Thursday, June 22, 2006

Shameless at Salon

The blogosphere is abuzz with an internecine fight about the financial history of Kos blogger Jerome Armstrong and, more bizarrely, about Markos "Kos" Moulitsas Zuniga's ham-fisted attempt to get fellow bloggers to remain silent on the topic. I haven't caught up with all the ins and outs of the allegations, accusations, and responses (to be frank, the whole thing seems much ado about nothing), but you can find some information here and here.

You can also find a post on the subject at Salon. Michael Scherer offers a few choice words on Kos's misguided, "bile-filled response to the controversy." But then Scherer includes a statement that is both irresponsible and (perhaps unintentionally) hurtful:
Since then, the discussion has exploded online. Firedoglake [and other bloggers] have all weighed in with alacrity.
And what was Jane Hamsher's response at Firedoglake? Basically, she has been absent from her blog for a week and has no response because her mother is critically ill:
My sister and I have been splitting 24 hour shifts in the hospital as my mom slips in and out of consciousness.... I have not had internet access at the hospital and have only had moments at home when I could grab quick glances at the blog. I have no idea what's going on in the world, let alone the internecine politics of greater blogistan.
Hours after she took the time to post her remarks, her mother, I'm sorry to report, passed away.

How can Scherer suggest that this is Hamsher weighing in with alacrity? (Does he even know what alacrity means?) None of her remarks address the controversy; instead her entire post is about her dying mother and why she hasn't had time to respond to a matter--in fact, any matter--that has seemingly little to do with her or her immediate concerns.

If, as I suspect, Scherer simply linked to Jane's post without reading it because he saw it listed on a service like Google or Technorati, then he owes Jane an apology. If Scherer, a professional journalist who should know better, actually read the post and still linked to it to support his spirited attempt at journalism, then he is simply cruel.

As regular readers of my blog know, Jane Hamsher is one of my favorite online writers (blogger or otherwise). Her sense of humor and her stalwart liberal principles have managed to enliven the most arcane political points and humiliate the most entrenched bedwetting chickenhawks. Her presence at Firedoglake has already been greatly missed, and we look forward to her return. My heart and my thoughts go out to her and her family.

Update (June 23): Today, Scherer reinstated his credentials as a gentleman. He updated his post with an apology.