Gloom, Doom and Despair Wrack Cyberscribes

According to some very fuzzy science, it’s the most depressing day of the year, and the blogs aren’t doing much to cheer us up. Paul Glastris takes note of a Los Angeles Times report that all of the stem cell lines approved for federal funding by the Bush administration are contaminated with mouse DNA, and therefore useless. “The Times describes this discovery as a ‘setback’ to the president’s stem cell policy,” he writes. “In reality, it’s really more like a final, complete repudiation of an idea that was pragmatically dubious from the beginning, but pushed forward anyway for political and ideological reasons and presented with an air of moral seriousness. Which is to say, it was typical Bush administration policy.”

But, hey, not to worry: we many not be long for this planet anyway. That’s according to a story in the Independent announcing the “Countdown to Global Catastrophe.” Paul at Wizbang, however, isn’t buying it. “Policy makers will not pass the draconian legislation the environmental movement wants because there is no pressing need to ruin the lives of millions of people on the whacky [sic] theory of the week,” he writes. “So the environmentalists have now created an artificial deadline to motivate policy makers.”

If Paul is right — and we are actually going to have to worry about our golden years — then we best turn our attention to Social Security. After Steve Inskeep made mention of “private accounts” today on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” Cokie Roberts told him that “by saying ‘private accounts’ you’ve already entered the debate, as far as the White House is concerned. They’re calling them ‘personal accounts,’ not ‘private accounts,’ to just try to change the rhetoric so that seniors again will not get frightened.”

Wonders Josh Marshall: “[D]o journalists really have to genuflect every time the White House issues a new vocabulary directive?” (After all, as Matt Yglesias notes, conservatives have long referred to “private accounts.” Their framing gurus eventually discovered the terminology didn’t play well with seniors, however, and now even the president has gone so far as to castigate reporters for using it.)

Finally, your intrepid blog reporter wasn’t the only one who caught Hugh Hewitt on CNN this morning pushing his book Blog. Jesse Taylor also saw Hewitt’s segment, and argues that it was an instance of “Hewitt’s open urinating on his own ideals.” Writes Taylor:

There are days where I come to hate the blogosphere. Not blogging per se, but the sort of pretentious community that has arisen which speaks in terms of the immense power we wield and our ability to change everything forever until we decide (on our own goddamn terms) to change everything forever again.

For those of you suffering from blog burnout (but still can’t get enough), the whole rant is here.

Brian Montopoli

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Brian Montopoli is a writer at CJR Daily.