Media response to 'The Media Mob'

editor's note
The National Journal's Danny Glover (not the Castrophile actor, one presumes) took exception to James Lewis' thoughts on the Media Mob, in that publication's  Beltway Blogroll Buzz blog.
Were a journalist to write something like that about blogs, the blogosphere would be up in rhetorical arms, and rightfully so. Journalists should be no less furious when bloggers engage in such unhinged, stereotypical blather. It is especially bizarre to hear Lewis, whether rightly or wrongly, bashing the media as a "mob" when bloggers pride themselves on their ability to "swarm." There's no difference between the two behaviors.

Two columns in The Washington Post precipitated Lewis' insulting invective, but he didn't limit his criticism to just two journalists. Instead, he tarred the entire media with the same broad brush. That's exactly what journalists do to bloggers, and it's unfair in either direction.
James responds:

The thing is that I (and many others) really want to believe otherwise. I want to be wrong about the media. All too often, especially on crucial political questions, our broad-brush critique is true. I wish it weren't so, and obviously we hope that yelling a little bit may help.

Although my piece may seem simplistic, it really isn't. Unaccountable elites, which blind themselves to feedback, really end up behaving this way. Which is why we desperately need more communication between different perspectives. But when the dominant media willfully blind themselves to criticism, such a healthy two-way conversation is simply blocked. That is why a certain amount of intellectual head-butting may be helpful. The aim is constructive, just as the aim of political satire and vigorous debate is traditionally constructive. (Viz: The founding generation in US politics.)

Anger and passion are not the problem. Deafness is. But conservatives are not deaf to the liberal debating points: We hear them all the time. It's the other direction that is blocked, and I'm just trying to apply a little intellectual Drano.
The National Journal's Danny Glover (not the Castrophile actor, one presumes) took exception to James Lewis' thoughts on the Media Mob, in that publication's  Beltway Blogroll Buzz blog.
Were a journalist to write something like that about blogs, the blogosphere would be up in rhetorical arms, and rightfully so. Journalists should be no less furious when bloggers engage in such unhinged, stereotypical blather. It is especially bizarre to hear Lewis, whether rightly or wrongly, bashing the media as a "mob" when bloggers pride themselves on their ability to "swarm." There's no difference between the two behaviors.

Two columns in The Washington Post precipitated Lewis' insulting invective, but he didn't limit his criticism to just two journalists. Instead, he tarred the entire media with the same broad brush. That's exactly what journalists do to bloggers, and it's unfair in either direction.
James responds:

The thing is that I (and many others) really want to believe otherwise. I want to be wrong about the media. All too often, especially on crucial political questions, our broad-brush critique is true. I wish it weren't so, and obviously we hope that yelling a little bit may help.

Although my piece may seem simplistic, it really isn't. Unaccountable elites, which blind themselves to feedback, really end up behaving this way. Which is why we desperately need more communication between different perspectives. But when the dominant media willfully blind themselves to criticism, such a healthy two-way conversation is simply blocked. That is why a certain amount of intellectual head-butting may be helpful. The aim is constructive, just as the aim of political satire and vigorous debate is traditionally constructive. (Viz: The founding generation in US politics.)

Anger and passion are not the problem. Deafness is. But conservatives are not deaf to the liberal debating points: We hear them all the time. It's the other direction that is blocked, and I'm just trying to apply a little intellectual Drano.