Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Moby Nick

Yesterday, in a message to their readers, the boys at Power Line revealed:

When we started this site two and a half years ago, the Trunk said: "The idea that we could ever have any readers for this thing is a pathetic fantasy."

Which pretty much echoes the thoughts we had we when we launched Fraters Libertas around that same time. An even more delusional dream back then would be the notion that well-established columnists with the local major daily newspapers would not only be reading our site, but responding to us in print.

Well folks I'm here to tell you, sometimes dreams do come true. Look no further than today's offering from Nick Coleman in the Star Tribune called "Blogged down in Web fantasy".

Captain Ed has already taken a crack at the increasingly neurotic Nick Boy, but this is too big for us to pass on. In fact by the end of the day, we all may take our turns playing Whack-A-'Hole with Coleman's caterwauling. Make no mistake about it, even though Nick does not mention us directly, this little paranoid rant of his is largely directed at us humble bloggers at Fraters Libertas.

For no one has been banging on Nick Boy like we have. From simple Fiskings of his crappy columns to the full-blown, all-out exposes of his personal life in the Newspaper Newlyweds, we've been on Nick like a tick on a elephant. Wait, that's his line isn't it?

But one of the shams we're chasing is the supposed threat of the blogs, who are to journalism what ticks are to elephants. Ticks may make the elephants nuts, but that doesn't mean they will replace them. You can't ride a tick.

So we're making you "nuts" are we Nick? So sorry. How are you holding up anyway?

We are rattled, and in danger of losing our way.

A rattled nut walking around the offices of the Star Tribune? And you thought working at the Post Office was dangerous.

Our crusade against Nick Boy has been led by Saint Paul, who pushed the concept of Fisking to a whole new level by introducing the Newspaper Newlyweds (with some help from The Man From Silver Mountain). Instead of looking at Nick Coleman from the Star Tribune and Laura Billings from the St. Paul Pioneer Press as individual columnists, he deftly wove their marriage into the larger picture of the dysfunctional local media, as he looked between the lines of their writing for hints of what was going on behind the scenes.

This summer, when Laura's ego-gratifying Googling led her to discover our handiwork, she saw fit to take to the pages of the Pioneer Press and describe us as, "lonely guys who write withering and anonymous social commentary in their underpants." As Saint Paul said at the time, "Jackpot." We had broken through.

But for Saint Paul, Laura Billings was small fry. He continued to stalk his larger prey with a single-minded obsession, bordering on fanaticism. Apparently his barbed harpoons have found their target. For his white whale is now squealing like a stuck pig. Congratulations Saint Paul, this is your day. Rejoice in it and be glad.

And thanks to Nick Coleman. Because after two and half years of blogging, you start to get a bit worn down, a little less enthusiastic. You ask yourself why you even bother to blog and whether it's really worth it. After seeing Nick's column today the answer is an emphatic "Hell yeah!" Thanks to Nick's snarky, sneering sniping I'm now motivated to re-up for another two and a half year tour of duty in the 'sphere. Booyah baby!

The next time I'm sitting in my underwear, drinking (you forgot that one), and blogging stuff up at midnight I'll be thinking of you Nick. I didn't go to a fancy "J" school. I haven't spent the better part of my life attending zoning meetings and running down the list of vice collars at a local precinct. My ear has not had the benefit of extensive baloney detection training. I most certainly am not worthy of carrying your precious notebook. And God knows, I can't possibly know as much "stuff" as you since I'm not a "professional journalist." But I do know one thing. If, according to you, the job of journalists is

to scrutinize the actions of those in power

then the job of bloggers is to do the same to those in power in the media. The question is: can YOU handle the scrutiny Nick?

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