A recent back-and-forth between Juan Williams, a pundit who represents the liberal viewpoint on Fox News, and conservative blogger Michelle Malkin about Attorney General Eric Holder has spawned much online discussion.
As Mediate noted, at one point during the debate, Williams told Malkin that “he was a ‘real reporter, not a blogger out in the blogosphere somewhere,’which in turn visibly offended Malkin, who retorted, ‘right, because I’m not a real reporter.’”
Predictably, Malkin has decided to play the victim card and turn this into a “cause.” After all, in the midst of the SWAT-ing controversy, and with the RightOnline conference coming up this weekend, what better way to pander to conservative bloggers (you know, the ones who don’t get to go on Fox News) than to defend them from the sneering elites?
This has now entered into “meme” territory, equipped with a hashtag,
Of course, this is hardly the first time bloggers have been disparaged.
Sarah Palin, who has made a career out of being outside the “establishment,” has been a huge practitioner of this anti-blogger rhetoric. As I’ve noted in the past, during an interview on Fox News, she criticized the media for taking cues from “some blogger probably sitting there in their parents’ basement, wearing their pajamas, blogging some kind of gossip or — or a lie.”
On yet another occasion, Palin said “bored, anonymous, pathetic bloggers who lie to annoy me.”
It seems anti-blogger rhetoric is a bipartisan phenomenon. It’s a convenient way for people on either side of the aisle to disparage or undermine the credibility of someone who is criticizing them.
And it still sort of works.