Wednesday, May 10

At Least Our Lynch Mobs Are Digital

Richard Cohen, "Digital Lynch Mob", Washington Post, May 9.

Of Cohen's take on Stephen Colbert's Correspondents' Dinner performance enough, or almost enough, has been said: in light of his harassment by Left Blogostan he should be reminded that a) he wrote a piece which took a few gratituitous swipes at the blogosphere; b) he wasn't funny; and c) he wrote about the thing a week after the event, one he had not attended.

So Cohen's claim people wrote in response to a column saying Colbert was not funny is not exactly so. Cohen begged for this, and like some David Blaine street stunt it's impossible to decide with these types if it's a fake or just completely phony.

[Regular readers are aware that I have no interest whatsoever in Tales of Blogtopia, being that I currently totter at the intersection of "Seen That Sorta Thing Come An' Go A Hundred Times, Sonny" and "I'm Old And There Are Wolves Out There". And I'm congenitally disinterested in any form of Utopia, Anti-Utopia, Dystopia, or Todd Rundgren's Utopia, whom I once walked out on (I had a temperature of 102º, which didn't make them any less boring). Blaming something called the Blogosphere for public rudeness is like blaming Alexander Graham Bell for telemarketing. ]

Cohen stepped into that knowing there was already an uproar and frankly he's no longer good enough to warrant as much of a response as he got, which is not the same thing as saying he didn't deserve it. On the other hand, it did get me to check out his Tuesday column all on my own, without first reading elsewhere that he'd performed another public sex act with a once-popular President. And here again, not only has the "mean people sent me rude emails and all I did was antagonize them" story been more than handled, Cohen is apparently unaware that it became a cliché exactly three weeks after the term "blog" was coined.

This, though, caught my eye:
But the message in this case truly is the medium. The e-mails pulse in my queue, emanating raw hatred. This spells trouble -- not for Bush or, in 2008, the next GOP presidential candidate, but for Democrats. The anger festering on the Democratic left will be taken out on the Democratic middle. (Watch out, Hillary!) I have seen this anger before -- back in the Vietnam War era. That's when the antiwar wing of the Democratic Party helped elect Richard Nixon. In this way, they managed to prolong the very war they so hated.

Please, Dick, you've already earned the admiring glances of Kathryn Jean Lopez and Jonah Goldberg (warning: links take you to stuff written by those people). Personally, I'd rather have strangers calling me bad names.

Anyway, watch out, Hillary! because there are afoot in the land people who actually don't believe it's best to just shut up and let you conduct the disaster for a while, and if the word around the WaPo Pundits Only water cooler is to be believed they may be armed with Patchouli. And I don't remember exactly what we were smoking back in the Sixties, but I do remember why nobody shared any with Little Dickie Cohen. It was because he kept babbling about how, if we'd all just tow the line, the party responsible for the quagmire in Southeast Asia would straighten it up just as soon as it defeated Nixon. And we all believed that whatever he was on he'd had way too much of it already.


Anonymous said...

You know, I thought that paragraph would annoy you much more than it seems to have.

Which is not to say you didn't eviscerate it well. It's just that I was expecting to see some gleeful rolling in the entrails and instead we get a deftly handled, quick, clean kill.

I suppose he's not worth much more time than that, though. I mean, you can only Victory Dance so long over a two inch sardine.

beyond passionate said...

Wow, you're dissing Todd & Utopia? I guess you're too post-ironic to appreciate what was one of the most inventive musical experiments at that time, and was totally responsible for me surviving the late-seventies disco scene. Yea, Todd may not be Kurt-Cobain-or-Lou-Reed-type-cool to some of you hipsters, but Utopia had some great moments of brillance (and, yes, agreed,some moments of self-indulgence), but the times I saw Todd and/or Utopia will always be among my greatest concert memories. I'm gonna give you the benefit of the doubt and blame it on the fever.

Anonymous said...

So, if we had elected a pro-war Democrat, he would've ended the war?

Is it me, or is there something wrong with that logic?