Just noting, with a friendly smile on my face. After all, I quite enjoyed reading this article by Mr. Ralston, as he tried to explain to the entire blogosphere that he isn’t the demon figure / new conservative icon that you’re looking for:

I was unaware until this week that I possess a lisp and am a “satanic hack” and a “racist punk.”

And then the real calumny began. I was labeled — hold your breath, dear readers — a “conservative political analyst” and a “conservative tool.”

{snip}

Democrats are so desperate for a return to power and so disbelieving that Obama is not crushing McCain that anything other than deification is treated as blasphemy. Hence, the liberal bloggers assume I am a right-wing mouthpiece — cue the laugh track, locals — and continue to affix unmentionable monikers while Obamaites react as Maria Cardona did on “Hannity and Colmes,” seemingly astonished that I would dare to interrupt Obama when I didn’t think he was giving a straight answer. If Obama can’t handle lil ol’ me by now, my dear Democrats, I wonder how he would fare with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Meanwhile, the Republicans are so eager to find an outlet for the hatred they had hoped to vent on Hillary Clinton that they now sound like Clinton once did, sneering at Obama as “The Messiah” and insisting it is heretical for any journalist to ask him a tough question. Thanks to the reach of Limbaugh, I have been deluged with calls and e-mails making me sound like the second coming of Tim Russert — come to think of it, perhaps they should be e-mailing and calling NBC News.

Oddly, that last bit sort of comes to the point.I won’t pretend that the blogosphere isn’t full of polarized partisans – heck, I’m doing my part to make sure it stays that way, mostly because the Other Side has difficulty thinking straight when it’s gone barking mad – but there is a reason why Mr. Ralston’s interview struck a nerve on both sides; we really don’t see things like it happen very often. I will grant that “don’t see things like it happen very often” is not quite semantically equivalent to “doesn’t happen very often” – but the perception at least is there, and is real.

I suspect that it’s a national news thing. No slight to Jon Ralston, but I live in Maryland and he works out of Nevada: I’ve never encountered him before this interview. His style is no doubt familiar to his regular viewers. But, by the standards of the pundits (and, frankly, talking heads) that we’re normally dealing with, he’s genuinely different – which is why the loud reactions on both sides. By national news standards, he really is a blasphemer to the Online Left and a heretic to the Online Right.

Which is an indictment of the national news, not Jon Ralston.

Moe Lane

PS: Personally, Jon? Milk this sucker for all that it’s worth.

Tags: Jon Ralston