to find out:

"[A]ccording to the editor, Coleman's false assertion that he didn't know and we didn't say whether we might be on the take from some campaign, political party or anonymous benefactor, appeared to violate no Star Tribune standard.  In his meeting with Coleman after my discussion with the editor yesterday morning, Coleman had told the editor that he "assumed" we received a stipend from the Claremont Institute .  I asked the editor what standards Coleman's column was subject to at the Star Tribune.  He said he didn't know; he would have to research the answer to that question and get back to me."

We'll wait patiently for his answer.

Newspaper readers critical of stories were once relegated to "Letters to the Editor" corners with no guarantee that editors actually read them.  Those days are gone with the dinosaurs.  Readers' opinions can no longer be tossed aside.

Some blogs rival online newspaper readership, and anyone with an Internet connection and decent writing and research skills can compose continuous letters to the editor for an audience of thousands.  Bloggers are doctors, lawyers, professors, police officers, pastors, writers, stay-at-home mothers and even guys in pajamas in their living rooms, and their online presence serves notice that shoddy research and reporting will not go unchallenged.

In Christopher Marlowe's famous Doctor Faustus, envy is portrayed as an old man who says, "I am Envy.  I cannot read and therefore wish all books burned."

Perhaps Nick Coleman wishes the same about blogs.

 

Copyright Copyright 2020 by La Shawn Barber & America's Voices, Inc.  All rights reserved.
La Shawn Barber's bi-weekly column also appears on TheRightReport.com.  A frequent contributor to the Washington Times, her work has been published in the Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Jewish World Review, The Black World Today, Grace-Centered Magazine and other publications.  A freelance writer and former liberal, La Shawn is now a renegade supporter of conservative ideals and reviews books for TownHall.com.  She writes the column
"The Renegade Report" for America's Voices.  Visit La Shawn's blog at www.lashawnbarber.com.  You can e-mail La Shawn at lbarber@americasvoices.org.

Home  TOC  Sitemap  Search

Alerts - Petitions - Polls - Surveys

Archives  Features  Cartoons

About Us  Contact Us

Conservative Calendar of Events

Election 2002

Columnists  Guest Voices  Bios

Publishers Corner

D-Day inaugural
feature article

www.americasvoices.org
publisher@americasvoices.org
editor@americasvoices.org
webmaster@americasvoices.org

Disclaimer

Publishing Guidelines

Copyright Copyright 2020 by Americas's Voices, Inc.
Columbus, Ohio.  All rights reserved.

America's Voices, America's Voices University, americasvoices.org and www.AmericasVoices.org are service marks of America's Voices, Inc. a not-for-profit educational organization.