Monday, October 09, 2006

Atrios in Seattle

The headliner at Saturday night's Town Hall gig -- a panel discussion on blogs and the press that was a fund-raiser for Foolproof -- was Janeane Garofolo, who I've liked well enough over the years. But I think a lot of us were there to listen to what Duncan Black, aka Atrios, proprietor of Eschaton, had to say. (He was being joined, I should mention, by my pal Goldy as well as Matt Stoller from MyDD and David Postman of the Seattle Times.

Probably the highlight of the discussion -- other than determining that perhaps we should rename Goldy's blog Sheep's Back -- came when Matt and Duncan riffed on the how the profession of journalism is being tainted by a whole class of essentially unqualified "pundits" who hold forth as elite opinion makers on a wide variety of subjects without having to actually have any expertise in any of those subjects. Worst of all, as Stoller put it, is the way so many of them claim to be journalists without ever having actually been reporters, and then that is compounded by the failure of working journalists to actually differentiate themselves from the pundit class.

Atrios is the blogfather of Orcinus, so I made a special point to be there. A group of local bloggers (including Goldy and the General) met with him before the gig at a local brewhouse, which gave us all the chance to do the small chat thang. Then we all trundled off to Town Hall, were duly entertained and enlightened, and then drifted off for the night.

As it happened, though, Duncan had nearly the entirety of the next day to visit Seattle, so I met him downtown in the late morning and we went on a walking tour of the city. Eventually we exchanged secret instructions from the Vast Left Wing Foulmouthed Blogger Conspiracy via our decoder rings over oysters at Emmett Watson's down at the market. Bwah hah hah. (Later we retired to Chez Neiwert where he was entertained by an Irish dance routine by the Princess Fiona.)

Anyway, I think a pleasant time was had by all.

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