Salon just published the first wave of its “Hack 30” list of the worst pundits in America. Not surprisingly, LA Times blogger and former Laura Bush press aid Andrew Malcolm made the grade at number 28.
Malcolm’s snide disdain for every living liberal politician and media member would probably be no big deal if it weren’t for the fact that he’s the editor of an ostensibly objective L.A. Times news blog, not some punk writing for the Weekly Standard or BigGovernment.com. Malcolm notoriously finds poll numbers newsworthy only when they’re good for Republicans. He’s a reliable Sarah Palin apologist. But, again, his biggest crime — besides his official portrait — is that the Times allows him to masquerade as a regular news blogger instead of your bog-standard right-wing crank.
Meanwhile, former Slate blogger and Democratic political candidate Mickey Kaus made the list at number 25 for pioneering “pointless contrarianism” on the Internet, among other ills.
Kaus is part of the wave of early political bloggers — like the tirelessly disingenuous Glenn Reynolds — who largely haven’t noticed that they’ve been replaced on the left by technocratic wonks and on the right by nutjobs like Andrew Breitbart. (Though perhaps Kaus has noticed — it would explain why Ezra Klein seems to enrage him so.)
Mickey obscures his beliefs in 100 layers of obnoxious gnomic in-jokes, but his reflexive hatred for unions and immigrants colors nearly every post (when he’s not complaining about the L.A. Times). Unions and immigrants are responsible for stagnant wages, the jobs crisis, the failure of G.M., etc., etc.
Salon has only released the first 5 of its 30 awful pundits and LA has 40 percent of them so far. Have to figure Breitbart is going to be on there somewhere too. How many do you think we’ll wind up with?