Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Fisking Streisand

A while ago, Instapundit mentioned that fisking Maureen Dowd on Iraq was the blogospheric equivalent of the bunny slope.

The fisking I'm about to perform is on a par with putting sedated puppies in a barrel and getting out a shotgun. Sometimes I guess you just have to slaughter helpless puppies. (Ask Glenn!)

Why? "Because it's fun," replied the man grimly, as he chambered another round into the gun before snapping the barrel shut.

Babs has taken pen in hand and produced a letter to the editor of the LA Times, outraged that they've fired the apocalyptically dreadful Robert Scheer and replaced him with Jonah Goldberg...but let Ms. Streisand tell her own story. To the extent that is possible.

The greater Southern California community is one that not only proudly embraces its diversity but demands it. Your publisher's decision to fire Robert Scheer is a great disservice to the spirit of our community.

...because adding a conservative to the area to replace a liberal truly destroys the political diversity that Los Angeles is known for.

I'm almost embarrassed for you in seeing the LA Times being referred to as the "Chicago LA Times" on the myriad of internet sites I've visited in the last few days. It seems, however, an aptly designated epithet, representing the feeling among many of your readers that your new leadership, especially that of Jeff Johnson, is entirely out of touch with them and their desire to be exposed to views that stretch them beyond their own paradigms.
OK. So you hyper-liberals who all loved Robert Scheer now have Jonah Goldberg. And you're complaining that you're no longer going to be exposed to views that expand your paradigm?

Apparently in Ms. Streisand's bubble, "hearing exactly what you want to hear" is a mind-expanding phenomenon. Who knew? I'm going to get a tape recording of Angelina Jolie saying "Robert, you are a gorgeous hunk of sexy man", put it on infinite loop, and make it the default background noise of my office.

That way, I'll be expanding my paradigms. Don't worry; when my paradigm is as expanded as Babs' has become, I'll still pay attention to all you tiny, tiny people. Perhaps I will even still blog for you.

So although the number of contributors to your op-ed pages may have increased, in firing Robert Sheer and putting Jonah Goldberg in his place...

Attention Ms. Streisand. X + 1 - 1 = X. Please make a note of it.

the gamut of voices has undeniably been diluted, and I suspect this may ultimately decrease the number of readers of those same pages.

Speculations about circulation aside, how do you dilute a gamut?

In light of the obvious step away from the principals of journalistic integrity, which would dictate that journalists be journalists, editors be editors and accountants be accountants...

Perhaps I am simply basking in my own bubble world of conservatism, but how exactly is an editor making an editorial decision ("let's ditch this old fossil and put in some new blood") a blurring of these traditional roles?

I am now forced to carefully reconsider which sources can be trusted to provide me with accurate, unbiased news and forthright opinions. Your new columnist, Jonah Goldberg, will not be one of those sources.

You always have to wonder about someone whose arguments don't comply with their own stated desires. Did she read this? Does she comprehend English?

Not even Scheer's most rabid partisan would say that he (or any other OP-ED columnist) is providing accurate, unbiased news. That's just not part of his job. Forthright opinion, on the other hand, is. Does Babs think that Jonah is somehow not going to provide forthright opinions?

[Blah blah Robert Scheer is wonderful.] Apparently, previous leadership at the LA Times had no trouble recognizing Mr. Scheer's journalistic prowess in that they nominated him for the Pulitzer Prize.

Yes. The key word here, Babs, is "previous." As in "no longer in charge." As in "drove the newspaper into the ground and have been replaced by people who hopefully can tell their rear ends from a hole in the ground, to which the paper's circulation figures bear a striking resemblance."

My greatest fear is that the underlying reason for Mr. Scheer's termination is part of a larger trend toward the corporatization of our media, a trend that we, as American citizens, must fervently battle for the sake of our swiftly diminishing free press.

My greatest fear is that all those women who told me that it was OK, we could just cuddle and that size isn't really important were lying. But that's not important right now.

My query is this: what exactly does the replacement of one columnist with another - an event which has happened an estimated 3.6 billion times in the history of the newspaper industry - have to do with "corporatization"?

And our swiftly diminishing free press seems to be doing pretty OK these days, what with the invention of this whole "Internet" thing that lets us "American citizens" pick up the mantle of the press and put our views out there for the world to see.

As Ms. Streisand has repeatedly done, may the gods of blog fodder continue to bless her name.

(H/T the Corner, where Jonah posted this attack on himself, in pretty much the same way a professional boxer thinks its cute when his two-year old son tries to tackle his leg.)


Joe McDade said...

Heh. And as Jonah wrote in his own defense, if yoou're going to bloviate about "journalistic principals" you should really learn how to spell "principles" first.

Leslie Bates said...

Babs once hired a younger actress to play an older sister. To say that Babs is reality challenged is like saying that gravity sucks.