I don’t hate Somerby. I do read his blog but generally only a few posts a month and that’s all I can take.
Somerby has chosen a very unpopular job: a progressive who spends a fair amount of his time criticizing the “liberal” and “progressive” media and political establishments. For that he is to be commended. The establishment of the left isn’t faultless and needs to be criticized. As the influence of the blogoshpere has increased I think that Somerby has naturally tended to pay more attention to it. Where it all turns to custard is the way in which Somerby goes about his criticism. Yes I’m talking about the dreaded ‘tone’ and also the repetitiveness of his criticism. I don’t know if his shtick is meant to be humorous but it no longer tickles my funny bone. I’m over it.
It really has come to the point, where to my mind at least, some Daily Howler posts are unrelenting in their name calling and rather weak on factual criticism. Somerby makes some good points but only seldom is the criticism constructive. And I think that’s primarily where he falls flat. Let’s face it, the right-wing media and blogosphere could care less about what Somerby thinks or writes about them. The left-wing blogosphere (his ‘nominal allies’) and to a lesser extent the left-wing media probably do care but he often comes across as such an asshole that he ironically makes it easier to walk away from such criticism. I feel like he pisses away his best chance of making a difference. Yes maybe his targets need to toughen up but maybe Somerby also needs to take a step back from his blog persona and think about what it is he’s trying to accomplish and what the best way to accomplish it is. He’s got the chops but what I attribute to bitterness and anger take away from his criticism. They make it indigestible.
Lately I’ve found myself reading the Daily Howler using the same metrics that Somerby himself applies to others. I don’t think that the results are that flattering for Bob. Work isn’t shown, he often plays the mind reading game, and his research, apparently impeccable for all things Gore, routinely falls flat. This is most unsatisfying for somebody that sets such a high bar for others.
I started this post a long time ago but pretty much gave up on it as laziness consumed and as the moment passed. It was about the Keith Olbermann dust up of a few months ago, which I actually didn’t follow that closely. But at the time it reminded me of a DH post of 19 February, which I found less than satisfactory. It’s probably been already covered in a much better fashion elsewhere but the original (unfinished) post is below the fold. Continue reading ‘Dead Ant, Dead Ant’