Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Apparently Mayor Duffy took the opportunity of a public forum last week to disparage bloggers, who, he said, "throw rocks and hide their faces."

We hold the Mayor in good regard.   No more egocentric than any politician.   Even so, his comment recalls the dictum of the late, great Quentin Crisp:   "To an egomaniac, fair share of anything is always starvation diet."

Isn't it enough for Mayor Duffy to pursue his political career, and undertake his mayoralty, in a consequence-free zone of media protection?

Isn't it sufficient that the local press places anything involving City government beyond the pale of serious, sustained scrutiny?   (We distinguish between City government and the City school board.)

It is no criticism of the Mayor to recognize these perfectly apparent circumstances.   But really, Your Honor.   With a deal like that, a few local blogs get under your skin?

Just a symptom of all that pampering by the press.

Democrat and Chronicle editorial page editor James Lawrence endorsed the Mayor's comment in the newspaper's editorial blog, which is where we learned of it.

Mr. Lawrence, we and other local bloggers are here because you created us.   We're here to discuss information your newspaper suppresses because it doesn't fit your agenda.   We're here because of the D&C's propensity for deceiving the public with partial truths (recent examples of which are teed up for upcoming postings).   We're here because your newspaper's committed advocacy for one political party, its officials and candidates, sometimes goes over the top, even for the D&C.

Want to know why we bloggers are here -- all of us, from left to right?   Step into your own newsroom, Mr. Lawrence.   And look around.

We think the Mayor and the Editor complain about anonymity, because it compels them to confront ideas, rather than individuals.   Ideas, of course, are not in the least anonymous.   They have shape, substance and weight.   Who wants to grapple with ideas when you can slip around them so easily with ad hominem attacks, or eliminate them by using your power and influence to pressure the writer, the writer's employer or family?

A City government operating without scrutiny now has such modest scrutiny as we bloggers can muster.   The self-appointed press "watchdog," notorious for its political tunnel vision, now has watchdogs of its own.

And both are showing a very thin skin about it.


Rottenchester said...

It's beyond ironic that Lawrence criticizes anonymous bloggers, when his newspaper company spent millions to remake its newspaper sites into "social networking hubs" where anyone can assume an identity and post a blog. If he feels so strongly that anonymity is bad, he ought to be looking within, not without.

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