Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Local Columnist has Hissy Fit - Fraters Libertas Influence Suspected

Woah! Here I thought all the Fraters sniping at local columnist Nick Coleman was drifting beneath his radar. I know they've claimed that Coleman was an obsessive Fraters reader, but I always assumed that was a joke. Turns out I was wrong. Because Nick Coleman snapped today in the very direction they've been smacking him around. And I am not remotely exagerrating - check this out:

"This just in: I am a very wealthy man, born into privilege and power, and a stooge of the Democratic Party.

Oh. That reminds me, Smithers: Bring me the heads of some Republicans, would you? Also, set out the good silver. Fritz is coming over to give me my marching orders.

Dad-ums would be so proud, wouldn't he, Muffy?

Nothing in the opening paragraph is true, but bloggers and talk-show barracudas have said so, tossing stuff against the wall to see what sticks"


Now I suppose the "Democratic stooge" charge might have come up on local talk radio from time to time (though honestly Nick isn't relevant enough to get mentioned all that often, so perhaps a certain Fraters affiliated radio show is the one he has in mind). But that "wealthy man of privilege" stuff definitely comes from the Fraters. No question about it. Take this exerpt from last February for example, from a brief Fraters fisking of Mr. Coleman:

"For example, Nick Coleman, who’s an extremely wealthy newspaper writer in town. A guy born to privilege, which he’s enjoyed his whole life. "

And how do we know it was the Fraters who really got under his skin? Because he doesn't rationally and amusedly respond to the recent Rathergate blogs-making-news events. He makes a feeble attempt in that direction, but quickly loses it, spilling his guts all over the printed page, in a sloppy car-wreck of a diatribe. Check it out:

"But a lot of the attack against the mainstream media is coming from bloggers, which is like astronomers being assaulted by people who swear that aliens force them to have sex with Martians." ....

"I say: If you think Dan Rather is kooky, read some blogs and you, too, will be found in a daze, muttering, "Kenneth, what is the frequency?" ...

"Do bloggers have the credentials of real journalists? No. Bloggers are 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.

Bloggers don't know about anything that happened before they sat down to share their every thought with the moon. Like graffiti artists, they tag the public square -- without editors, correction policies or community standards. And so their tripe is often as vicious as it is vacuous."

Does this sound like the local version of David Broder, calmly and cooly defending the journalism profession from what he perceives to be an amateur threat from the blogosphere? Or does this sound like someone who was teased just one time too many about his recent marriage to an underwear obsessed fellow liberal columnist

So why snap now? I dunno. Maybe after a full month he finally felt the courage to do so after reading about Saint Paul's Coleman fatigue. Maybe he thought news coverage of the coming debate would let his messy rant slip beneath the radar. Maybe someone pointed and whispered as he was picking up a fresh tin of caviar at Byerly's last evening.

In any case, score another victory for the Fraters.


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