Thursday, November 18, 2004

Hugh's Target Crusade

Just because I'm feeling mischievous....

Hugh Hewitt is pimping a blog-meme again.

I have enthusiastically supported him in this in the past, when I think he has picked a meme that is important, and with which I agree. But there is the whiff of the New York Times pursuing Augusta National here.

There was a moment between Powerline breaking the Swiftvet story and Rathergate when those guys became filled with a bit of hubris which was awkwardly misplaced. I'm talking about the point where Hindrocket decided the role of the blogosphere was to get AP reporters fired. Remember that one?

Riddle me this... was that reporter fired? Docked pay? Impacted in any way?

No. Because that wasn't within Powerline's role or sphere of influence. I don't mind their attempt. But from the start my thought was that the guys were a bit full of themselves. They were not positioned to take down AP reporters, and efforts to that goal were some combination of self-aggrandizement and hucksterism.

Umm.. Hugh? You're not taking down Target here. I know you feel the whiff of gunpowder, and the troops seem to be forming up to march to victory. But it just won't happen. And forming up the troops for a failed charge does the opposite of bolstering their influence.

I fully support castigating Target over their Savation Army decision. But organized boycotts which fail to bring serious economic conseqences to their targets make a mockery of themselves, and betray their inherent weakness - which is remembered. I consider this an emotional squandering of otherwise potent political capital.

4 Comments:

Blogger R-Five said...

That makes four of us now, you, me, Noodles at PRofM, and of course, Lileks in his Thursday bleat.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Thanks R-Five. And you might also note, we differ from Hugh for different reasons. Goes to show, the blogosphere is not some echo chamber for the big bloggers (not that I believe Hugh thinks so - he's one of the best at respecting the importance of small bloggers). I don't object to Hugh's attempt to get his message out. But he's out of tune on this one.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Btw... add Chumley from Plastic Hallway to the loyal opposition.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Margaret said...

I agree too that the target boycott is misplaced. But I don't think Hugh does it out of arrogance. He saw it as another instance of a traditional Charity getting kicked to the curb due to leftwing identity politics. From 10,000 feet it's easy to make that mistake and I think the Minnesota blogs have done a good job of arguing why we shouldn't punish Target. The idea marketplace in action. I would also beg to differ on your stance on Powerline's campaign about the AP guy. Singling out a political hack reporter for eggregious profesional conduct (making up a story) is worth doing, regardless of whether the goal is likely to be successful or not. What *should* happen to reporters who make stuff up? (e.g. Jayson Blair, Mike Barnacle) It puts him and his employers on notice that we know he is a liar. It also IDs him for the rest of us as not to be trusted.

To me, there is a difference between being arrogant and being unafraid to express your opinions. An arrogant person refuses to listen to an opposing view. The Powerline guys and Hugh will argue aggressively for their point but they also seem to relish engaging a thoughtful opposing view.

3:54 PM  

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