Posts from December 16, 2004

Freedom blog

Freedom blog

: Steve Safran suggests that someone should blog free speech. I try but we need more.

The price of fame

The price of fame

: Howard Stern said this morning that with all his year-end Christmas bonuses and gifts — he gives something even to the guy who makes his egg-white omelets in the deli downstairs, whom he never sees, mainly out of fear that the guy could accuse him of being a cheap bastard — the total cost is well into the six figures. He held up fingers in the studio to say how many hundred K he spends but we couldn’t see that.

Dear Santa….

Dear Santa….

: Adam Penenberg has a good media wishlist for 2005.

1. Google News should become a for-profit enterprise.

2. Bloggers should break news. (He’s nice enough to cite my FCC FOIA scoop; as I’ve told anyone who’ll listen, what really excites me about this — besides defending the First Amendment — is proving that anybody can break news; the tools are in citizens’ hands.)

3. Dismantle the FCC. (Amen! Bravo! Yeah!)

4. The end of Nielsen and comScore

5. Media should reassert its role as government watchdog

Read it all.

: Glenn Reynolds says wish No. 2 is already granted.

The Adventures of Prof. Pondscum: The sequel

The Adventures of Prof. Pondscum: The sequel

: Juan Cole, hate blogger, continues to dig himself deeper after attacking Omar and Mohammed of Iraq the Model. He says:

My allegation that the IraqTheModel website is far outside the norm of Iraqi public opinion as measured by polling has caused a stir in the weblogging world among, apparently, dittoheads who can’t read polls.

Well, no, you elipseshead, Cole, that’s not what caused the decent and civilized bloggers to call you indecent and uncivilized. It was that you implicated with absolutely no evidence or knowledge whatsoever that these good and honorable men might be propped up by nefarious forces. And since you, Cole, know just how dangerous a place Iraq is — since that’s all you write about, day in and day out — then you should know that such an implication could be deadly. That, Professor, is what caused a shitstir hereabouts. You have the bad sense to continue:

I drew attention to Martini Republic’s questions about the independence of IraqTheModel without actually expressing any opinion myself one way or another, except to say that they are out of the Iraqi mainstream. The dittoheads who read them and can look at the above polling figures and come to a different conclusion are just innumerate (if only they were also so illiterate as to be unable to figure out my email address).

What a crock of Cole crap that is: If I point to a report that Jews were responsible for 9/11 and say nothing to correct or disagree with it, then I’d say I’d be guilty of anti-Semitism and blood libel. That is the ethic of the link.

You can’t back away that easily, Cole. You made an unsubstantiated and libelous accusation against these good men and until you apologize, you’re not off the hook — in terms of your responsibility, your credibility, and your morality.

As for the point on polls: I never assumed to speak for all of the people of Iraq (as you apparently do, Cole). First, no one knows enough about what the people say (you think exit polls here are unreliable!). Second, what difference does it make? I want to hear many voices from Iraq. When I wished for blogs to start in Iraq — and Zeyad answered my wish by blogging and getting these men and many others to blog — I said that what we needed is “a thousand Salam Paxes,” many voices and viewpoints. And that is what we have. I am delighted — as the Iraqi bloggers have been — that we have Riverbend next to Iraq the Model next to Healing Iraq and that is growing … and will grow more now that we have an Arabic-language blogging too.

But, “Professor,” look at yourself: You are supported by institutions of the nefarious United States government, aren’t you? And you certainly do not represent the American mainstream — witness the results of the election, just past. So by your own standards, I guess you should be shutting down the blog and refusing all those invitations to be on TV as if you are a spokesman for anything other than your own bile and blather.

I’m not alone dismissing Prof. Pondscum. Judith Weiss does a great job of compiling the return fire. Here‘s Cathy Siepp. Here’s James Taranto pointing out the same tasty irony. The Acerbic Alchemist argues that such a personal attack on another blogger is over the edge. Here‘s Michael J. Totten. Scroll down for Kaus’ comments. Just go read all of Judith’s links.

My favorite irony of all this is that no matter how stupid you think the CIA is, even the dumbest spook alive would not take agents to meet the friggin’ President of the United States! But such is Cole’s conspiracy theorizing.

I repeat: These are good and honorable men who believe in freedom and have the courage to say it. That deserves our support and admiration. Cole deserves every blogbat he can get.