Minnesota columnist James Lileks is a charming writer, if a little flashy (like the guitar soloist who uses volume and speed to get the inevitable cheer from the audience), who understands the web medium mighty well.
As I study warblog jargon, I’m fairly confident that his interleaved, point-for-point refutation of a speech by Senator Paul Wellstone constitutes a fisking.
It’s very Usenet and email, this style of interjected after-the-fact argumentation, very Internet I guess. As someone who’s practiced it often myself, I have to admit that it sometimes smacks a bit of what I wish I had saidism.
There’s also the dogpiling. Looking up Fisk and fisking (and Monbiot, etc.) I came across a response to a New Statesman article (right-wing and self-identified Libertarian warbloggers have taken to debating the British left given the lack of engagement or vigor in America’s atrophied, guilt- and shame-ridden left).
I don’t know where Byron fits in the warblogger food-chain, but you might safely call him a Reynoldsist (“instaheads”?). The me too flavor of many of his comments betray a subtext, the lazy shorthand of groupthink (subquotes are from Bryron’s fisking of the New Statesmen article):
Fisking? I’ll Show You a Fisking -The “formerly obscure Tennessee law professor called Glenn Reynolds” clued us into this Gaurdian piece on blogs. Hint to any mainstream media folks doing a piece on blogs: (1) bloggers love to read articles on blogs (2) bloggers love to pick apart bad articles (3) thus, a bad article about blogs is about to become road kill.
Why have Americans started to vilify the Guardian?
Because it the home of the British Euroweenie
Why does the actor John Malkovich want to kill the Independent foreign correspondent Robert Fisk?
Does the word idiotarian mean anything to you?
Allow me to unfisk the rest of his blog entry (selectively quoting part of his post without interspersing any comments at all):
“[The left ceded this potentially influential medium without a fight]
because they are underarmed. Blogs pay attention to facts and attention to detail. Liberalism tends to be more emotionally based.
No, fisking is systematically trashing a badly-written or illogical piece regardless of ideology. We’ll fisk righties too if they have it coming. Pat Buchanan and other paleocons get fisked as well.
They also point out some of [Krugman’s] consistencies, one of which is an irrational hatred of Republicans.
“[U]nchecked by sensible debate” translates to “uncensored by liberal filters.” We only fisk the stoopid ones.
Maybe we’re discovering the European’s autoproctology?
But political blogging is in its infancy here. It remains up for grabs. Got a computer? Got a view? Get blogging. There is a war to be won.
“What did you do during Gulf War II grand dad?”
“I did my part.”