September 22, 2004

"Moral cretins and self-important poseurs."

I assume that Rathergate is causing a lot of stray anger and anxiety among Kerry supporters. But you might want to take a deep breath before blogging. Maybe think twice, especially if you're a lawprof, before calling the bloggers who delved into the CBSNews scandal "full of sh*t" (spelled out) in your post title. Check your epithets. For example,"Instaignorance" for "Instapundit" might be instaunreadable without a hyphen--and a bit childish on top of that. And maybe reconsider hitting the publish button if you see that the argument you've written is that other bloggers are "moral cretins and self-important poseurs" because they care about the corruption of mainstream media in a specific current incident affecting the presidential election while at the same time they aren't bothering with a history book about the Japanese internment in World War II. It's a strained comparison--we're not bothering with Kitty Kelley's book either--so maybe you'd want at least to hesitate before writing "Shame on these bloggers ... Shame, indeed, on these moral cretins and self-important poseurs."

And when a fellow lawprof responds and confines himself to pointing out that you've built an argument on a comparison that doesn't hold up well, and he doesn't take you to task for your embarrassing language, why not be gracious
? You mischaracterize him as only not understanding that the history book is a real issue and--imperiously misusing "shall"--write: "I shall help him, because I am a nice guy." And when he responds to you, you might want to think about how it makes you look before going to his comments section and beginning with "Alas, this is getting a bit dreary (at least for my readers), so let me just post something here."

So when you wanted people to pay attention to something it was a big outrage and they were moral cretins not to already be talking about your subject, and then when someone engages with you, but not in the way you wanted, suddenly it's all too boring. The criticism "why did you pay attention to one thing and not to another?" is something I've seen before. One of the reasons I turned off my comments function was that the comments pages were cluttered with expressions of outrage at me--moral cretin!--for blogging about whatever I was blogging about instead of expressing outrage at the war in Iraq. As if bloggers are doing something wrong by choosing their topics instead of blogging about things in the order that they are important!

(By the way, I could imagine a blog gleefully naming itself "Moral Cretins and Self-Important Poseurs.")

UPDATE: A clever emailer suggests shortening "Moral Cretins and Self-Important Poseurs" to "McSips." I love that! Also, thanks to Instapundit for linking (and giving more weight to the theory of the original epithet-hurler that I blog as one of Instapundit's minions).

ANOTHER UPDATE: I don't have a comments function, but Gordon does, and he's got got a lot of them over there now (including one from me). So if you've got something to say about this, you can comment over at Gordon's blog.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Does anyone else find it ironic that the professor who started out by shaming others for onesidedness has now updated his post to publish the text of two emails that attack me and to let us know that he's receiving a lot of email that attacks him which he's deleting? Email attacking him has also been sent to me. Should I print a choice one to balance each one he prints about me? Because it's all about balance in the blogosphere, isn't it Professor Leiter?

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