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March 11, 2002

Tedious outbreak of meta Nick Denton, whose hard-hitting posts on the steel tariffs were being praised here just days ago, has now descended to this sort of thing:
The web and weblogs were supposed to reflect the kaleidoscope of opinion. But Blogger has made weblogging so easy that even conservatives can do it. And now the political weblogs—at least the ones to which we all link—have become monotously hawkish. Not Jerry Falwell conservative, of course. But yelling talk-radio poor-are-lazy Clinton-is-evil fuck-the-Saudis fuck-the-Europeans fuck-everybody conservatives. (Okay, not you, Matt.) They make me feel like a bleeding-heart liberal, which is quite an achievement. Where are the liberal weblogs? Okay, let me rephrase that: where are the well-written liberal weblogs?
Keep rephrasing, Nick. So far you’ve made me want to defend angry anti-Clinton talk-radio conservatives. Who knows what you can achieve if you really try?

If there’s anything more fun than seeing the whole spectrum of conservative and libertarian bloggers reduced to a dittohead stereotype, it must be Denton’s magisterial pronouncement that the rest of us don’t exist. Goodbye, liberal bloggers Ted Barlow, Chris Bertram, Avedon Carol, Charles Dodgson, Gary Farber, Avram Grumer, Glenn Kinen, Ginger Stampley, and innumerable others.

I dunno, maybe none of us write well enough to meet Nick Denton’s exacting standards. Maybe some of us have opinions that disqualify us. (I’ll cop to “fuck the Saudis”; I have this wacky notion that being opposed to absolute monarchies is, ya know, a liberal thing. Perhaps Denton, arbiter of liberalism, has a more nuanced view.) But I think the real answer lies in the freeway-wide line of retreat he’s carefully left himself: he’s asking where such weblogs are among “the ones to which we all link.” To which the answer is: who do you mean “we”, monkey boy? Some of us were here long before we picked up on the existence of a whole bunch of you. Which is why, on the internet, this kind of warmed-over New Musical Express-style all-us-cool-guys-agree zeitgeist-mongering tends to leave its author looking like a horse’s ass. On the internet, everyone’s at the center. Get used to it. [11:26 PM]

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