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April 21, 2006

The Hiltzakoshi Maru Scenario: The No-Win Situation

That's what Pulitzer Prize winning internet puppeteer Michael Hiltzik is facing.

I've learned... that the paper is investigating his work in general for other signs of dishonesty.

Well, a guy willing to put words in the mouths of psuedonymous internet personas might not be above putting words in the mouths of anonymous sources, too.

Seipp also quotes from a recent NR article noting that, basically, this guy is a real f'n' asshole.

Roger Simon meanwhile plays Freud with this very-damaged person. I played Freud myself in the comments, stating that the reason he couldn't simply say "I'm sorry, this is embarrassing" is:

His personality defect won't allow it. His history -- reading coworkers' emails (probably to make sure they weren't saying bad things about him) and his childish invention of phantom "supporters" -- indicate a man-boy of incredibly thin skin, a decidedly overinflated ego, and a complete inability to confess error.

I like this observation of Simon's:

There's a possible irony in all this too. It may be that blogging is more the big leagues than the mainstream media. In blogging, you're out here on your own. It takes self-discipline that is not as necessary in mainstream venues where you are (sometimes) back-stopped by editors and by the "reputation" of your journal (diminishing though that may be). Perhaps Hiltzik, a relative newcomer to the online world, was simply in over his head.

I think that's a pretty good point. Bloggers know there's a limit to what they can get away with. Reporters and columnists know -- or think they know -- they're "too big to fail" and may allow themselves a bit more latitude, shall we say, in their behavior.

Or, putting it another way: They're a bunch of arrogant pricks who think they have special status and license.

They do have special status and license, unfortuately. At least, that is, until they're caught dirty.

I also think he's right about being a "newcomer" to the Internet. The first ten errors I had to admit hurt. I didn't want to confess them, but I knew I had to, but I did sort of want to make them go away somehow. I didn't want people to laugh at me, or think me stupid or ill-informed, etc. But I did sort of know everything would be worse without the confession. So I gave it up.

The thing is, once you do that about ten or twelve times, it stops hurting. I make so many mistakes on this blog I really can't even track them. I simply had to acknowledge long ago that I'm 1, a moron, and 2, a somewhat slapdash one at that.

It is what it is.

I don't think this braying jackass was ever forced before to confess error. He was always able to justify his bad behavior and bad reportage and bad ethics. At least to himself. So this whole idea of taking your lumps like a man is completely new to him.

Eh. Like getting cornered in a prison shower, it only really hurts the first time. Then you start to give it up like a bitch.

Via Instapundit, who really should be having more fun with this, but then, he's deficient in his gloating skills.


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posted by Ace at 02:13 PM

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