This is an archive of the old Stones Cry Out site. For the current site, click here.

« Free Speech on Campus | Main | Random-ness »

February 17, 2005

Dispatches from Glass Houses

James Taranto's "Best of the Web" today points to blogger David M's piece pondering the identity of the person who wrote Monday's Wall Street Journal editorial on the Eason Jordan "kerfuffle." (The word "kerfuffle" being a big clue, apparently.)

I've made no secret about being freaked out lately by the power of the blogosphere, particularly as it pertains to the Eason Jordan incident, but Taranto responds in such a dismissive, condescending manner that . . . well, it wouldn't surprise me to see Taranto in the blogosphere's crosshairs soon (if he's not already.)

David forwarded us his blog entry, asking if we did indeed write the editorial. That is a question we cannot answer, for Journal policy is to keep the authorship of editorials confidential. An exception is made when editorial writers are nominated for prizes--which means that bloggers who wish to learn who wrote this editorial should be rooting for the author to win a Pulitzer.

Isn't this a perfect example of how bloggers are amateurs (amateur: "one who engages in a pursuit, study, science, or sport as a pastime rather than as a profession")? If David enjoys puzzling over the authorship of newspaper editorials, more power to him--but it's hard to imagine anyone making a living that way.

There's also something sweet in how the bloggers have taken such offense at the editorial. Rather than bask in their victory, they are focused on letting the world know how much they crave the approval of the big boys at the Journal.

Perhaps Taranto hasn't noticed, but his "Best of the Web" is essentially a blog, pointing out newsbits from across the web and commenting on them. The only difference is that Taranto gets paid to write his blog while the "amateurs" he sniffs at do not.

WSJ's Peggy Noonan, on the other hand, gets it.

Posted by Drew at February 17, 2005 05:02 PM

Trackback Pings


I read Taranto's BOTW column every day via his daily E-mail (and forward excerpts on to friends...just ask Jim >grin<). Having done that for a long time, I recognize in the first two paragraph Taranto's standard sense of humor (the Pulitzer thing, and his manner of taking a phrase or definition literally to make a joke).

The last paragraph does make a serious point, though his analysis of the reaction is certainly fodder for debate. Taranto certainly understands bloggers (he cites them very often) so he shouldn't be considered ignorant in that regard. His point that bloggers may be too sensitive to criticism is worth considering.

Yes, I think the -editorial- may have been a bit condescending, although mostly in its last paragraph. The criticism of choosing the battles the blogosphere fights is a worthy thought to consider, although I would note that no one asked for Jordan's head, only the truth.

Posted by: Doug Payton at February 18, 2005 10:02 AM