This is breakthrough stuff, folks. Here we go:
Not only are most bloggers not journalists; increasingly they are also partisan operatives whose agendas are as ideological as they come. Using the cover of anonymity (many bloggers use pseudonyms), the cacophony of the relatively new medium, and the easily inflamed passions of the Web, these partisan political operatives are becoming experts at stirring up hornets’ nests of angry e-mails to editors, mounting campaigns to force advertisers to pull out of news shows, and, most disturbingly, spreading outright false information.
Ms. Franke-Ruta explains that Eason Jordan of CNN "was brought down not by outraged citizen-bloggers but by a mix of GOP operatives and military conservatives." How this taxonomy covers Jeff Jarvis, Rep. Barney Frank, and Sen. Chris Dodd is left unclear. But no worries! The NY Times never mentioned the role played by Sen. Dodd either, so perhaps her readers will not notice the oversight.
Matt Welch has fun with the concept of "partisan operatives", and suspects that Ms. Franke-Ruta could look a bit closer to home; Michelle Malkin defends the gents at Powerline, who appear in the TAP effort as scare-quote "citizens". And the always helpful Memeorandum points us to Kevin Drum, who says this on behalf of TAP:
Bottom line: a large part of the conservative blogosphere is nothing more than old style slime artists with a shiny new medium to abuse, while another large part either wittingly or unwittingly passes along their swill as a supposed groundswell of grass roots outrage.
A "large part"? Well, the last time we checked a "bottom line" calculated by Kevin Drum was about two hours ago, and we found his accounting to be a bit fuzzy. Oh, why be coy? The post is titled "Just Make Stuff Up", and that is what he was doing then.
Look, we understand the pressures under which Kevin writes. There seems to be a limitless appetite on the left for conspiracy theories (e.g., here is She Who Might Have Been First Lady), and I expect Kevin is under pressure from his employer to generate some buzz.
I am not going to call the Washington Monthly "slime artists" - Kevin spent a great deal of time on the "Bush AWOL" story, so his expertise in making those judgements exceeds mine.
However, we infer the slightest of leftward tilts at the Washington Monthly, which apparently aims to be influential - my goodness, are they "partisan operatives" also?
Strictly off the top of my head, if "partisan operative" means that a person is paid to promote a certain side of the national debate, then Kevin Drum, Matt Yglesias (TAP), 'Atrios' (Media Matters), and Josh Marshall (Washington Monthly) are "partisan operatives". And one might add the Kos himself to that list, since his consulting and fundraising seem to fall on the same side of the aisle.
Amongst the big righties - well I would need the powers of a TAP sleuth to help me. Glenn Reynolds? Powerline? Charles Johnson?
Go long tin foil.
MORE: Teresa as theologian:
"The church has a right and obligation to teach values," Heinz Kerry declared. "They don't have a right to restrict freedom of expression, which they did."
In light of this new information, I can't wait to learn the Church's revised views on pornography, obscenity, and blasphemy.