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February 20, 2004

The Perils of Blogging

As Jonah Goldberg has indicated, the version of the previous post that now appears is a revision of the original. Since Jonah used the Corner to express his entirely justified reaction to the sentiment that I've edited out, I thought it worth clarifying the matter and issuing something by way of warning to my fellow bloggers.

I opened the original version of the post with what, in my tired Friday morning mind, I intended to be a bit of playful, in the dugout, ball boy jibing of a major leaguer. I didn't mean to sneer or even, really, to accuse Jonah of anything improper. The "cool" comment wasn't meant to imply that he puts forward arguments in which he doesn't believe or expresses conflicts that he doesn't feel are real. Actually, I don't even know that I'd characterize a desire to be "cool," in this sense, as an invalid reason for taking positions.

I posted the entry and emailed Jonah. Within minutes, he had emailed back expressing offense, and within a couple minutes more, I had agreed, revised, and emailed an apology. If a single person read the post as objectionably written, I'd be surprised.

Here's the warning to fellow bloggers: this is minor stuff, in the big picture, particularly if these are seen as personal interactions in the context of a hobby. The danger arises for folks, like me, who are trying to find a way into a career, and who are just starting — for the first time ever — to feel a little give in the door.

Blogging is too quick, perhaps, and a silly overstatement or wayward tone can slip through one's fingers before it can be retracted.

Well, it's retracted, if not forgotten. Back to that doorknob.

Posted by Justin Katz at February 20, 2004 12:59 PM
Bloggers Blogging

I just read both posts and GOldberg's response so i didn't see the language that offended him. But i think you touched on something that is important: in many respects conservative spokesmen let liberals define what is acceptable and permissable for conservatives to say.

Having read your blog for nearly a year, i doubt your original post "smack[ed] of Stalinist politics."

As for the "ambivalent conservatives", it's odd that our leaders are actually far more liberal on the SSM question than the movement they seek to "lead" and the majority of the voters.

Posted by: craig henry at February 20, 2004 3:26 PM