We Have Met The Enemy and It Is Us

parker.gifHey, who knew the "Terrified of Blogs" bandwagon had any space left to acommodate latecomers? Because somehow, Townhall.com's Kathleen Parker was able to successfully elbow her way on this week to sound a clarion call of warning about bloggers, "enemies" she breathlessly deems less interesting than "al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden."

Parker works very hard to be fair, allowing that "some bloggers do their own reporting", "some bloggers offer superb commentary", and that she isn't trying to put down the "many brilliant people out there...who also happen to blog." She says, "They know who they are," and I naturally reply, "Why, thank you Kathleen! That's nice of you to say." She also offers some tidbits of wisdom that can't be faulted: "People tend to abuse power when it is unearned and will bring down others to enhance themselves." Well said, Kathleen -- I bet Valerie Plame would agree!

Nevertheless, her tone shifts spasmodically hither and yon.

She says things like, "Schadenfreude - pleasure in others' misfortunes - has become the new barbarity on an island called Blog." And this upsets me, mainly because no one at Gawker Media has told me about this island yet, and it sounds like fun.

Ultimately she reaches for a tenth-grade literary reference to make her point:

Each time I wander into blogdom, I'm reminded of the savage children stranded on an island in William Golding's "Lord of the Flies." Without adult supervision, they organize themselves into rival tribes, learn to hunt and kill, and eventually become murderous barbarians in the absence of a civilizing structure.

How tidy. But here's what's strange -- up until the moment I read this article, it never occured to me that Townhall itself was anything other than a blog itself. Can this be confirmed? Well, Parker does define blogs as "the angry offspring of narcissism's quickie marriage to instant gratification." So then we're agreed: Townhall.com is a blog.

Look, Kathleen, it's perfectly natural to see bloggers as fast and loose operators, working without oversight. But Lord of the Flies? That's unfair. As your column's existence proves, we're more than willing to give the most vacuous of twits a turn holding the conch.

Lord of the blogs [Townhall]


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