The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, May 19, 2003  

A Few Notes About Blogging

Susan Madrak, proprietor of Suburban Guerrilla, has called me a "true gentleman." I'm flattered, though I can't seem to convince Susan to remark publicly upon my good looks and status as a single man.

Susan's post took on all the more significance, to me at least, when I ran across a piece written a while ago by Zizka, "Bloggers are not Gentlemen," wherein I again am characterized as "a true gentleman."

In this post, Zizka takes on, among others, one of my perennial antagonists, the talentless Norah Vincent, pummeling the purported pugilist with these remarkable words:

In a more extreme but also more ridiculous instance of the same bias, the marginal print journalist Norah Vincent (in a story titled "Putting the Brakes on 'Blowhard Bloggers'") made a case for internet censorship. Her motive? Some time ago The Rittenhouse Review had asked whether a certain piece of hers had been partly plagiarized, and his question (not even an accusation) had proliferated on the internet. (This happened mostly because there are a large number of people out there in the real world who know and despise Vincent.) Here's the clincher from her article: "As much as the blogosphere is full of brave and vital input, it's also full of the careless, mad and sometimes vengeful ravings of half-wits who will say anything, especially about established journalists and writers, just to attract more attention to their sites. This can get ugly when content is unregulated."

In her piece Vincent, like a nobleperson disdaining even to notice a scurvy peasant churl, made a point of not naming The Rittenhouse Review, much less providing a link. This moderately successful writer [Ed.: This is a reference to Vincent, not to me.] was worried that one of the most popular sites on the web [Ed.: Well, that would be me, of course.] was going to feed on her reputation! Furthermore, from Zizka's point of view, the irony is made more delicious by the fact that James Capozzola of RR is not pseudonymous and is both a professional and a true gentleman (not that Zizka holds that against him in any way). Capozzola's only crime is that he runs a website. And for that alone he has been relegated to the nether regions inhabited by Drudge, Bartcop, and Zizka! (If you really care about this, here are three more pieces on this story: Norah! Norah! Norah!).

Poor Norah. My attempt at reconciliation through her humorless girlfriend, Lisa McNulty, apparently a regular Rittenhouse reader -- And a writer thereto! -- notwithstanding, I suppose there's no hope.

Meantime, I ask readers of the Los Angeles Times, where Vincent's syndicated column appears on Thursdays, except when it's dropped to the cutting room floor: Why do you put up with this waste of such valuable space? The best person to whom to relay your opinions? Vincent's editor, Mary Arno.

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