Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Hi Jack. I should probably weight in.

First, thanks for the D. I do appreciate it. Mind if I bullet this out? Here goes:

- By doing a good job of cleaning up my sprezzatura, NRO is doing me more of a favor by making my idiocy disappear than it is in protecting itself. So, you’re right, we’re already well on our way to mending our relationship, and I should be back in business for the holiday season.

- As you well know, the temptation to do damage control when your critics are right there on the same page as you is hard to resist. It’s a real test of character to share bandwidth with anonymous posters critical of every word you write. It’s a test I failed. Worse, when I did give in and attempt to manage the mob, I was proven to be lame. This is important because again, as you well know, in this day and age it’s vitally important to maintain the illusion that we paid professionals are better at this writing and thinking stuff than the masses. Oops!

- The idea that I defrauded the readers relies on the assumption that they are defined by their lowest common denominator. As I learned, this is a mistake. The truth of the matter is, the readers, and especially those that go so far as to post comments, are far more intelligent than we dare give them credit for being. Likely, the very people I’m being derided for defrauding are in fact rather tickled at having played a part in this now newsworthy adventure.

- The larger issue, and one I hope my escapade begins a discussion on, is the proper, tried and tested way of engaging our newly empowered readership. It needs to be written about and taught, so that professionals coming up aren’t turned into idiots like I was when they come face to face, word to word, with the masses. Not only are they not the enemy, I suspect they are an online columnist’s greatest asset if he or she only knew how to engage them. You’re plugged in Jack. Any ideas? Are you reading my post in your fray, or on Wag the Slate?

All the best Jack,
Lee Siegel *

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