New attack in the war on blogging: “New McCarthyism”

Filed as General on February 23, 2005 11:26 am

by Duncan

Duncan Riley> Ted Rall, a columnist with UExpress, a syndication service of Andrews McMeel Universal, claimed to be “the largest independent newspaper syndicate in the world” has joined the war on blogging with a new attack on the blogosphere in a piece titled “But who watches the watchdogs” with a sub-heading of “Bloggers and the New McCarthyism”.

In the article, he wraps himself in left-wing rhetoric in an attack on right wing bloggers.

Supringsingly he claims that “the fact is that the political blogs are dominated by the hard right”.
Interesting, tell that to Kos, AmericaBlog and Mydd, and the many other bloggers in the left of the blogosphere. But in Rall’s world, they don’t exist.

He goes on: “The blogger wolf pack merely serves to further ossify a dangerously out of whack ideological imbalance. Moreover, conservative blogs mirror their mainstream counterparts by applying a far angrier and more violent tone than that of their liberal foes.”

But wait, there is more outrageous mistruths:
“Death threats against liberal pundits are commonplace among, and essentially unique to, the right-wing blogs”, a statement made without evidence and we presume only because Rall reads only right-wing blogs and very few from the left.

And he finishes with an overall attack on bloggers:
“Bloggers are ordinary people, many of them uneducated and with nothing interesting to say. They’re sitting in their rec rooms, regurgitating and spinning what real journalists have dug up through hard work. They don’t have sources, they don’t report, and no one holds them accountable when they make mistakes or flat out lie. Yeah, there’s a new sheriff in town. Unfortunately he’s drunk, he’s mean, and he works for the bad guys.”

Charming stuff, and I’d hope that the left of the blogosphere attack him for his anti-blogging rhetoric as well. He completely ignores the Jeff Gannon affair and the power and influence of a strong band of left wing bloggers in an attempt to make his attacks on blogs an issue of left vs right.

It is truly a shame that he seeks to wrap his blog hating in the flag of the US Left. One of the wonderful things about the blogosphere is its ability to give a free voice to differing opinions, its ability to articulate that most noble of principles: free speech. For as many blogs that are somewhere to the right of politics, there are most likely as many to the left, although scientifically we will never know because let’s face it: there are far, far to many to count based on ideology.

The blogosphere is a broad church that is worthy of defending, independent of personal ideological views. Ted Rall is simply another journalist, who threatened by the massive growth in alternatives to his writing, lashes out uncontrollably at that which he is unable to defeat nor control. He talks of blacklists, well today I’ve got him in mine, another member of the dying old media club.

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