Dangerous obscurity

Let us pause, for a moment, to consider the wisdom we might glean from Twitter. Or, as Mark Sample puts it:

The new 7th edition of the MLA Handbook *still* does not know how to cite videogames.

No, really, that’s actually someone’s real tweet. But here’s the thing: It’s not crazy. One of my favorite dialogues on freedom takes place between a nano-enhanced supercop and a black Australian bartender named Isaac at a Triad-operated nightclub in Hong Kong amid a nanotechnological plague, in the video game Deux Ex.

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World Extreme Blogfighting

And now for something completely … uh … yeah.

Or maybe I could do that mixed martial arts bit. Michael Buffer. “It’s tiiiiiime!” Except I don’t have the voice for it. Nor the flair. Nor the bling, now that I stop to think about it. And, frankly, watching members of the journalistic community beat each other bloody is only mildly fun, like making crabs fight in sand pits on the beach without the pervasive sense of guilt.

Let me state at the outset, then, that I like Greenwald. If I walked into a bar and found Glenn Greenwald and Joe Klein arguing, I would probably wonder what someone did to piss off Glenn. And then, of course, someone would whisper, “That’s Joe Klein!”

And I would say, “Well, that explains it.”

More than likely, someone else nearby would say, “Who’s Joe Klein?”

Not that they would know Glenn, either. This aspect of political journalism, while widely-enough attended to keep it going, is actually fairly obscure. Yes, FOX News may be the #1 cable news station, but it’s a cable news station. The top-rated cable news station averages a little under three and a half million viewers daily. An intriguing portion of that is composed of people who despise the network and keep tabs on what insanity its talking heads regularly offer. But some weeks I’ll watch four, maybe six hours of cable news. Some weeks I don’t see it at all. That’s more than most people—perhaps anyone—I know. And I don’t watch FOX.

By the time we get down to a blogbrawl between two generally unrecognizable people like Greenwald and Klein, the audience for such petty spats is relatively small. It is also vocal and very much interested, so we’ll start by accommodating that rabid sector of conservatism that, while it despises “quotas” or any such rules pertaining to those attributes born into a person, requires ideological quota parity before rewarding anyone with the respect of taking them remotely seriously. Or even bothering with the pretense.

So for the benefit of those who do not understand that one can be critical of a Republican, GOP cause, or conservative talking point without fellating Nancy Pelosi, I’ll start with a quota rap against Glenn:

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Update to the blogroll

Welcome, please, with your clicks, the latest addition to the blogroll. Regret the Error is a wonderful compilation of corrections, retractions, and assorted embarrassments from the world of journalism, something that amuses me greatly but, frankly, I haven’t the time to do myself.

And, of course, all due apologies for not having figured out they existed—and thus adding them to the “Better Reading” portion of the blogroll—sooner.

Nizza leaves The Lede: Good night, good luck, and all that

Even though I haven’t been doing my job as a blogger of late, one who has is Mike Nizza, who finished today his seventeen months over at The Lede, and with it eight years at the New York Times.

It is impossible to overstate how much fun it has been to follow the news along with you, and the many amazing reporters and editors at this newspaper who pitched in on The Lede — especially the names that close readers will recognize: Patrick J. Lyons, John Schwartz, Micheline Maynard and the good folks from the Moscow bureau.

As I leave The New York Times after eight years to work for Atlantic Media, I want to offer a big thanks, for reading, for commenting, for correcting, and for playing along with the jokes (even some of the bad ones). It’s truly been an experience of a lifetime.

So while it is far too soon to declare victory for The Lede, it will be up to my successor to continue the mission. As for me, I’m about to do something extremely unusual: I’m finishing up a post, but I won’t be looking for the next one. That is something that I’m really, really going to miss.

Okay, I admit it, Mike, I wasn’t a regular reader of The Lede, but I did recognize your name whenever I saw it or heard it here and about. Good luck, man. I’m as sure as I can be this isn’t your last appearance in the realm of the blogosphere.