Sunday, February 27, 2005

Playing devil's advocate

I'm going to go so far as to agree with everything Eileen says at In the Pink, except that her implication that the Texas Monthly isn't very good. I have to say, even though I have found conservative bias (gasp. Really?) withing its pages, I still think of it as the magazine of Texas. It is Newsweek, The New Yorker and Us Weekly all rolled into one, and it's all about my favorite state: Texas. Other than that little tidbit, I do think Paul Burka doesn't know what the hell he's talking about when it comes to blogs and blogging (not to mention bloggers). We'll have to storm the gates of the Monthly and drag him out and throw him in a pond. if he floats, he's a witch. Burn the witch! Or we could just call and try to get something written there that might include our frame of reference. You know, whichever. While we're at it, let's broaden the discussion to include your favorite idiot and mine, Howard Kurtz. He made quite a little remark today on Reliable Sources:

KURTZ: Let me turn back to your article, Henry Allen. You quoted some political descriptions from Thompson's book on the '72 campaign. "Being around Edmund Muskie," quote, "was something like being locked in a rolling box car with a vicious 200-pound water rat." Richard Nixon, quote, "speaks to the werewolf in us." And Hubert Humphrey, "there is no way to grasp what a shallow, contemptible and hopelessly dishonest old hack Hubert Humphrey is until you've followed him around for a while." Now, if he were writing that today, wouldn't all the bloggers be on him for bias and exaggeration and that sort of thing?
Well, number one he continued to write things like that and bloggers linked to it in praise. Number two, if he were his young self today, he would be a blogger. After all, he did only post online in his final years. Blogging is the extension of Gonzo journalism as interpreted by geeks like me who fell in love with his work. But Howie's too stupid to figure out what "New Journalism" is. We want to seek the truth. But Kurtz, Kurtz is stuck having a program on a 24-hour news network, where he talks about "hyping the Oscars" for the first 13 minutes of his show! Kurtz will never get it. He wasn't meant to find the truth, he was meant to be our jester. He's something to ridicule, not emulate. Thompson, he was a truth-seeker, doing everything and anything to find the heart of a story, which meant finding the heart of his own existence. Kurtz is incapable of that. We don't have to be.

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