Monday, December 13, 2004

He's Just the Writer

The New Donkey is a promising centrist Democratic blog which I'm enjoying quite a lot so far, except for this silly post.

The Donkey (and whoever you are, will you please drop the anonymous handle; it's distracting and unnecessary) talks about the Jack Abramoff scandal and mentions Andy Ferguson's brilliant piece about Abramoff in The Weekly Standard. Donkey then goes on to essentially ignore Ferguson's work except for interpreting it for deeper institutional meaning in the conservative world.

Reading pieces as institutional signals and not individual expressions is a pet peeve of mine. When an institution wants to weigh in with something, they do so with editorials. Writers are not automatons scribbling away at the behest of their editors. And their work should be evaluated as an individual's work--not as a signal of some larger master plan. To do so is insulting.

This is a non-political point--Lord knows conservatives and liberals are equal-opportunity offenders. My cry here is for greater respect for writers in general. When you read an article in a magazine or newspaper, you should credit your admiration or displeasure to the writer, not the institution. The guy slaving away at his keyboard deserves at least that much respect.


Anonymous said...

It's written by Ed Kilgore.

Anonymous said...

Ascribing institutional motive to individuals is liberal SOP. Doesn't it tell you all you need to know about their thought process?