Monday, January 23, 2006

Poor, Poor Pitiful Me

You know what's missing from all these articles about the Howell Movement and its backlash? The view of the reader.

Take this article from David Carr in today's New York Times. The one with the stupid title. You've got quotes from Howell, about how evil her readers are and how she shall, she shall not be moved. (Oh, and how after 50 years in the newspaper business, she's got to learn "to be very precise." What's your hurry?) And you've got various media types ("old" and "new") whinging about the vulgarity of the great unwashed masses who presume to comment on their commentary.

What you don't see is the opinions of those commenting upon Howell's movements. In the Carr article, you are assured that Howell's falsehood was "ill-chosen" and a "mistake," but you don't read any discussion about why that's not the case. (Exactly how was the "mistake" made? -- was Howell mistaken in opining on something she knew nothing about, did she err in relying on unreliable sources, did her fingers slip and accidentally type "both major parties" when she meant to type "the Republican party only?") Or about Howell's stonewalling, or the Post's mischaracterization of the deleted comments. Only one explanation is peddled; if you don't believe Howell's protestations, your view will not be heard.

Readers are portrayed by Lords Kinsley and Kaus as "paranoid" "jerks" and by Carr himself as lunatics with "personal patholog[ies]" whose only contribution is "wish[ing their victims] dead." No need to present an opposing view -- anyone who dissents is simply fucking nuts!

Carr gives out his mailing address, claiming he's "all for a robust interaction with the reading public." He neglects to mention his own blog, at the Times website. Funny, that.

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