This column exerpt from USN&WR Columnist, Bonnie Erbe, lamenting the ever-expanding blogosphere and "self-appointed, abecedarian pundits:"
"Internet punditry has many strong points. But it lacks at least one element that makes old-fashioned print punditry so vastly superior: editing. Nothing can replace a second set of eyes or a third or fourth rewrite. Writing improves when writers are asked how and where they get her facts and whether this or that point is a bit off the wall. Internet punditry has opened the pipeline but diluted the quality of the product."
More is not always better. But more is what we have.
Ms. Erbe describes herself this way:
Bonnie Erbe has covered Washington politics since God was a baby. Because of that, and the fact that she's a native New Yorker, nothing much surprises her anymore. She has covered Congress, the Supreme Court, the Justice Department, and occasionally the White House for radio and television networks. She also hosts PBS's weekly news analysis program, To the Contrary with Bonnie Erbe, and writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column for Scripps Howard News Service. "To the Contrary" will allow you to lift the curtain of partisanship for a refreshingly non-partisan perspective on politics, the environment, religion, and issues that affect the lives of women, families, and communities of color.
Since God was a baby??? Wouldn't you say that descriptor is "a bit off the wall," Bonnie? How many rewrites, I wonder, did it take to write that? Or is this what you would classify as "vastly superior old-fashioned print punditry" that offers a refreshing perspective on religion and the lives of women?
Okay, I admit it, I had to look up "abecedarian." Here's what Dictionary.com had to say:
4 results for: abecedarian
View results from: Dictionary | Thesaurus | Encyclopedia | All Reference | the Web
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source
a·be·ce·dar·i·an /ˌeɪbisiˈdɛəriən/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ey-bee-see-dair-ee-uhn] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. a person who is learning the letters of the alphabet.
2. a beginner in any field of learning.
–adjective 3. of or pertaining to the alphabet.
4. arranged in alphabetical order.
5. rudimentary; elementary; primary.
[Origin: 1595–1605; < ML abecedāriānus. See abecedary, -an]
Dear Ms. Erbe: If your message is that bloggers are beginners, have only a rudimentary understanding of events, with only elementary understanding of the world around us, or are somehow alphabetically challenged, I'd respectfully suggest you rethink your...abecedary assumptions. Your comments have the pungent aroma of arrogance and contempt for the rest of us "rogues." It's okay to think that way, but if you write it, you own it...and then you may as well wear it, as the rogues with looms would say....I leave you with this classic tale from Hans Christian Anderson (as you recall, there is a moral to the story!):
One day two rogues arrived in town, claiming to be gifted weavers. They convinced the Emperor that they could weave the most wonderful cloth, which had a magical property. The clothes were only visible to those who were completely pure in heart and spirit.
The Emperor was impressed and ordered the weavers to begin work immediately. The rogues, who had a deep understanding of human nature, began to feign work on empty looms.
Minister after minister went to view the new clothes and all came back exhorting the beauty of the cloth on the looms even though none of them could see a thing.
Finally a grand procession was planned for the Emperor to display his new finery. The Emperor went to view his clothes and was shocked to see absolutely nothing, but he pretended to admire the fabulous cloth, inspect the clothes with awe, and, after disrobing, go through the motions of carefully putting on a suit of the new garments.
Under a royal canopy the Emperor appeared to the admiring throng of his people - - all of whom cheered and clapped because they all knew the rogue weavers' tale and did not want to be seen as less than pure of heart.
But, the bubble burst when an innocent child loudly exclaimed, for the whole kingdom to hear, that the Emperor had nothing on at all. He had no clothes.
Now whom do you suppose might be the emperor in this story?