Salon.com has a snotty piece mocking the bloggers at the RNC. During the course of the piece, its author, Mark Follman, reveals himself to be an utterly clueless, humorless boob.
Follman sanctimoniously mocks the fluff that he believes is being put out by the convention bloggers. Looking only at his hand-picked examples, which one suspects is not representative of the bloggers’ posts, Follman may have something of a point. However, he makes this point in an unmistakably snide tone.
As part of this broadside, Follman quotes this satirical post from Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom, one of the funniest blogs on the internet. Goldstein’s post reads in its entirety:
Observations from the convention floor: Angie Harmon smells of honeysuckle and cloves–her flawless skin the color of sun-baked mahogany, her sultry voice the hum of Mezcal and cigarettes and late night conversations with friends on the deck of a rented beach house. Truly dazzling.
Oh. And Jason Sehorn, John McCain, and Rudy Giuliani spoke tonight, too.
Pretty funny. Only, clueless Mr. Follman cited it as an example of the vacuity of the convention blogging, rather than a biting satire of same.
Now, Follman had probably never read Goldstein’s site before, but the tone of the post should have indicated to Follman that Goldstein’s post might be satirical. Maybe he would have found out if he had bothered to ask Goldstein about it — but he didn’t. Or, he could have just poked around the site a little more. For example, here is another installment in Goldstein’s “coverage” of the convention:
Passed Tucker Carlson in the hallway a few minutes back, who was flipping through a stack of papers and didn’t acknowledge me except to throw a dirty look my way when he noticed the red bow tie I have on.
“That’s right, Wonderboy,” I hollered after him. “You don’t own the red bow tie. And I look good. So live with it.”
And the next day, before Follman’s piece ran, Goldstein ran this item:
It’s not official yet, but I think I just talked National Review’s Rich Lowry into an actual pissing contest with Air America’s Al Franken. FOXNews’ Linda Vester has agreed to judge it.
I’m off now to buy a case of Milwaukee’s Best and a couple of Super Big Gulps. And some yardsticks. Wish me luck.
update: Gonna need more Milwaukee’s Best, it looks like. Because who knew Vester could drink like that? I sure as hell didn’t.
Okay, so some writer didn’t get a joke. But wait — it gets even better. After Goldstein did a post mocking Follman’s cluelessness, Foolman, um, I mean Follman, responded in the comments:
Shoot, you know you guys are right. I completely overlooked Goldstein’s “hard-hitting” news on Michael Moore’s eating “an entire Bull Elk” and calling for a “big bottle of Lipitor” (hmm, is that mud on Moore’s face in that “AP” photo?? I didn’t catch that on the AP wires . . .) or Goldstein’s drinking “several bottles of bourbon last night . . . or the breaking news about his red bow tie that he flaunted at Tucker Carlson . . . or how he apparently witnessed Moore scarfing down Slim Jims and imagining himself “thigh deep in a pool of chocolate pudding.”
Please tell “ss” that I’m sorry for “slanting” your postings on Salon . . . I guess I just missed the real stuff.
Obviously, Follman still didn’t get it. So Goldstein broke the news to him — not so gently:
I think the problem, Mark, is that you missed the fact that I’m not at the convention, and that my entire “coverage” of said convention is itself a parody of / satire on convention coverage.
And so citing one of my posts in your sneering article proves that you’re really quite confused.
I make no pretense about doing “hard-hitting” news coverage of the GOP convention, being 2000 miles away at a kitchen table in Colorado. I’d expect someone who pretends to be a “real journalist” might be able to figure that out from the context (if not from the actual content).
And it goes on from there. Read the whole comment thread. Follman ends up blaming it all on an RNC blogger who Follman believed had taken Goldstein seriously, and then — this is the best part — Follman appears to pretend like he knew it was a joke all along, and he was just playing along.
There’s nothing I like better than seeing a self-righteous prig brought down a peg or two. Or — as here — three or four.