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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Huffington Post, Bill Gates and Dirty Undies

A couple of years ago I was on a Patsy-and-Edina-style jaunt through Scotland with my friend Linda M. the clothing designer. Linda is an inveterate thrift shopper who loves to look at the construction of vintage lingerie. One time we were in this thirft store outside Edinburgh and this big Scottish gal with more than a passing resemblance to Robbie Coltrane threw us out because she thought we were perverts. "Yer not goin' through the used knicker bins any more!"

I mention this because the image of the used knicker bins came to mind as I was reading Arianna Huffington's much-touted new blog today, The Huffington Post. Now I wish Arianna the best, really I do, I think she is terribly smart and a basically decent person who is forward-thinking enough to recognize that the internet in general and the blogosphere specifically will play a role of ever-increasing importance in the body politic. But somebody should've briefed her on the virtues of economy, because a bunch of big names and their semi-literate ramblings do not constitute a blog any more than a plethora of yellow panties and sprung girdles constitute a Neiman Marcus lingerie department.

Most egregiously there appears to be no perspective, and as everyone in the lefty blog world knows this is what separates us from the people who post snapshots of Aunt Beth's gallstones or this year's crop of hydrangeas. If Arianna's blog is supposed to be progressive, then why is she allowing RIAA bawd Hillary Rosen to shill for Bill Gates? Amidst the mountain of crunchy elastic that comprise today's offerings, Rosen asks why Steve Jobs won't let the iPod store MP3s in addition to MP4s so Microsoft can make more money:
But keeping the iTunes system a proprietary technology to prevent anyone from using multiple (read Microsoft) music systems is the most anti-consumer and user unfriendly thing any god can do. Is this the same Jobs that railed for years about the Microsoft monopoly? Is taking a page out of their playbook the only way to have a successful business? If he isn’t careful Bill Gates might just Betamax him while the crowds cheer him on. Come on Steve – open it up.

Why am I complaining about this? Why isn’t everyone?
Well, Hilary, let me spell it out for you. You've obviously been going to GOP frame school and trying to give a pro-consumer spin to your lobbying efforts, but as any Audioslave-worshipping bong load-pulling 12 year-old can tell you, the MP4 is a superior format. Why should Steve Jobs crap-up his infinitely superior technology so Bill Gates can make a few more bucks? Yes, you are right, I see a consumer riot on the horizon. Millions of teens casting off their iPods and smashing them to bits in a shitstorm of indignant socialist rage, all in support of Poor Beleaguered Bill. You are Nostra-fucking-damus and Cassandra rolled into one, you are. I suggest you get the ball rolling by dropping John Avarosis a line. He certainly knows how to get things done, and I'm sure your tale of woe will send him into paroxysms of blind fury.

Anyway, Arianna -- we were on the topic of economy. Take a look at Roger Ailes' column from yesterday. Roger had one post. One post. An exercise in that "brevity is the soul of wit" thing -- about Bush's triumphant arrest of the man considered to be "third in command" who turned out to be mostly just an intern for Al-Quaeda:
The suggestion is that the Administration confused al-Libbi with Anas al-Liby.

If Scooter Libby and Liddy Dole turn up missing, check Guantanamo Bay.

On second thought, don't.
A former close associate of Bin Laden now living in London laughed: "What I remember of him is he used to make the coffee and do the photocopying."
Yeah, but so did Colin Powell, and they called him third in command too.
One American official tried to explain the absence of al-Libbi's name on the wanted list by saying: "We did not want him to know he was wanted."
"Otherwise, he'd just take us for granted."
Now, that's some quality blogging. One tight, cogent post can be hard to come by, and Jeebus don't I know it. But quantity is no substitute for quality. I realize some growing pains are to be expected, and you are a bright woman and a terrific writer, so I have every confidence you will overcome these initial hurdles. But at the end of day one, just so we're clear: Roger Ailes = La Perla, Huffington Post blog = yellowing pile of lint-balled Fruit of the Looms.