The Transparency of the New Media

Tried to register a HELPFUL complaint at Hotair.

Couldn’t be done:


The topic choice buttons did not work, including the missing ones that should have said I have an idea you should pursue (uh, like a TIP) OR I have a problem with things you do, and the final submit button… Nada. Thank you, Ed Morrissey, who has lately taken to offering us scriptural homilies on Sundays(?!).

My question to the readers of Hotair and Breitbart and other conservative so-called New Media sites. Have you ever had any luck getting an answer to a sincere, honestly asked question?

Let me know. Maybe InstaPunk so poisoned the waters for me that I am on a universal blacklist. But I don’t believe that. What I believe is that all the pundits and neopundits and quasi-celebrities and would-be media celebrities don’t want to hear from the rest of us at all.

Two items of data. Hotair opens its comment registration once or twice a year for about ten minutes, then announces with startling finality that it’s closed. Like a big fisherman’s net designed to capture the best. But if you read their comments, the Hotair principals never participate, and when you look at the content there’s no reason they should. Cheap shots, inventive ways of smuggling in obscenities, and a penchant for getting caught up in idiotic irrelevant side arguments that has to be seen to be believed. They don’t want us because they agree with the liberals; we are dumbasses with nothing to say.

Second datum. Erick Erickson substituted for Limbaugh today. In the first half hour he told us TWICE how much he liked James Carville personally. Because he hobnobbed with him at CNN. He used the same punchline twice in the half hour. “The only things I agree with him about are Mary Matalin, LSU, and (I forget) crawfish.” He wants us to know he knows what’s going on and how things really work among the smart and connected people.

More prosaically — not a datum but an old annoying triviatum — I have not been able to figure out in well over two years how to get through to anybody at Breitbart my willingness to volunteer copy editing services. The whole enterprise is riddled with incoherent (WTF) headlines, broken sentences, embarrassing misspellings, and five kinds of other proof that liberal journalism has every right to look down on New Media. But try to find a personal email address that works or earns a response.

Try. I’d like to hear a success story. Even this new medium is being gradually stolen from us.

If you get through to them, please ask what differentiates their idea of transparency from Obama’s. And if they care.

13 thoughts on “The Transparency of the New Media

  1. Sad to say, they’re just as caught up in the Twitter-brain as everyone else in media. More than their principles and their writing, they love their online social life and useless stats. Thankfully, there’s one writer with several blogs that still cares about principles and writing itself.

    It makes me wonder, do other real writers eschew the internet? I’ve enjoyed reading Sowell and I live here when I can, but I’m hard pressed to think of others.

  2. I am fully on board with your take on Hot Air and Breitbart. I suspect that Breitbart would be different if Breitbart himself was still around. But I have never noticed you mentioning PJ Media. I find myself drawn especially to Ed Driscoll, Richard Fernandez and Victor Davis Hanson (who is active on several group blogs). I would be interested on your opinion of these bloggers, as well as Sultan Knish.

    • I like Victor Davis Hanson. He’s also at National Review. I’ll be quoting him tomorrow. Like Katie Pavlich at Townhall. She and Sheryl Atkisson may be the last investigative reporters in the media.

      Don’t look at Pajamas much. Maybe I should.

        • You are probably correct about the dullness of PJ Media, overall, but, when I go there, I tend to zero in on Fernandez, Hanson and Driscoll. They rarely disappoint. Sometimes there are good posts by J. Christian Adams and Andrew McCarthy. My bed is calling my name. Later.

  3. Check out Richard Fernandez (Belmont Club). I believe he is of Filipino extraction, living in Australia (or maybe even an Australian native, I’m not sure). He seems to be very knowledgeable about history and possesses a lot of common sense. I have been reading him for years, long before he joined PJ Media.

  4. Here’s strong support for Suds46 recommendation regarding Richard Fernandez – I also was following him before he joined up with PJ Media. He often participates in the comments section, which is above the norm in quality compared to the usual suspects.

  5. Listen to yourselves, fellas. I’m asking what happened to our great big rescue ship and you’re introducing me to me to other guys in life jackets. I never said there weren’t brave, smart voices out there. I asked what happened to the damn ship that was supposed to save us. Different question. One nobody but me wants to ask out loud, I’m thinking.

  6. Your experiences are the same as mine have been, RL. The Daily Caller is another site that has some good stories no one else will run but is crippled by an unbearable advertising scheme & poor design. It is the absolute worst site to load that I’ve ever used. Doesn’t matter what type of device I’m using, it takes forever. Worse, they write their headlines in a way that often doesn’t reveal any information but tries to entice you on visiting the site to find out more information. I never do this anymore b/c visiting the site is such a pain.

    And you may have forgotten, but I got banned from Erik Erickson’s Red State a few years back. I questioned their support of Karen Handel for governor and one of their admins, an absolute dickhead, banned me. They’re doing the same thing again as Handel is jockeying for the open Senate seat. Now Redstate declares she’s “the only one with cojones”. Why does she have cojones? Because they said so. I’m going to try and ask questions again. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    There’s another guy I half-follow: Jerry Doyle who starred as my favorite character on my favorite show, Babylon 5. He’s now some libertarian radio host in California. As with most libertarians, he’s all over the place and quickly becoming tiresome. He had a post equating college athletes to slaves and demanding “one good reason” from commenters on why they shouldn’t get paid. The response was an overwhelming flood of comments full of reasons why they shouldn’t be paid. He ignored everyone but the two commenters who agreed with him, telling them how smart they were.

    I’m in total agreement with you on Hot Air. I stopped reading them years ago. Can’t do it. I also agree with the assessment of PJ Media: pretty informative but mostly dull.

  7. Instead of one ship, maybe there was never going to be a rescue ship, with the reality being it’s many small boats that will keep the fight going. (I shudder when I think where we might be if it were not for the internet.) I didn’t (or didn’t want to) think this, but I’ve come to believe that this battle is generational – it took several generations for us to get to this point; maybe it will take several more to get away from here.

    I don’t have any immediate or near term answers/approaches. Long term, changing the left’s grip on academia must be accomplished; I say that having some experience in adult education, with a wife who’s a teacher, and two daughters who will be teachers. Maybe WE become the lifetime influencers, at least in that domain. (Would be interested to hear Lake’s thoughts.) Getting people, of all ages, to think critically is key. The media, new and old, are just part of the battlefield, with the new media venues more favorable to our tactical moves than the old. Still working on the operational and strategic concepts . . .

    • Thanks for your thoughtful response. I understand your perspective, which in many ways is the right one.

      However, I am specifically interested in finding a way to break through the Breitbart wall. Their copy editing, or lack of it, is damaging to all of us right now. Has to be some way to blow a whistle loud enough for them to hear. Tired of cringing every day at childish bungles.

      A few random notes. I remember Ed Driscoll from years ago. Good blogger. Andrew McCarthy is also a National Review regular. Outstanding intellect, competent writer. I promise to check out Fernandez. I accept the validity of the multiple recommendations.

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