Monday, October 27, 2008

MY NEW VOICE COLUMN is mainly a recap of the Ashley Todd affair. The speed and zeal with which rightbloggers jumped on the fraudulent charges are interesting, in a familiar sort of way, but their willingness to absolve themselves of any responsibility for their own credulousness is fascinating. As it happens, the blogosphere model of bad reporting has become so great a part of our discourse that the Todd story got big play from the beginning, and so did its exposure as a fraud, which intensified the spotlight on the bloggers, who generally behaved as any incompetent player might upon suddenly discovering that a huge audience has seen him end his big dance solo with one foot in a slop-bucket: They manfully played it off as part of the routine. It won't teach them anything, but it might have some effect on the people who read them.

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