August 13, 2007

Dr. Winner and Mr. Loser - UPDATED

Hatched by Dafydd

At it must every week, around rolls the weekly wash of winners -- and the lashing of losers.


All we can say about our own nomination, Gonzales, Intelligence, and Perjury: The Penultimate Word, was that we didn't come in dead last. A victory, of sorts!

The actual winner in the Council category was:

This is a pretty good blogpost; but it's the first one about this Kavalcade of Kossacks from Right Wing Nut House (Rick Moran), and it's necessarily too much of an overview for my taste. RWNH promises it's only the first of several others... and I'm hoping that the later posts will have more depth and analysis.

But if you want a summary of the great annual nutroot summit, this is the one.

We voted differently:

  1. Newsweek Attacks Global Warming Deniers, by ‘Okie’ on the Lam;
  2. Tancredo and Tonic, by Done With Mirrors.

In the first, Okie (Arthur Baker) takes on a particularly odious incarnation of the advocate in reporter's clothing; you can probably guess the topic.

INSTANT UPDATE: In the very next issue of Newsqueak, contributing editor Robert J. Samuelson attacks the previous week's story as "contrived":

We in the news business often enlist in moral crusades. Global warming is among the latest. Unfortunately, self-righteous indignation can undermine good journalism. Last week's NEWSWEEK cover story on global warming is a sobering reminder. It's an object lesson of how viewing the world as "good guys vs. bad guys" can lead to a vast oversimplification of a messy story. Global warming has clearly occurred; the hard question is what to do about it.

If you missed NEWSWEEK's story, here's the gist. A "well-coordinated, well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists, free-market think tanks and industry has created a paralyzing fog of doubt around climate change." This "denial machine" has obstructed action against global warming and is still "running at full throttle." The story's thrust: discredit the "denial machine," and the country can start the serious business of fighting global warming. The story was a wonderful read, marred only by its being fundamentally misleading.

So I reckon the "ol' Okie" was onto something.

The second demonstrate's the essential fairness of Big Lizards... for even though I completely agree with the thrust of this piece, I think it either got off one stop too soon or one too late; however, I voted for it anyway, because I thought it well argued and interesting.

Writing in Done With Mirrors, "Callimachus" begins by making clear he does not agree with Tom Tancredo's ill-considered remark (again) about threatening to bomb Mecca and Medina; but then he takes on a blogger, PoliBlog, who argues against it, attempting to shoot down PoliBlog's arguments -- with which Callimachus more or less agrees but thinks are weak (are you following this?)

While Callimachus' responses do address to the points raised by PoliBlog, he doesn't take the next step of reformulating the arguments to make them more convincing -- which would have been the natural progression. Still, it was an interesting exercise on Callimachus' part, countering arguments against a point that he, himself, also opposes.

Our votes came in third and second, respectively; so at least this time, aside from the Yoniacs, we were in the midst of the Council mob.


In the Nouncil, the genius award fell upon:

Once again, I have nothing against Micheal Yon; I like his reporting. But that's what it is: reporting. There is little or no analysis (beyond squad-level tactics), because Yon, being embedded with units involved in firefights all the time, has no time for that. It's interesting, but I don't see such reporting as "blogging" in the usual sense of the word.

Thus, we voted for two other posts, including, as our first-place vote, the piece we nominated:

  1. Beauchamp Recants, by the Weekly Standard;
  2. A Bridge Too Far, by the Lone Star Times.

The first is (naturally) a piece by Michael Goldfarb at the Weekly Standard, discussing Beauchamp's purported recanting... and what that means to the tatters and shreds of credibility that the New Republic had left after the Stephen Glass scandal. (Alas, we were the only ones to vote for this piece; possibly others found it to be too professional... not a blog but a magazine editorial cum comments.)

The second, by Jeremy "Panda Man" (don't ask) Weidenhof at the Lone Star Times, turns a weary, critical eye to the instant response to the collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis: Darn that Bush! If only he had spent more money on infrastructure! This piece came in third, so at least it got some recognition.

Lookee here

As it ever is, here is the full list of every entry that received a vote (those that didn't... well, let's just say the authors are probably glad not to be held up to public ridicule, after their experience in the stocks last month).

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, August 13, 2007, at the time of 2:43 PM

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