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May 18, 2009

Comments

I’m never surprised when conservatives embrace cultural relativism.

Speaking of letting officials off the hook.

The men hauled into immigration jails in and abused are only going to be able to try to hold the detention center staff accountable.

The Attorney General issued the roundup instructions, his Justice Dept. did nothing to prevent the abuse or expedite the cases of people held for months to more than a year, but he gets to skate because he didn't specifically order them beaten and humiliated.

Follow the link to The Editors, people; it's in his top ten ever.

Nell - I think SCOTUS sent that case back to the 2d Circuit in a way that would allow the plaintiffs to amend their complaint such that they could sue Ashcroft et. al. by changing their pleading, so maybe they can still sue (though it could be that SCOTUS set such a high threshhold that it could never be met).

I read that one earlier today - that line will be hard to top this week. I hope it hits the talk shows.

"Nell - I think SCOTUS sent that case back"

I take it you didn't read my post that I linked above.

when the editors is funny, ain't nobody as funny as the editors.

four years later, i still laugh whenever i hear the tune to "kokomo".

The Editors should be called out for taking the highlighted piece of the Frank Rich out of context.

What he wrote following the highlighted section has no correlation with what Rich wrote and, therefore, makes no sense.

If Frank Rich is shrill, as The Poor Man called him, then he is shameful -- and, apparently, did not read Sunday's Rich column that he quoted. Or The Poor Man simply has his own agenda.

The Rich column is strong, well-written and factual.

I see a lot of criticism toward the MSM here and elsewhere and some of it is no doubt justified. Some of it like The Poor Man here is simply heavy-handed and worse than what is being criticized.

While making fun of the Frank Rich column, The Editors obscured and overlooked the fact that it contained good information and opinion that supplemented the GQ revelations that Hilzoy posted about over the weekend concerning the vile crookedness of the Bush Defense Department.

Worth noting:

"What happened on Jan. 14 was the release of a report from the Pentagon’s internal watchdog, the inspector general. It had been ordered up in response to a scandal uncovered last year by David Barstow, an investigative reporter for The Times. Barstow had found that the Bush Pentagon fielded a clandestine network of retired military officers and defense officials to spread administration talking points on television, radio and in print while posing as objective 'military analysts.' Many of these propagandists worked for military contractors with billions of dollars of business at stake in Pentagon procurement. Many were recipients of junkets and high-level special briefings unavailable to the legitimate press. Yet the public was never told of these conflicts of interest when these 'analysts' appeared on the evening news to provide rosy assessments of what they tended to call 'the real situation on the ground in Iraq.'

"When Barstow’s story broke, more than 45 members of Congress demanded an inquiry. The Pentagon’s inspector general went to work, and its Jan. 14 report was the result. It found no wrongdoing by the Pentagon. Indeed, when Barstow won the Pulitzer Prize last month, Rumsfeld’s current spokesman cited the inspector general’s 'exoneration' to attack the Times articles as fiction.

"But the Pentagon took another look at this exoneration, and announced on May 5 that the inspector general’s report, not The Times’s reporting, was fiction. The report, it turns out, was riddled with factual errors and included little actual investigation of Barstow’s charges. The inspector general’s office had barely glanced at the 8,000 pages of e-mail that Barstow had used as evidence, and interviewed only seven of the 70 disputed analysts. In other words, the report was a whitewash. The Obama Pentagon officially rescinded it — an almost unprecedented step — and even removed it from its Web site."

I'd say those last two lines -- "In other words, the report was a whitewash. The Obama Pentagon officially rescinded it — an almost unprecedented step — and even removed it from its Web site" -- are telling and strong. (Also it's good to read a liberal columnist who isn't in the tank, offering valid critism, for the Great Obama.)

I'm curious as to what in the passage I quoted from Mr. Rich's column that The Editors find shrill.

Given that Frank Rich's writing style isn't in bite-sized form that might be more to the liking and comprehension of The Poor Man, I'd recommend he simply take a pass at the column rather than rebuke it and weaken his own credibility.

btfb, i think you're barking up the wrong tree.

the editors is not *criticizing* frank rich. he is *agreeing with* frank rich.

perhaps it would help if you knew that the word "shrill" has a peculiar history in these debates? see the explanation at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Bradford_DeLong

and note that andrew northrup is a.k.a. the editors.

now that you know that "shrill" is an honorific, maybe you'd like to start all over?

"If Frank Rich is shrill, as The Poor Man called him"

The Editors -- who has been posting under that name since his first year, in an attempt to regain pseudonymnity -- has been using "shrill" for over seven years in the exact sense that Brad deLong has been using "shrill" for over seven years.

See here.

I, myself, am shrill.

I was promoted in the Order of Shrillness.

Who Brad deLong is, btw.

"Or The Poor Man simply has his own agenda."

I gather you have absolutely no idea who the Poor Man is, one of the most essential bloggers since 2002.

You should remedy that.

(I note that his old blogspot URL has been poached by someone else, a result of The Poor Man deleting his old blog, I'm guessing. A shame, that. Some evidence of the existence of it, though.)

"While making fun of the Frank Rich column,"

Wrong.

Hey, we can't all be Aware Of All Internet Traditions.

"reverse Nuremburg" has been used before. Still, it's delightful.

I think we call this the Charles Manson defense.

Somebody who uses the 'reverse Nuremburg' defense is called a 'Schreibtischtäter' [desk perpetrator/criminal] in German. Probably more discussed in Germany than the 'just following orders' defense.

As the German wiki puts it:

"Ein Schreibtischtäter ist jemand, der staatliche Machtstrukturen ausnutzt, um eine Straftat durch eine andere Person begehen zu lassen."

"Ein Schreibtischtäter ist jemand, der staatliche Machtstrukturen ausnutzt, um eine Straftat durch eine andere Person begehen zu lassen."

It sounded better in the original English.

It sounded better in the original English.

My computer screen has been splattered.

Thank you, kid and Gary.

In its common usuage, the word would have indeed have been disjointedly criticizing Rich's column. And since this is a common sort of shorthand The Editors use, it would be lost on a non-reader, or perhaps even casual reader, of the blog.

As Russell said, we aren't all aware of the Internet's traditions, or live on it, or have the time nor inclination to do so.

My heavy-as-shit deskside Webster's informed me:

"shrill (shril) adj. [E. shrille, akin to LowG. schrell, G. schrill: echoic, prob. akin to SHRIEK] 1. having or producing a high, thin, piercing tone; high-pitched 2. characterized or accompanied by shrill sounds 3. unrestrained and irritatingly insistent 4. [Archaic or Poet.] keen; sharp; biting poignant --adv. [Rare] in a shrill manner --vi. to make shrill noise or sound --vt. to utter shrilly --shril'ly adv. --shrill'ness n."

I think using a word's Archaic meaning as one of the hooks to a post is simply inviting confusion and criticism from a passer-by.

But I am fault for not recognizing that the blog in question is a niche product and, therefore, prone to various in-jokes and Inside Baseball.

Niche media outlets are fine but, as such, they are limiting their audience and, in some cases, may even come off as elitist.

The Web's accessibility has seen the explosive growth of more niche outlets, including Obsidian Wings, than mainstream avenues. (Few of them are moneymakers on either side; the search for profitability is the Internet's Holy Grail and is vital, I think, for long-term vibrancy.) Often times I get the sense that the purveyors and users of these niche sites sound superior, elitist, to those poor saps who take in mainstream products, the great unwashed. (A long and lively debate about this ensued over at Balloon Juice yesterday.)

One of the strengths of the MSM -- which is often belittled -- is its ability to communicate to a wide audience in a quick and understandable way. In most cases, it is its obligation to do so.

So, sure, it may not always come off as smart and probing as a smaller outlet who may write for a more educated audience that also seems to appreciate its news and commentary served up with healthy doses of snark, a style that has morphed over the mainstream. (Walter Cronkite's audience of years gone by would not know snark if it jumped out of the TV and bit them in the ass.)

These niches outlets are almost always coming at its audience with a known point of view, not a bad thing at all. Yet that very audience takes shots at the MSM for being biased, which is a big area where I sense the feelings of superiority I mentioned.

An aside: I'd bet Gary a cup of coffee or tea, my drink of choice, that Mr. Rich's column was more widely read than The Editors, and will continue to be so as long as one of them aims to capture a limited audience and the other aspires to open its doors to all comers, and make a profit.

Perhaps that's the way it should be. Or not.

I realize these sentiments won't be popular here. But the great thing about being a member of a niche community is everyone has an opinion here and you can express it openly and easily, much more so than in the the imperfect MSM world, although that is slowly changing.

On a more substantive note, I am surprised that Frank Rich's column did not engage more debate here. He calls the Bush Defense Department on the carpet for its incompetence and corruption (calling Donald Rumseld corrupt) and takes the story a step further by charging that the Great Obama is now carrying George Bush and Dick Cheney's water.

Pretty insightful and strong stuff coming from a MSM pundit, not to mention, as is the case with Mr. Rich's long-form style, a well-written and easy read.

Thank you, kid and Gary.

In its common usuage, the word would have indeed have been disjointedly criticizing Rich's column. And since this is a common sort of shorthand The Editors use, it would be lost on a non-reader, or perhaps even casual reader, of the blog.

As Russell said, we aren't all aware of the Internet's traditions, or live on it, or have the time nor inclination to do so.

My heavy-as-shit deskside Webster's informed me:

"shrill (shril) adj. [E. shrille, akin to LowG. schrell, G. schrill: echoic, prob. akin to SHRIEK] 1. having or producing a high, thin, piercing tone; high-pitched 2. characterized or accompanied by shrill sounds 3. unrestrained and irritatingly insistent 4. [Archaic or Poet.] keen; sharp; biting poignant --adv. [Rare] in a shrill manner --vi. to make shrill noise or sound --vt. to utter shrilly --shril'ly adv. --shrill'ness n."

I think using a word's Archaic meaning as one of the hooks to a post is simply inviting confusion and criticism from a passer-by.

But I am fault for not recognizing that the blog in question is a niche product and, therefore, prone to various in-jokes and Inside Baseball.

Niche media outlets are fine but, as such, they are limiting their audience and, in some cases, may even come off as elitist.

The Web's accessibility has seen the explosive growth of more niche outlets, including Obsidian Wings, than mainstream avenues. (Few of them are moneymakers on either side; the search for profitability is the Internet's Holy Grail and is vital, I think, for long-term vibrancy.) Often times I get the sense that the purveyors and users of these niche sites sound superior, elitist, to those poor saps who take in mainstream products, the great unwashed. (A long and lively debate about this ensued over at Balloon Juice yesterday.)

One of the strengths of the MSM -- which is often belittled -- is its ability to communicate to a wide audience in a quick and understandable way. In most cases, it is its obligation to do so.

So, sure, it may not always come off as smart and probing as a smaller outlet who may write for a more educated audience that also seems to appreciate its news and commentary served up with healthy doses of snark, a style that has morphed into the mainstream. (Walter Cronkite's audience of years gone by would not know snark if it jumped out of the TV and bit them in the ass.)

These niches outlets are almost always coming at its audience with a known point of view, not a bad thing at all. Yet that very audience takes shots at the MSM for being biased, which is a big area where I sense the feelings of superiority I mentioned.

An aside: I'd bet Gary a cup of coffee or tea, my drink of choice, that Mr. Rich's column was more widely read than The Editors, and will continue to be so as long as one of them aims to capture a limited audience and the other aspires to open its doors to all comers, and make a profit.

Perhaps that's the way it should be. Or not.

I realize these sentiments won't be popular here. But the great thing about being a member of a niche community is everyone has an opinion here and you can express it openly and easily, much more so than in the the imperfect MSM world, although that is slowly changing.

On a more substantive note, I am surprised that Frank Rich's column did not engage more debate here. He calls the Bush Defense Department on the carpet for its incompetence and corruption (calling Donald Rumseld corrupt) and takes the story a step further by charging that the Great Obama is now carrying George Bush and Dick Cheney's water.

Pretty insightful and strong stuff coming from a MSM pundit, not to mention, as is the case with Mr. Rich's long-form style, a well-written and easy read.

I think using a word's Archaic meaning as one of the hooks to a post is simply inviting confusion and criticism from a passer-by.

It has nothing to do with archaic meanings as defined by some dictionary. It has to do with the fact that lots of people called folks like Paul Krugman shrill back in 2001-2005 for making reasonable criticisms of the Bush administration. People who agreed with Krugman decided to reclaim the word by making "shrill" a badge of honor. For those people, and their readers, shrill came to mean "saying really important true things that media people get very offended about".

Niche media outlets are fine but, as such, they are limiting their audience and, in some cases, may even come off as elitist.

This may be true in general, but in this specific case, I don't think it makes any sense to call the Editors elitist. His site has a particular vibe to it that is not obvious to everyone on Earth, but that's true for any community, including people who collect comic books or who love to watch Grey's Anatomy. Do you think Grey's Anatomy viewers are elitist also?

the search for profitability is the Internet's Holy Grail and is vital, I think, for long-term vibrancy.

No, it is not the Internet's Holy Grain and no, I don't think it is vital. People like to talk. They like to write. They would talk and write regardless of whether anyone paid them to do so.

Often times I get the sense that the purveyors and users of these niche sites sound superior, elitist, to those poor saps who take in mainstream products, the great unwashed. (A long and lively debate about this ensued over at Balloon Juice yesterday.)

Let me see if I get this straight. The Editors writes funny things on the internets for his friends to see and laugh at. He's nice enough to let anyone else randomly read the funny things he writes, for free. His humor and politics, just like those of most people, are a little eclectic and don't work for everyone, or even most people. Now, for the crime of sharing his jokes and political insights with people that enjoy them, for free, you think this proves that he and his readers look down on everyone else. Is that right?

Man, this is some crazy s***. Of course, you don't believe this. Only "some" people say that. You know, people who aren't around to defend their claims.

One of the strengths of the MSM -- which is often belittled -- is its ability to communicate to a wide audience in a quick and understandable way. In most cases, it is its obligation to do so.

See, I'm not sure I buy this at all. Modern journalism has all sorts of weird conventions that journalists adhere to and most of them make it much harder to figure out what is going on just by reading a piece. You've got to read between the lines and most people don't know that. When journalists refuse to fact check claims and just write "he said, she said" stories, readers are often made more ignorant by reading those stories than they were before. Blogs can do better here because they can say "he said, she said, but he is totally wrong".

An aside: I'd bet Gary a cup of coffee or tea, my drink of choice, that Mr. Rich's column was more widely read than The Editors, and will continue to be so as long as one of them aims to capture a limited audience and the other aspires to open its doors to all comers, and make a profit.

Yes and no. Of course Rich's column was read by more people; it was published in the newspaper of record rather than posted to a blog that has a few thousand readers at most. But that has nothing to do with the fact that the Editors don't write for the median person. Getting a column at the NYT has relatively little to do with skill or the inclusiveness of one's writing; that's why vacuous fools like Maureen Dowd have one. That's why Bill Kristol had one. That's why there is so little turnover and why there is so little fact checking in major newspaper columns. hilzoy publishes more interesting, better argued, and more relevant posts every week than Dowd does and her writing is no less inclusive, yet Down has a column at the NYT and hilzoy doesn't. Why do you think that is?

Note also that the NYT is not making a profit. I'm sure the Editors could lose money just as fast as the NYT does if the NYT's investors threw cash at him.

On a more substantive note, I am surprised that Frank Rich's column did not engage more debate here.

Why? Most people here accept that Obama's insistence on kangaroo-court proceedings is very similar to what Bush/Cheney did in this area. This isn't exactly a controversial notion. And why on earth do you write "the Great Obama"? Do you think people here worship him like a god or some sort of sovereign?

Pretty insightful and strong stuff coming from a MSM pundit, not to mention, as is the case with Mr. Rich's long-form style, a well-written and easy read.

You're right: it is pretty insightful and strong stuff from an MSM pundit. But that's not an especially high bar to clear now is it? I want insightful and strong stuff period, not boring long-winded rehashes of what I already know, which is all that Rich managed to deliver here. I guess I should be glad that Rich has improved to the point where all he does is repeat conventional wisdom; back in the day he used to make up lies about Al Gore and insist that Gore and Bush were the same.

Holy Grain

Barley? That'd be my pick.

Ah, Turbulence, I knew something off-kilter when we had been in agreement lately. This is more like the picayune -- using both the first and second uses of the word Webster's lists -- Turbulence I have come to know in the last year-plus.

---

"It has nothing to do with archaic meanings as defined by some dictionary. It has to do with the fact that lots of people called folks like Paul Krugman shrill back in 2001-2005 for making reasonable criticisms of the Bush administration. People who agreed with Krugman decided to reclaim the word by making 'shrill' a badge of honor. For those people, and their readers, shrill came to mean 'saying really important true things that media people get very offended about'."

Let's forget for a moment that communciation through the English language would be challenging if words didn't have meanings, Archaic or otherwise. Or that Webster's isn't "some" dictionary that I pulled out of my ass; actually, that would be a neat trick considering the heft of the one I have at home.

I appreciate the Krugman story; in fact, it's cool and I enjoy the fnck-you sentiment to the right wing. That said, that was a fair amount of exposition needed for someone to know in order to get the meaning of The Poor Man in one quick read. I'm sure political junkies -- but not all of them, and certainly not most Democrats -- know of the history you cite, which goes to my point, which you characteristically ignored about it being Inside Baseball.

---

"No, it is not the Internet's Holy Grain (sic) and no, I don't think it is vital. People like to talk. They like to write. They would talk and write regardless of whether anyone paid them to do so."

Which is most certainly true on its surface. It is not if you appreciate and value original, and costly, reporting. Perhaps you read the Balloon Juice discussion I linked. Or not. In the meantime, I will include you among those who believe in the Internet news fairy. Place a pencil under you pillow and there will be a story there in the morning.

---

"Let me see if I get this straight. The Editors writes funny things on the internets for his friends to see and laugh at. He's nice enough to let anyone else randomly read the funny things he writes, for free. His humor and politics, just like those of most people, are a little eclectic and don't work for everyone, or even most people. Now, for the crime of sharing his jokes and political insights with people that enjoy them, for free, you think this proves that he and his readers look down on everyone else. Is that right?"

It isn't. And I did not directly accuse The Editors as being elitist. I made a general larger-view observation, one I stand by and one you disagree with. Fine, happens all the time, not something I'd spit at as crazysh!t. (Crazysh!t is what would happen if that huge Webster's dictionary, a gift from my late Dad who used it for his beloved crossword puzzles and proudly placed it on a wooden tripod, would come out of my ass.)

---

"See, I'm not sure I buy this at all. Modern journalism has all sorts of weird conventions that journalists adhere to and most of them make it much harder to figure out what is going on just by reading a piece. You've got to read between the lines and most people don't know that. When journalists refuse to fact check claims and just write 'he said, she said' stories, readers are often made more ignorant by reading those stories than they were before. Blogs can do better here because they can say 'he said, she said, but he is totally wrong'."

Not much sense in debating this point since I have made my stance clear in the past and your disdain and disrepect for the MSM is also on record here. Disproving your point, however, just using one column -- hardly a wide enough sampling, yet a good one -- I would direct you again to my liberal buddy, Frank Rich.

Insofar as my mention of "obligation" it is one of the tenets of the imperfect profession you deride.

Oh, and I beg your pardon, I forgot that blogs do it better, as you always remind me. Never mind that I don't see the need to make this a pissing contest between one or the other, that one can complement and supplement the other, my larger view that you do not recognize (so I suppose you did not read the Ballon Juice link).

---

"Getting a column at the NYT has relatively little to do with skill or the inclusiveness of one's writing; that's why vacuous fools like Maureen Dowd have one. That's why Bill Kristol had one. That's why there is so little turnover and why there is so little fact checking in major newspaper columns. hilzoy publishes more interesting, better argued, and more relevant posts every week than Dowd does and her writing is no less inclusive, yet Down has a column at the NYT and hilzoy doesn't. Why do you think that is?

"Note also that the NYT is not making a profit. I'm sure the Editors could lose money just as fast as the NYT does if the NYT's investors threw cash at him."

Almost any journalist that has been around for a quarter-century, or longer, career, has made mistakes and indiscretions or worse. Happens in politics, car sales, plumbing, engineering, I would imagine. Dowd and Kristol may not be our cup of tea, but they no doubt have a wide audience and I'd submit that getting a column at the NYT it not as easy as you make it sound. Now Hilzoy is my cup of tea and more relevant to me -- smarter and more insightful, too -- than Dowd. And had Hilzoy taken a different career path, she very well may have ended up where Dowd is.

---

"Most people here accept that Obama's insistence on kangaroo-court proceedings is very similar to what Bush/Cheney did in this area. This isn't exactly a controversial notion. And why on earth do you write 'the Great Obama'? Do you think people here worship him like a god or some sort of sovereign?"

We repeat -- the front-pagers included -- controversial notions all the time here. Frank Rich, a columnist, can't do the same? I am being derisive when I called the President the Great Obama, derisive toward him, toward his most diehard supports, toward some of the media. I'm glad someone picked up on him, albeit I'm not so sure you need to be sensitive about it. Or maybe so.

---

"You're right: it is pretty insightful and strong stuff from an MSM pundit. But that's not an especially high bar to clear now is it? I want insightful and strong stuff period, not boring long-winded rehashes of what I already know, which is all that Rich managed to deliver here."

And you're being characteristically demeaning.

Rather engage in something of substance -- "But the Pentagon took another look at this exoneration, and announced on May 5 that the inspector general’s report, not The Times’s reporting, was fiction. The report, it turns out, was riddled with factual errors and included little actual investigation of Barstow’s charges. The inspector general’s office had barely glanced at the 8,000 pages of e-mail that Barstow had used as evidence, and interviewed only seven of the 70 disputed analysts. In other words, the report was a whitewash. The Obama Pentagon officially rescinded it — an almost unprecedented step — and even removed it from its Web site" -- you opted to stay in a tit-for-tat mode.

Sure, we've taken on the Great Obama here for not doing more to discredit and disavowel himself from the Bush-Cheney Administration. But I think Obama wiping a public report that reflected poorly, to say the least, on Bush-Cheney and the Defense Department off its Website is another example of President Obama breaking his pledge on transparency and acting in very much the same manner of an Admin that did everything it could to wreck the country.

By the way, I was being shrill in regard to the Great Obama. Sorry you did not pick up on that, which kind of proves my original point.

Good day.

But I am fault for not recognizing that the blog in question is a niche product and, therefore, prone to various in-jokes and Inside Baseball.

I'd say you're at fault for not recognizing that The Editors was making the same point Rich was making, and not then tracking back to see whether your construal of the word "shrill" as criticism might be misplaced.

"I'd say you're at fault for not recognizing that The Editors was making the same point Rich was making (editor's note: which I've recognized somewhere in this thread), and not then tracking back to see whether your construal of the word 'shrill' as criticism might be misplaced."

Yes and no.

Linking on to Poor Man from Eric's post, as opposed to logging on to the site itself, I was simply doing a drive-by and was uninspired to do more than that.

So for this drive-by visitor, it turned out to be an in-joke that I did not get, or Inside Baseball, which is fine.

I don't think a drive-by guest should be required to do more than that, given that the common usage of the word in question has a completely different meaning, an opposite meaning, in fact, than the way it was being used.

Thrown off by that and uninspired by the blog, I may have spent less than a minute with the Poor Man. My loss, you would say, which is fine.

I am old-school and prefer what I read to be more straightforwad, creative and better written -- and I'm all for well-done snark, especially the kind John Thullen regularly serves up.

If The Editors and the Shrill World they live in is your cup of tea, great. Go there and enjoy.

I essentially turned off that channel and then made some larger points here about the MSM vs. niche media (aka Old Media vs. New Media) debate. Turb chose to nitpick away and present an argument that seemed to boil down to "blogs can do better," which I regard as narrow-minded. I believe both Old and New Media can both complement and supplement each other, and, regardless of that, can both do a better job than what they currently produce.

By the way, Hogan, I appreciate your direct and concise criticism rather than the verbose and meandering avenue Turblence took, to which I felt inspired to respond in order to set the record straight or express myself more clearly.

Thank you.

Which is most certainly true on its surface. It is not if you appreciate and value original, and costly, reporting.

You claimed that the internet is searching for profitability and that profitability is vital to the internet's vibrancy. My only point is that regardless of what happens to newspapers, places like Obsidian Wings will do fine -- they will not lose vibrancy. Sites like that don't need profitability and probably wouldn't benefit from it. OW does not engage in reporting so I don't see why you're talking about it. Perhaps you had meant to write something about how newspapers are desperately searching for profitability online?

Perhaps you read the Balloon Juice discussion I linked. Or not.

I did not because typepad has stripped out your links when I read the comment. I still don't see any link there so I can't read it.

In the meantime, I will include you among those who believe in the Internet news fairy. Place a pencil under you pillow and there will be a story there in the morning.

Um, no. I don't believe in the internet news fairy. If you want to know what I believe, ask me, but don't make up lies about me please. Frank Rich has a long history of doing that ( http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/011940.php ) and I'd expect better from you.

It isn't. And I did not directly accuse The Editors as being elitist.

Fine. Who exactly is acting in an elitist manner? Not the Editors, so who? Is it Eric Martin? Me? People who read the Editors? And who exactly is calling them elitist? You? No one?

And you're being characteristically demeaning.

I am demeaning of Rich. I think everyone should demean writers who fabricate stories about people. Wouldn't you demean Frank Rich if you he wrote a column about how you were a child molester? I mean, how many lies does Frank Rich have to write in his columns before you approve of me demeaning him? Or, do you think it is never OK to demean a writer no matter what they do?

Rather engage in something of substance -- you opted to stay in a tit-for-tat mode.

I don't even know what this means. What substance am I supposed to engage with: I agree that the original report was a whitewash and rescinding it was a good thing. So?

One thing we both can agree on is the frustration that typepad is causing here lately. You mentioned the various links I posted had vanished. I noticed that, too: Finally home, I see they are gone. Whether they are still on my work computer or gone altogether, which I suspect is so, I am not sure.

Similarly, I noticed my comments that you italicized in this thread which were there at work, where I first responded, have disappeared, which now makes it difficult to read that sort of posting. I see this is happening quite often here, mentioning to Hairshirthedontist the other day that he and others may want to refrain from ital and stick to quotes in these sort of instances until the problem is fixed.

We just tucked our 10-year-old in after his first band concert and my wife and I are now going to play the short film she took -- my way of saying that I would rather do that and simply agree to disagree regarding what we have bandied about today.

Good night.

P.S. I do think a thread posed as a sort of debate -- Old Media vs. New Media, and the challenges they both face -- by a front-pager is worth doing, especially with newspapers, many good ones, dying off, and the surviving ones struggling to find the right mix for their print and online models (in terms of coverage, look and profitability); all of which is placing a growing importance, and newfound responsibility and, yes, obligation, to the emerging New Media.

The best and most thoughtful online debate I have engaged in so far about this was the Balloon Juice thread I referenced. (Granted, I realize New Media will be deemed as a White Knight in an online forum -- yet a fair number of commentators, to my surprise, in the BJ thread valued the continued existence, albeit in a different and more vibrant form, than you do.)

If done right, I think this is worthy of discussion now more than ever, for the reasons I stated above, and it is especially timely now that media icon Newsweek has refashioned its print edition to make it more relevant (the first outing of which I will read tonight before bed), while it is also placing greater emphasis on its online edition. I give Newsweek credit for trying to change with the times. (Took a quick peak at its new online look today at work and my first reaction was that the old look was more appealing to the eye. But obviously this is a work in process.)

"Or that Webster's isn't 'some' dictionary that I pulled out of my ass;"

It is, because "Webster's" is a meaningless term in identifying a dictionary; anyone can call their dictionary a "Webster's," and innumerable ones do. What you need to do, if you want someone to evaluate the worth of your chosen dictionary, is identify the actual, specific, dictionary and edition. Then we can voice our opinions on the merits of that publisher and that particular dictionary.

Like most everyone who has ever worked in publishing in the pre-internet days, I used to have a wall of over a hundred dictionaries, and everyone I know who worked as an editor had a strong opinion about the majority of popular dictionaries, as to which was overly prescriptive, which was not sufficiently prescriptive, which was comprehensive, which was overly light, which was a piece of junk, which was authoritiative, and so on.

So if you want us to respect your dictionary, you'll have to give us more of a clue than "Webster's."

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