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My good friend Jon Henke at QandO (the essential libertarian blog, BTW) tips me that my blogging career has reached new heights. First I reached five million hits this week, CNN and C-SPAN mentioned my blog on the air, and now I have truly achieved success -- I have annoyed Ted Rall:
Bloggers want you to know that there's a new sheriff in town. Edward Morrissey, writer of the right-wing blog Captain's Quarters, boasts to the New York Times: "The media can't just cover up the truth and expect to get away with it--and journalists can't just toss around allegations without substantiation and expect people to believe them anymore." And what are Morrissey's qualifications to police the media? When he's not harassing old-school journos like Dan Rather and CNN's Eason Jordan out of their jobs, Morrissey manages a call center near Minneapolis.
What qualifications does Rall have to write opinion columns for Universal Press Syndicate? He draws cartoons -- badly -- and expresses opinions similarly. I don't pay much attention to him as a rule, as he generally makes almost no sense whatsoever, and this column is a perfect example. For instance, he excoriates "gay GOP blogger" Andrew Sullivan without apparently knowing that Sullivan blogs as a sideline to his job as a syndicated columnist, not unlike Rall himself. He claims to have been libeled by Sullivan but lacked the funds to sue him:
My jaw dropped when gay GOP blogger Andrew Sullivan accused me in 2003 of "urging the murder of American troops in defense of Islamist terrorists." Of course I'd done no such thing, and he knew it. If I had had the ready cash I would have slapped the lying bastard with a richly-deserved libel suit. Incredibly, Time magazine hired Sullivan to write a column.
Uh-huh. If Rall had a case, he wouldn't have needed much cash to go after Sullivan; almost any lawyer would have taken Rall as a client on a contingency basis. I also see that he has no clue about the most central blogger, Glenn Reynolds, whom he labels as a right-winger even though Glenn only really supports Bush on foreign policy. Then again, anyone to the right of Dennis Kucinich qualifies as a reactionary fascist to Rall.
When Rall first heard about blogs, he recounts, he rejoiced for the free speech it encourages. However, when people like me exercise speech he dislikes, suddenly he fears and loathes the blogosphere:
As a free speech fan, my initial reaction to the blog explosion--there's a new one born every 7.4 seconds--was delight. If you've been interviewed for a newspaper article you've probably had the experience of being misquoted or taken out of context, or at least had your name misspelled. If reporters get these basics wrong, how can we trust them when they tackle the big stuff? Moreover, the mainstream media is an ivory tower. Anyone who has tried to call a paper to complain has suffered through phone-tree hell before possibly wrangling out the limited satisfaction of a two-line correction on page 83 beneath the obituaries. But now anyone with access to a computer can, with the proper string of ideological comrades in cyberspace, call the mainstream media to account.
"I think the relation is more symbiotic than parasitic," writes Glenn Reynolds of the right-wing blog Instapundit. "Bloggers are more like the fish that protect sharks from parasites." Bloggers, fierce new watchdogs of the fourth estate, claim they're democratizing American journalism.
It all sounds great--until you read them. Once you spend some time surfing this ocean of likeminded righties, however, you realize the awful truth: the "populist" blogosphere is cowing the mainstream media even further into submission to the powers that be.
So his problem is that he expected bloggers to exist only to agree with his radical beliefs. Of course, that's Rall's idea of free speech. He can criticize anyone he likes, including me, but when people criticize Eason Jordan for making unsubtantiated allegations of assassination strategies about our military, all of a sudden it's McCarthyism. (I notice that Rall does the same thing, but Rall doesn't run one of the largest news organizations in the world.)
Rall, as usual, rants incoherently about how we're ideologically disinclined to hold journalistic "conglomerates" accountable right after we've done exactly that with CBS (Viacom) and CNN (Time Warner). Unfortunately, Rall appears ideologically unable to coexist with the truth, but as anyone who has had the unpleasant experience of reading Rall in the past knows, that condition appears incurable in his case. Rall doesn't really even have enough of a connection to reality to enrage; he just provides amusement, like a crazy old uncle locked in his rec room, typing and muttering about all of the people out to get him. Too bad he's not important enough for it, and that he doesn't even know it.
Does Rall realize that when he says such things that he sets up enmity between himself and thousands of "working class" in doing so? Does he realize that it is ok for the "working class" to have opinions? Does he know that it is legal, and ethical, and a constitutionally protected right for the "working class" to express those opinions - be they on blogs or otherwise?
If Rall is trying to be an elitist who portrays himself as being bigger and more self-important than the people he draws his sad cartoons for - then he is keeping a brisk pace in getting on his way.
Kevin's mother-in-law, by the way, is recovering from brain surgery and could use your prayers. Drop him a note of support while you're there. (Updated update: It wasn't a stroke, as I had written earlier, and it's his mother-in-law.)Sphere It View blog reactions
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» Success Is When All The Right People Hate You from FullosseousFlap's Dental Blog
So, Ted how about knocking off the ad hominems towards bloggers and criticise us and your bosses over at the Universal Press Syndicate (AKA MSM) on the basis/merits of our arguments. You seem to do that everyday with your cartoons. [Read More]
Tracked on February 23, 2005 12:09 AM
» Dogsnot in the national news! from Dog Snot Diaries
We're famous. Well, not really. We got quoted, but didn't get credit for it. Back in June I wrote a post about what a fucking douche bag Ted Rall is. Specifically, I said: Every morning when I read the paper,... [Read More]
Tracked on February 23, 2005 5:55 AM
» Captain Ed's qualifications are called from QandO
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Tracked on February 23, 2005 6:02 AM
» Daily Dish from The Cool Blue Blog
The obvious and most immediate goals of the President's trip to Europe have for the most part been accomplished: He got broader support and participation for stabilization efforts in Iraq from nearly every country in Europe including France and Germany. [Read More]
Tracked on February 23, 2005 6:29 AM
» Ted Rall's fictional blog from Thesaur's Ramblings
QandO has almost got it right - Google knows the first hate sentence Ted Rall attributed to bloggers ("Ted Rall should be beat to within an inch of life with a baseball bat."), but believe me, it wasn't easy to find it. It takes real googling skills. O... [Read More]
Tracked on February 23, 2005 7:19 AM
» Must Read from Hennessy's View
I see Rall standing in some old building at Harvard looking out at the blogosphere the way Mel Gibson presented Cornwallis's surrender. "Everything will change, now." [Read More]
Tracked on February 23, 2005 8:40 AM
» Ted Rall - Pusillanimous Projector of Putrid Punditry from GM's Corner
Rall takes on Captains Quarters author Ed Morrissey who responds back with far more wit and verve than a troglodyte like Rall... [Read More]
Tracked on February 23, 2005 8:49 AM
» Rall vs. Captain Ed from Say Anything
So it looks like Ted Rall (famous for his depiction of war hero and ex-NFL football star Pat Tillman as an ignorant moron) has decided to stick it to blogger Ed Morrisey. Normally I wouldn't comment on much of anything Rall does, other than to poin... [Read More]
Tracked on February 23, 2005 8:53 AM
» Never NEVER Be TedI'mNothinButtaAsshole Rall... from The Coalition of the Swilling
...and say something mean about Captain Ed. He will hurt you. I love the smell of napalm in the morning.... [Read More]
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» Ted Rall, Loser of Arguments from Snapshot
Ted Rall (who?) is losing his fight with the bloggers. We know he is losing because he falls back on the age-old ploy of attacking your opponents' qualifications to speak and be heard. And what are [Captain Ed] Morrissey's qualifications... [Read More]
Tracked on February 23, 2005 10:43 AM
» Cap'n Ed takes heat from Tim Rall, Creates Catchy from Politics, Technology, and General Purpose Ranting
I've always had nothing but respect for the Cap'n, but it seems Ted Rall has gone to pecking at him. This story explains what is great about the blogosphere: if you are a person, and you have ideas you are able to express them. It doesn't matter what... [Read More]
Tracked on February 23, 2005 12:06 PM
» Two Bloggers Fighting! Come Look from ZuDfunck
Captain's Quarters takes on Ted Rall: My good friend Jon Henke at QandO (the essential libertarian blog, BTW) tips me that my blogging career has reached new heights. First I reached five million hits this week, CNN and C-SPAN mentioned [Read More]
Tracked on February 23, 2005 12:21 PM
» New McCarthyism? from Dust my Broom
Ted Rall states he is a fan of free speech in this article called Bloggers and the New McCarthyism. He steps into the progressive mainstream by dubbing bloggers as part of the New McCarthyism and calls for a responsible mainstream Republican to sp... [Read More]
Tracked on February 23, 2005 2:26 PM
» Burn the Witch! from DistributedPress
Ah, yes. The New McCarthyism. (Watch out, old media types: the pajama brigade is likely to turn on you for just about anything!) But tell me: what's wrong with a witch hunt if the folks you're burning actually are witches? To the point old Joe was ac... [Read More]
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» Ted Rall senses his own declining celebrity, lashes out at blogs from protein wisdom
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Tracked on February 23, 2005 4:43 PM
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» Ted Rall Attacks Blogs from The Cliffs of Insanity
Sneering leftist elitists like Rall believe that it takes an Ivy League degree to hold a worthwhile opinion. Ironically, while attacking "uneducated" bloggers, Rall ignorantly asserts that bloggers don't do original reporting or research. [Read More]
Tracked on February 23, 2005 8:35 PM
» Going Fisking with Ted Rall from Decision '08
in typical Rall fashion, he puts down Captain Ed because he's not part of the 'elite' and dares to have an opinion, and casually inserts the adjective 'gay' in front of Andrew Sullivan's name in a context that has nothing to do with homosexuality. [Read More]
Tracked on February 24, 2005 6:15 AM
» High Loon from Riehl World View
SeaQue City SeaQue City was a little blogging town on the right fork of the Red State River that got its name from a famous Kiowa Indian chief. Translated, SeaQue meant [Read More]
Tracked on February 27, 2005 2:31 PM
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