May 15, 2007

The Rodney King of the Internet

Numerous journalists have noted—often with a touch of glee, we think—that intellectual discourse on Al Gore’s World-Wide Web tends to be of an appallingly low level. Just take a gander at one of your favorite “weblogs,” and you’re likely to find reader comments that would make a fruit fly seem a master of English prose by comparison.

Misspellings; garbled syntax; solecisms—these are the stuff of typical reader comments on “weblogs” throughout the “weblogosphere.” (And, sadly, the telltale signs of undergraduate essays too.)

Yet this is not, to be sure, the only thing that rankles about Al Gore’s Internet. Rather, the dedicated e-stroller must assuredly notice the intemperate language to be found all around the World-Wide Web. (Boy, don’t we sound like the 21st century’s answer to Tipper Gore?)

You know what we’re talking about, dear reader. Political “weblogs” of all different ideological bents routinely chastise their opponents as dolts, nincompoops, idiots, and worse. Commenters regularly lambaste those with whom they disagree, and rarely eschew four-letter words in doing so. And, on occasion, these sentiments become truly scary: Deranged lunatics might call for the murder of elected officials, for example. Others might even suggest that Rosie O’Donnell is sane.

Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have been around the e-block long enough to recognize what a rough-and-tumble world the Internet can be. Sadly, we’ve been the recipients of our fair share of e-venom. And, truth be told, we’ve excoriated a more-than-insignificant number of feckless neophytes and intemperate detractors.

Accordingly, we feel it within our purview to suggest that this e-vituperation must come to a halt. Quite frankly, it’s making “webloggers” look ridiculous, and giving ammunition to the popinjays in the mainstream media. If “webloggers” were a bit more restrained in their rhetoric, they’d likely feel less like the media equivalent of Rodney Dangerfield.

Now, we haven’t mentioned this solely to reap the benefits of a little sanctimonious preening (although, admittedly, that is an added bonus). On the contrary: We aim to do our part to raise the level of e-discourse.

To this end, below we’ve affixed a few pleasant comments about folks you might figure we’d disesteem. Allow it to serve as an example: If we can say nice things about some unsavory characters, you surely could do your part to make the Internet a less intemperate place as well.

Okay, without further ado, here goes:

Keith Olbermann: He is a vaguely effective propagandist who seems very well groomed. If more than three people watched his show each night, he might wind up becoming the sort of political and cultural force that Phil Donohue was on MSNBC.

Candy Crowley: Ms. Crowely does an excellent job reminding us why the endless stream of pretty, blonde-haired television news women aren’t that annoying after all.

Maureen Dowd: Without fear of ridicule, we can safely say that Ms. Dowd is a luminous example to young women everywhere. After all, if she can eke out a great career with her obscenely modest talent and acumen, women can do anything.

Wolf Blitzer: He’s not Anderson Cooper.

Rev. Al Sharpton: Rev. Al appears to be a very knowledgeable user of hair-care products. Oh, and he’s also a dynamite racial huckster.

Isn’t that nice, dear reader? You can almost hear the Internet getting nicer.

Posted at May 15, 2007 12:01 AM | TrackBack