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This NYTimes profile of Wonkette makes me

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 18, 2004

This NYTimes profile of Wonkette makes me want to take a shower. “I think it’s implicit in the way that a Web site is produced that our standards of accuracy are lower.” Yuck.

Reader comments

JohnApr 18, 2004 at 12:54PM

Wonkette sucks. Why would anyone want to read trash that isn’t true?

ShawnApr 18, 2004 at 5:19PM

Well there is that whole genre of fiction, that seems to be popular.

margaretApr 18, 2004 at 6:43PM

just as long as everyone reading it understands that it’s fiction, and doesn’t take it as truth, and the writers of the work make it clear that it is partially or totally fiction.

AdamApr 18, 2004 at 6:47PM

That Times piece was grotesque, a big sloppy blowjob right out here in public. But that, they say, is what the readers want, huh?

They really must be pretty hard up in DC.

r.Apr 18, 2004 at 7:49PM

“Wonkette sucks.” To which I’ll add: gossip sites suck.

RobertApr 18, 2004 at 9:54PM

This reminds me of a movie I really liked from last year called Shattered Glass. A pretty haunting look.

As for fiction - its obviously a popular genre - one most of us enjoy in some fashion. And I think most of us enjoy it because we get to imagine that it could be true - whether that be a science fiction thriller or the tabloid headline. The decision is which is worth your time, and if it is - why. Tabloids and Washington dirt seem worthless to me, but I admit to understanding the attraction…It’s all about the imagination, “What if?” We do the same thing when we read Faulkner or Marquez, but we choose to go ahead and let ourselves imagine because we think they might bring something more - something artful, maybe some commentary along with our pleasure.

PauloApr 18, 2004 at 10:39PM

I’ve dropped the Wonk and jumped in the Swamp: kind of a Gothamist to Wonkette’s Gawker, but the swamp thing has been doing it longer, with less skank.

billybobApr 19, 2004 at 1:22AM

Jealous that she’s figured out how to blog for a living?

ekApr 19, 2004 at 4:58AM

“I think it’s implicit in the way that a Web site is produced that our standards of accuracy are lower.”

Can someone explain to me how this isn’t true? The big newspapers haven’t been doing a very job lately, but they do make an attempt to vet their stories and given the number of stories published in a major paper on any given day, ensuring 100% accuracy 100% of the time is not an easy task.

Do any bloggers actually bother vetting any of the sources they link to? Can’t think of any that do.

Critique the Wonkette woman all you want, but, at least on this one point, she’s being honest and admitting to something most of the holier-than-though blog world would not.

RobertApr 19, 2004 at 10:17AM

Right on ek. I think most of the people giving her the “yuck” hate to see the internet insulted in any way as something less than suitable for news, and they certainly don’t like her style of “news”, so she’s an easy target.

AdamApr 19, 2004 at 10:26AM

ek: First, let’s not collapse “Web site” with “blog.” Had she said “I think it’s implicit in the way that a *blog is written* that our standards of accuracy are lower,” it might not have been so problematic. There are other kinds of Web sites, and some do aspire to accountability.

But that’s not what’s troubling about the piece, nor is it the fact that she’s “figured out how to blog for a living.” I mean, mazel tov and right on, good for her. What bothers me about the big sloppy media love Wonkette gets is that she’s crafted a totally retrograde femaleness that’s “adorable” and “unserious,” and she’s garnered outscale attention for it.

The other day I was reading someone’s site, a woman who had apparently worked hard over the course of years to develop her site’s voice and style, and to write engagingly about engaging content, and she was sounding off about how Wonkette had come along and done little more than make dick jokes and was now considered a “must read” by the power elite.

At first I thought she was just whining, that it was a bad case of sour grapes. But there’s something untoward in the success of a site that trades on an impression of women as not so very interested in rigor or factuality or import, as long as they can get by on being cute and/or funny.

*That’s* what sites wrong with me, anyway.

anonApr 19, 2004 at 11:46AM

Jealous that she’s figured out how to blog for a living?

I wouldn’t call making ~$2000/month pre-tax “a living.”

spygeekApr 19, 2004 at 11:57AM

You wouldn’t? Plenty of people would disagree. That is >$10 an hour full time, after all.

RobertApr 19, 2004 at 1:26PM

Wow mr. anon, tell the large group of people making that much money (2000/month pre-tax) that they aren’t living.

Jim BishopApr 19, 2004 at 2:35PM

i find wonkette to be a political dork’s wet dream. the times is capable of writing crap, and they should be chastised for it. the power of her blog is that she is held to a different standard. who else can get away with outing the governor of texas? it’s her lack of journalistic pretense that makes it fun.

PGApr 20, 2004 at 3:47AM

For what it’s worth, there were a whole bunch of political blogs, some with national (as in, not just Texas) readerships, discussing the Perry scandal at least a week before Ana Marie. It was all a non-starter anyway… but it’s not as if she broke the story.

jmApr 21, 2004 at 3:33PM

What the hell’s wrong with you guys? Wonkette is hilarious. Lighten up.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.