LONGER ROY EDROSO*: (* That's me, joy-poppers.) With all due respect, Welch has considerable credits as a journalist, and demonstrates keen intelligence on a daily basis, so when he writes something like this reassessment of his 2001 thinking --
“What do warbloggers have in common, that most pundits do not?” I enthused. “I’d say a yen for critical thinking, a sense of humor that actually translates into people laughing out loud, a willingness to engage (and encourage) readers, a hostility to the Culture War and other artifacts of the professionalized left-right split of the 1990s…a readiness to admit error [and] a sense of collegial yet brutal peer review.”-- I have to ask: are you 12? Because the blogosphere was observably as big a bunch of bullshit in 2001 as it is now. Many of us who are certainly no smarter than Welch were pretty clear on this as far back as March 2002:
Man, was I wrong.
...witness the puffery (self-administered and otherwise) exhibited by the various "war bloggers." These are mostly right-wing operatives who every day spew great clouds of Bush Administration rah-rah (much of it devoted calling Noam Chomsky et alia some variant of "poo-poo head"), heavily scented with plugs for one another's sites and chest-pounding assertions that war blogs have saved America from being overrun by antiwar demonstrators. Therein politics is ostensibly the raison d'etre, but everything at these blogs ultimately devolves into a pissing contest: What a traitor this guy is! I get more hits than you, you're just jealous! Boy, that Rachael Klein is a dish!(Rachael Klein, some of you may remember, was a Berkeley sex columnist whose work was sometimes used by internet dorks when they wished to portray themselves as fun-loving regular guys.)
I mean, was it not obvious to anyone who had attained a Deep South age of consent that the big names of the scene -- Den Beste, Reynolds, Goldberg, and so forth -- were posturing blowhards whose collective lack of talent was in a perpetual race to the bottom with their collective lack of common sense?
Remember crap like this?:
The only thing that would even remotely mollify American Jacksonians would be a clear indication that the people of France and Germany had themselves repudiated the leaders responsible for this. If French and German voters clearly indicate that they hate what happened, and dump all of the leaders responsible, and put a lot of them in jail, and if the new governments there clearly state that those who did it were indeed renegades, and apologize, then America's Jacksonians would then permit relations at a somewhat cooler level to continue.Ngnnyah. And some people thought he was "the Thomas Paine of our age."
In times of high stress (like right after a massive terrorist attack), these guys sometimes expressed thoughts and feelings that were similar to those experienced by intelligent people. This did not make them intelligent.
Don't get me wrong. I'm glad the genuinely talented Welch has found a job in one of those squaresville MSM outlets, where he will presumably be recompensed for his loss of cred with cash. And when it comes to disillusionment, better late than never. But I still don't get how smart people (along with the bazillions of fools) got taken in by this scam. Hell, even when I was taking Internet Bubble money, I kept wondering when I was going to get caught.