Claws Are Out, Blogsters Are In

We know it’s Monday, but this morning the Political Animal comes off a bit catty (which reminds us, we miss Friday cat blogging). Referencing a Time magazine piece about the blogosphere in which fellow-blogger Instapundit is named one of “Five Bloggers to Watch” (note, there are no Animals on the list), the Animal points to what he calls “the inevitable capsule blurb about Instapundit, which notes that he writes 20-30 posts a day, ‘many of them fairly lengthy.’ Are they reading the same Instapundit as me?” Come now, Animal…anyone visiting Instapundit this morning can see that he has indeed been very busy of late posting important…pictures of beaches and palm trees. (Ok, he was on vacation).

We turn next to Mathew Gross, another blogger featured in the aforementioned Time article—not as one “to watch,” but presented in the story’s lead as one of “the most influential media personalities in the world” despite not being “rich or famous or even conspicuously good-looking.” Yesterday Gross caught The Washington Post’s Jim VandeHei mimicking The New York Times’ Adam Nagourney by weighing in with his own “Democrats are worried” story. Unlike Campaign Desk, Gross considers it “an interesting tidbit” that, according to VandeHei, “a top [Kerry] aide” said Kerry will unveil his VP selection “the first or second week in July.” Writes Gross, “the insiders tell me it’s Gephardt; the polls say Edwards; the press reports lead to Vilsack. Thank God McCain’s out. If I wanted a Republican, I’d vote for one.”

No doubt voting Republican, Mark Noonan of Blogs for Bush today decries the media’s “Ignorance of Matters Military.” Noonan would like to send a particular Winston Churchill quote “to every editor in the United States.” The problem, Noonan notes, is that “our newsies, for the most part, just don’t know how war is conducted. Most of them never having served in the military, they simply do not have a grasp even of the basics - this leads them, again and again, into very silly reporting errors.” The New York Times is singled out for ridicule.

Josh Marshall singles out a report from The National Catholic Reporterelaborated on by The New York Times— reporting on President Bush’s comments to the Vatican secretary of state implying “that he hoped the Vatican would nudge [American bishops] toward more explicit activism.” Writes Marshall: “I guess on one level we can say we’ve come a long way since 1960 when John F. Kennedy had to foreswear that he’d follow the instructions of the Pope in his decisions of governance. Today we have a Protestant born-again [president] who tries to enlist the Pope to intervene in an American election.”

Speaking of interventions, Wonkette! brings readers a report on former President Clinton’s visit to the White House this morning to unveil his presidential portrait. Chelsea Clinton is sporting a “great blow-out” for the occasion, Wonkette writes, adding that the former first daughter “must have arrive[d] at the White House in a climate-controlled bubble.”

And so we end where we began: with cattiness.

Liz Cox Barrett

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.