The cult of the amateur is taking on show trial dimensions -- at least judging from the obscene public grilling that Hugh Hewitt, a particularly radical democrat, gave to Joseph Rago, the smart young Wall Street Journal journalist who, in an extremely entertaining December opinion piece entitled "The Blog Mob", revealed the inanity of most blogs.
Hewitt is a fanatical opponent of mainstream media (so called MSM) -- and his attacks on professional journalists like Rago, Dan Rather, Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd are chilling. There's a lunatic single-mindedness to Hewitt's interogation of Rago that brings to mind a Soviet show-trial at the height of Stalinism. Hewitt is humorless, ill-educated and his rabble-rousing writing caters to the lower depths of what Guardian journalist Timothy Garton-Ash called the cyberswamp.
Rago characterizes the blogosphere as "written by fools to be read by imbeciles." Hewitt's interogation (dressed up as an interview) of Rago qualifies him as both a fool and an imbecile.
So what is it about MSM that radical democrats like Hewitt hates so much?
Could it be Dowd's humor -- her ability to skewer wannabes like Hewitt in a couple of glittering sentences. Or might it be Krugman's erudition (he is, after all a distinguished Princeton economist as well as a brilliant polemicist)? Or perhaps Hewitt is jealous of a talented young journalist like Rago who, on the brink of a glittering career at the Journal, is brave enough to reveal the obvious truth about the blogosphere.
One can't help imagining that this fanatical hatred of professional journalists is some sort of psychotic disorder, a psychological consequence of failure, a classic case of Nietzschean resentiment. Anti MSM'ers like Hewitt remind me of provincial "intellectuals" (Lenin, Robespierre, Pol Pot, etc etc), their noses pressed up against the window of the real world, blaming everyone but themselves for their own gaping inadequacies.