“Bloggers have no checks and balances . . . [it's] a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas.” — Jonathan Klein, September 10, 2004, referring to bloggers.
“I look forward to reading his book one day, where he lays out with some coherence his philosophy on governance and politics. In the meantime, he appears to be just another loser with a keyboard . . .” — Mark Levin, September 13, 2010, referring to me.
Mark Levin’s dismissal of me as a “jackass,” a “moron,” an “ass,” and an “idiot” doesn’t bother me much. He’s not the first person to call me childish names on the Internet, and he won’t be the last.
But calling a blogger who corrected him on numerous factual misstatements as a “loser with a keyboard” strikes me as very . . . Ruling Class.
And it’s not just an attack on me or PowerLine’s Paul Mirengoff. It’s an attack on any mere blogger who dares correct a Very Important Radio Host on the facts. And, in fact, his characterization of me as a “loser with a keyboard” because I haven’t Written a Book is, fundamentally, a dismissal of anyone who has the temerity to express their opinions on the Internet without having Written a Book.
It’s an attack, in short, on you.
Raise your hand if you have written a book. If your hand isn’t up, Mark Levin doesn’t need to hear from you. You’re just a “loser with a keyboard.”
Remember: my criticism of Levin had nothing whatsoever to do with his position on the Delaware Senate primary. I have my opinion about that, and others have theirs. Reasonable people can disagree about this election. But facts are not opinions — and Levin botched the facts badly in his post about Paul Mirengoff. And that was my beef with Levin.
I criticized Levin because he said that Paul Mirengoff supported Specter over Toomey, when Mirengoff actually supported Toomey over Specter. Because Levin said Lindsey Graham is Mirengoff’s “brand of Republican” when Mirengoff has said Graham is his least favorite Republican senator. Because he said Mirengoff supported “Harriet Meyers” (he means “Miers”) when Mirengoff ultimately opposed her.
I criticized Levin because he misrepresented Mirengoff’s post so badly it was as if he hadn’t bothered to read it — and Levin seemed to think he had the right to engage in such distortions because Levin is famous and Mirengoff is not (“I don’t know Paul Mirengoff and I suspect virtually none of you do”).
Where have we heard this sort of elitist and arrogant attitude before? Why, yes: in Big Media.
We have heard it from New York Times reporter James Risen, who said that his blogger critics were ““jerking off in their pajamas” and added: “Do you even know anything about me? Maybe you were still in school when I broke the NSA story, I don’t know. It was back when you were in kindergarten, I think.”
We have heard it from Helen Thomas, who said of bloggers: “[T]hey certainly don’t have our standards. They don’t have our ethics . . .”
We have heard it from Big Media columnists who decried the way that blogs “continue sprouting like crab grass throughout the electronic ether”; or called bloggers “hobby hacks, the Internet version of the sad loners who used to listen to police radios in their bachelor apartments and think they were involved in the world”; or declared that “blogs are largely the habitat of unemployed writers, enraged misanthropes, retired teachers, aging journalists and people who normally pass their time doodling or making obscene telephone calls.”
We’ve listened to the catcalls through the years — even as we point out error after error after error . . . resulting in correction after correction after correction.
And now we’re hearing the same arrogant attitude from Mark Levin, who thinks your opinion is worthless if you haven’t Written a Book. In his latest response to Mirengoff, he admits he was wrong about Toomey, defends his half-truth about Mirengoff’s support for Harriet Miers as a “full truth,” (Bill Clinton would be proud!) — and doesn’t even bother to address the utter misrepresentation about Mirengoff being a fan of Lindsey Graham.
He’s a Big-Time Radio Host, you see. He doesn’t have to respond to criticism.
And his original post? Still utterly uncorrected. Just like Big Media!
Levin likes to drape himself in the mantle of the Little Guy, but his behavior towards Mirengoff and myself is the behavior of a man who thinks he is above such petty matters as fairness and accuracy — and only the Anointed have the right to call him on it. He thinks he can say what he likes, ignore your corrections of his falsehoods, and generally turn up his nose at you because you aren’t as famous as he is.
If his radio show ever goes bust, I think he has a great future in Big Media. I hear they have some openings at the L.A. Times.