Journos and pundits felt the sting of strangers’ words last night as they covered the debate. Such is the norm these days in online media.
As Matthew Ortega (who’s he? beats us, we’d never heard of his highness before), a hip hop aficionado and a digital director in Washington, proceeded to call us “trash”, RedState Editor and CNN Contributor Erick Erickson was also taking his online beating. “You sir are an idiot,” declared Sam Cantanzaro (i.e. @samsfoodblog).
Even The Fix, WaPo‘s politically neutral blog wasn’t immune. “Losers: you,” remarked @johnspeake. To which the blog’s proprietor, Chris Cillizza, graciously replied, “Always.”
WaPo‘s Ezra Klein lashed out more generally at all pundits, even though he often straddles a delicate line of punditry, journalism and Democratic strategy. “If pundits want to say who won politically, as opposed to on substance, they should wait for polls of actual voters,” he wrote.
Of course there’s always an element of pettiness that emerges on nights like these. “John King needs a haircut. Time pressure of a campaign must be keeping him from the barber,” wrote Ari Fleischer, a bald CNN Contributor who appeared on the network last night alongside the hairy King.
And insults are a pastime. “The fact that Chris Wallace poses as a straight news reporter is a total joke,” wrote ClearChannel’s Colby Hall, referring to the “Fox News Sunday” host “What a douche.”
During the previous debate, CNN Democratic Political Contributor Paul Begala was told to get a brain and grow some hair. This time, the brilliantly named @eatmerawson remarked, “Paul Begala, you always look like you’ve just sucked on a lemon when you speak on air. Eat some more lemons sourpuss.” Eat Me Raw tagged on a smiley face for good measure.
At 11:22 p.m. Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation came unglued and… took some of her post debate angst out on MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. She wrote, “When Chris Matthews semi-jokingly says Romney at times sounded like McGovern, shows misunderstanding of who and what McGovern/ism was.”
Wait, aren’t they on the same side?