... I must confess that reading about Eric Alterman's brush with the law in New Hampshire gave me a happy jolt this morning, for the image of Alterman in handcuffs is not only funny, it is, on a conceptual level, just. This guy is one of the biggest pricks in American political journalism, a classic liberal elitist devoted to the US corporate state, and a firm believer in the "gatekeeper" role of what passes for intellectual culture in this country. And, naturally, Alterman considers himself one of the gatekeepers....Yikes. I had something to say about the Alterman arrest in my 7:15 post, and I considered going into my extraneous antagonism to Alterman, but decided to leave it at just a reaction to his presentation of the incident. But now that Dennis has raised the larger question, let me remind you of this post of mine, attacking Alterman for saying we need "some sort of, you know, blogging -- you know -- council, where we could condemn people." And this one. And this NYT column I wrote (free IHT reprint), where I said I "rankled" at his "impulse to control." So I've got to agree with Dennis that there's some poetic justice when the wannabe gatekeeper gets ousted.
"Ever since the beginning of blogging-time, I have worried -- in public and on blogging panels -- about the loss of the media's gatekeeper function . . . Particularly when the media profess to strive toward objectivity, punditry/gatekeepers play a crucial role. My problem with the punditocracy has never been that they are pundits, but that they are so incompetent at the job they do."Right. What we need are "competent" gatekeepers to make sure that the rabble know their place. And Alterman is more than willing to help keep this arrangement in place.
Sadly, Alterman got off easy, with not so much as a single baton strike to the gut, or a brief shot of pepper spray in the face.
June 4, 2007
Ooh! Dennis Perrin is exulting in the Alterman arrest: