No, that's not a typo.
I have recently been taken to task by a reader for the use of certain language in my writing that expresses more anger than reason, and which provides more smoke than light. I hope that fairly characterizes the criticism (which, by the way, I regard as constructive, not malicious).
I mention that because not long ago, I had an unfortunate experience with my own criticism of some language I found on a website that I regard, for the most part, as an ideological ally, Democrats.com (hence, my little twist in the headline).
I wrote a comment on Democrats.com, criticizing one of their leading writers on his use of the words "media whores" to describe certain people working for CNN, the Washington Post, the NY Times and a few other leading news outlets. I suggested that we might find more defined and detailed ways to criticize each and every one of those writers than the generalized use of such a phrase as "media whores." I felt that it was insufficient to simply throw those words at them. I suggested that we actually show (notice the use of the word "we") how they have prostituted themselves to corporate interests with specific examples. I was offering what I thought was a different tactical approach. Well, that was not the right thing to do.
The opprobrium that descended upon me was absolute (with one small exception). I was basically scolded, told that I had alot of gall "attacking" one of the founders of the site, that who was I (an ignorant outlander, I presume) to be so bold as to criticize anything offered by the President and a Moderator of Democrats.com. It was really pretty amazing stuff from people I thought were allies. I responded to one person who acted as if I didn't have a clue as to what I was talking about, and who lectured me, with specifics (no less), about bad journalists and media personalities and how they have prostituted their profession. I lauded this fellow for saying exactly what I had proposed. I told him that was exactly what I had suggested and complimented him on his examples. But then I received more piling on, and I responded again about being less strident and about the use of generalizations. Can you guess what happened?
I was banned from Democrats.com.
No, seriously, stop laughing or choking. I was banned.
I simply had no idea that Democrats.com was a website for an exclusive elite of the Democrats, an elite which claims to oppose the close-minded, recalcitrant, and wrongheaded strategy of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), but which allows no room for disagreement on its own site. The one exception I mentioned above was one wise commentator who suggested that perhaps the leaders of Democrats.com should chill just a bit. He says: "We are fellow travellers. Let's quit eating our young, and marginalising our feisty old curmudgeons." I think he was referring to me, a feisty old curmudgeon?
Are these people so brittle they prefer to associate only with a group of people who worship at their feet and offer no criticism whatsoever?
Now what group of people does that remind me of? Hmmmm, let me think.
You can read the entire exchange that did make it onto the site here if you want to wade through it all. The "media whore" discussion was part of an overall discussion of the Samuel Alito process in the Senate. So, just scroll down until you see my comment entitled "Language."