Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Just Not Getting It

Look, I feel badly that Richard Cohen is getting mean e-mail. Really, I do.

That doesn't mean that he doesn't miss the point completely, again, with another tail of woe and ill-manners related to l'affaire d'Colbert.

First of all, much like the President, Richard, you are a big boy. I'm sure a goodly portion of the messages might have blistered the eyes and or ears of the recipients, but you write opinion pieces. For the Washington Post. Your corporate overlords are probably delighted by the influx of mail, because that means people are reading you.

Nobody likes negative reviews, but it seems a shame to waste a column bemoaning said reviews, surely you have better things to cover, such as why algebra is unnecessary in school. It is especially wasteful to complain when you miss the point of the critiques entirely:
Usually, the subject line said it all. Some were friendly and agreed that Colbert had not been funny. Most, though, were in what we shall call disagreement. Fine. I said the man wasn't funny and not funny has a bullying quality to it; others (including some of my friends) said he was funny. But because I held such a view, my attentive critics were convinced I had a political agenda. I was -- as was most of the press, I found out -- George W. Bush's lap dog. If this is the case, Bush had better check his lap.

It seemed that most of my correspondents had been egged on to write me by various blogs. In response, they smartly assembled into a digital lynch mob and went roaring after me. If I did not like Colbert, I must like Bush. If I write for The Post, I must be a mainstream media warmonger. If I was over a certain age -- which I am -- I am simply out of it, wherever "it" may be. All in all, I was -- I am, and I guess I remain -- the worthy object of ignorant, false and downright idiotic vituperation.
I'll go slowly here - It's not whether Messr. Colbert was funny or not. Nor was it your support or lack thereof for our President. No, the cause was your, how can I say it nicely, sniffyness about the 'rudeness' on display. You originally complained about Colbert being "representative of what too often passes for political courage, not to mention wit, in this country." That is your job too, Mr. Cohen. Colbert only 'passes' for such because you and the rest of the press has not been performing. That's why his show works, and why this routine bit a little close to the bone.

And let's not even mention you rather bizarrely polishing of your own Comedy Sheriff badge.

Richard, you wrote a bad column. I dare say it's not your first, and it probably won't be your last. This particular work hit the new media trifecta of being incorrect on the merits, (on the 'rudeness' point, you're perfectly entitled to your sense of humor, such as it is) sloppily argued to the point of nonsensicality, and released in the midst of a brewing blogswarm. The eye of such a perfect storm produces a wealth of responses. Sadly, some are full of "downright idiotic vituperation". But then, so was your original column, perhaps minus the vituperation. Take your lumps and try to do better tommorow - your only as bad as your last published work.

Though on the basis of this latest little whinge, I'm going to guess your inbox might fill up again. Alas and alack.


slickdpdx said...

its a silly thing to complain about. i give columnists a little leeway realizing its got to be tough to hit a bullseye every time and they have to crank out a substantial amount of product, but it seems like his throws have been missing the board altogether.

Mr Furious said...

Check this smackdown on Cohen...