Hugh Hewitt slow-grills anti-blogger (updated)

posted at 1:14 pm on December 27, 2006 by see-dubya

Joe Rago of the Wall Street Journal got a lot of scorn for his sesquipedalian column bashing the blogosphere, probably the best example of which was this pitch-perfect Iowahawk parody. Now he’s subjected himself to Hugh Hewitt’s methodical probing, with predictable results.

When I first read his rather pretentious stylings to Mrs. See-Dubya, she said “I’ll bet that writer is under twenty-five”. Hugh had the same idea:

HH: And what’s your expertise in blogs?

JR: The expertise, in this case, is criticism. It’s the exercise of judgment and taste.

HH: Joe, you’re 23.

JR: Sure.

HH: Can you be expert in anything? And I’m serious here.

JR: I think I can write a thoughtful article, even though I’m 23.

HH: That wasn’t…the question is, can you be expert in anything at 23?

JR: No, I don’t think so.

HH: Do you read Lileks?

JR: From time to time.

HH: Is his humor cringe making?

JR: I mean, we’re having a semantic argument here.

HH: No, we’re having an argument about youth, actually.

Some (ahem!) notable omissions in Hugh’s list of 25 serious blogs, but worth a quick read or listen. Transcript and audio both at this link.

Under Hugh’s questioning, Rago seems to be describing a “Lake Wobegone Effect” in the blogosphere. Blogs are terrible in the aggregate, especially the ones other people read. But as for the good ones he reads, the bloggers are strong, the reporting is fair, and all the posts are well above average.

UPDATE: I don’t think the excerpt I gave is quite fair to Hewitt’s line of questioning. I don’t think HH, someone who is all about harnessing the unconventional distributed intelligence of the blogosphere, meant that because Rago is young, he doesn’t deserve to be listened to. Instead he was asking Rago about his own claim that journalists need expertise. Here’s an earlier exchange from the same interview:

JR: Right. I don’t think it takes any sort of special talent to be a journalist. Well, that’s not right. I don’t think you have to go to J school, or anything like that. But I think to be a journalist, you have to have a certain seriousness, a comprehensiveness of what you cover, your beat. You have to have sources, and you have to develop a certain expertise on a topic.

HH: You have to have sources?

JR: I think so, certainly.

HH: Okay. We’ll come back to that.

It’s a fair question: if you believe you have to have expertise to be a journalist, Mr. Rago, what are you an expert in?


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Now that I am approaching 40 I enjoy seeing a snot-nosed punk getting thoroughly pwned. (I still try and keep up with the hip lingo.)

This reminds me of a conservative kid who wrote a book about our declining culture and the need for people to obstain from sex.

Bill C on December 27, 2006 at 1:28 PM

When I first read his rather pretentious stylings to Mrs. See-Dubya, she said “I’ll bet that writer is under twenty-five”.

That was my first thought when reading it too. That, and ‘I bet he just bought himself a new thesaurus’. His job title gives the game away: “assistant editorial features editor” sounds like a fancy title for somebody who goes out to get coffee a lot.

jic on December 27, 2006 at 1:28 PM

Joe Rago = arrogant ass

Another great tool provided by blogs is the ability for readers to voice their opinion of the writer.

Gregor on December 27, 2006 at 1:31 PM

I read it last night and thought the part you quoted was the weakest thing in it. Rago didn’t claim to be an “expert” on blogs; he claimed to be a blog reader. Since when does lack of expertise disqualify one from offering criticism? If anything, the knock on his piece was that his complaints were too obviously true to warrant much attention.

And since when are 23-year-olds incapable of critical judgment? Hewitt’s implying, without clearly asserting, that someone of that age shouldn’t be taken seriously on any serious subject, regardless of the actual merits of his argument. Weak.

As for this:

But as for the good ones he reads, the bloggers are strong, the reporting is fair, and all the posts are well above average.

I think it’s a failure of nerve on Rago’s part more so than a tribute to his own good taste. I’m sure there are blogs on the list Hewitt gave him which he thinks suck. But he didn’t want to make himself a target so he declined to name names. Can’t say I blame him.

Oh — and at least one of those notable omissions was no accident, I’d be willing to bet.

Allahpundit on December 27, 2006 at 1:36 PM

In the past two days I’ve added a retired Navy (SEAL) Captain (O-6) and a retired Army Command Sergeant Major (E-9) to the roster at Old War Dogs. Of course they’ll want to run anything they write past Mr Rago to make sure it meets his standards.

bdfaith on December 27, 2006 at 1:51 PM

Which is better–to give examples of some blogs that suck, or tar the whole project as the work of imbeciles?

Rookie mistake by Rago. I think you’re right that it was a failure of nerve, though.

As for expertise, I think Hugh’s right that in most things that matter, you can’t be an expert at 23. That doesn’t mean that you lack all insight or aren’t worth listening to. Many times, the experts are wrong (see my Somalia post where I disagree with one, even though I’ve never been to Somalia) and the new kid or the outsider is correct.

Which is why the blogosphere is so cool.

see-dubya on December 27, 2006 at 1:54 PM

Which is better–to give examples of some blogs that suck, or tar the whole project as the work of imbeciles?

But how many examples should he have given? No matter what number you come up with, the response would have been, “Oh, sure, those blogs suck. But what about the other 50 million?” If he had picked three blogs as examples and criticized them in depth, the response would have been, “Notice how he picks blogs X, Y, and Z, which are bad, instead of A, B, and C, which are good.”

My question for Hewitt is, at what age should one’s critical judgments begin to be taken seriously? 30? 40? If Rago had written a paean to the blogosphere trumpeting the virtues of milbloggers and playing up the significance of Rathergate and Reutersgate, would “young Joe’s” opinion still be suspect?

Allahpundit on December 27, 2006 at 2:10 PM

Joe Rago is an imbecile himself.

Hilts on December 27, 2006 at 2:10 PM

Fun. Battle of the HotAir bloggers.

Gregor on December 27, 2006 at 2:13 PM

It seems instead that each user is necessarily his own judge of the worth of the thing used, unless we’re going to let architects tell us whether our homes are cozy and let Nike tell us whether our shoes pinch or not. Moreover, one learns to judge well by using and judging, so it seems one should form a judgment every time one judges it worthwhile to do so. As for condemning the opinions of another on account of his youth, that’s obviously an ad hominem attack, and therefore a red herring. If the young tend to produce bad judgments, they nevertheless sometimes produce good ones, too; however, regardless, I judge judgments as more worthy targets of judgment than the youthfulness of a judge. And my points are better than Hugh Hewitt’s, whether I’m older or younger than him.

Kralizec on December 27, 2006 at 2:15 PM

personally I don’t think someone’s opinion should be discredited just because of their age.

If you’re going to discredit them do it based upon content and logical deconstruction of their argument.

Of course, some are probably thinking about now “he must be under twenty five”. Sorry to disapoint you, but I’m over twenty five. I’m thirty, and I find most younger writers work … tempermental and easily dismantled.

There are always exceptions. Though, I have to say high intensity ego backed up by nothing but massive posturing does seem to be the default means of communication with the youth in America today.

Sad but true.

Isn’t that like a Metalica song or something … my bad.

One Angry Christian on December 27, 2006 at 2:22 PM

My question for Hewitt is, at what age should one’s critical judgments begin to be taken seriously?

My point exactly.

It’s not about age. It’s about critical thinking.

One Angry Christian on December 27, 2006 at 2:23 PM

If anything, the knock on his piece was that his complaints were too obviously true to warrant much attention.

Oh — and at least one of those notable omissions was no accident, I’d be willing to bet.

Allahpundit on December 27, 2006 at 1:36 PM

Oh, I don’t know. Sure, the opinions were accurate for some blogs, or even many. But the blog world is far too diverse in quality to generalize like he did; that’s my biggest criticism. The blogs HH rattles off mostly put the WSJ J-school dummies to shame.

I don’t get the inside-baseball comment on “notable omissions”. HotAir, perhaps? Why?

The most brutal review of Rago’s spew has to be IowaHawk’s evisceration. I don’t know where he came from, but his brain dances circles around Mr. Dartmouth-WSJ coffee boy.

Jaibones on December 27, 2006 at 2:24 PM

AP…
THIS legend in his own mind is what everyone is getting worked up over? I calculated the reading grade level of his article. To fully “appreciate” the article you have to be reading on a college sophmore level. This puts him in the “intelligence/education” trumps “wisdom” camp so he can officially be classified as a “pseudointelligencia” elitist.
Translation…the John Kerry of journalism.

Catseye on December 27, 2006 at 2:27 PM

HH just embarassed himself, methinks, when he was trying to trip up Rago with the whole “age/expert” thing. Lack of age is no impediment to expertise/intelligence/common sense, and having the advantage of age is no guarantee of those qualities.

JR: No, those are perfectly fine blogs, Mr. Hewitt. And that’s not my argument. I’m saying that on the whole, that the blogosphere is chaos, and that we should try to introduce some sort of order, or checks and balances…

Sure the blogosphere is chaos; but try to introduce checks and balances? Run by whom; the gov’t? Or MSM?

You’ll get my blog when you pry it out of my cold dead fingers!

dalewalt on December 27, 2006 at 2:32 PM

Sorry, it’s been a long day…should have been addressed to see-dubya

Catseye on December 27, 2006 at 2:33 PM

As for young people being able to be experts at anything … I would bet most 12 year-olds are far more expertise than most of us at video games, and there are many 20 year-olds who are computer geniuses compared to those of us over 30.

I’ve also known 20 year-olds who can build race cars from scratch and I’ve worked with 22 year-olds in various military jobs who I would consider experts in their field.

Age has nothing to do with it. Look at Jimmy Carter.

Gregor on December 27, 2006 at 2:33 PM

I think you’re missing where Hewitt was going with that question. I don’t think a blogosphere advocate like Hewitt is saying that no one under 23 has ever had anything valuable to say. It’s Rago who in his original column brought up the issue of expertise, and the blogosphere’s lack of it. Consider this from earlier in the interview:

JR: Well, I mean, I think the best definition of journalism is history as refracted through the prism of the unfolding present. You know, you don’t…

HH: Is that what you were doing at the Dartmouth Review?

JR: Yeah, I think so. You know…

HH: Talent a lot better than the Crimson was in my day then, but go ahead (laughing).

JR: You know, hey, they’re amateur journalists, certainly.

HH: But journalists.

JR: Right. I don’t think it takes any sort of special talent to be a journalist. Well, that’s not right. I don’t think you have to go to J school, or anything like that. But I think to be a journalist, you have to have a certain seriousness, a comprehensiveness of what you cover, your beat. You have to have sources, and you have to develop a certain expertise on a topic.

HH: You have to have sources?

JR: I think so, certainly.

HH: Okay. We’ll come back to that.

Hugh is just turning the tables on Rago’s own pronouncement: OK, so what are you an expert in, sonny?

see-dubya on December 27, 2006 at 2:34 PM

What an arrogant little puke. Are he and Olbermann an item yet?

JammieWearingFool on December 27, 2006 at 2:37 PM

Mmm, possible, see-dubya. Believe me, I don’t agree with Rago’s thoughts on the blogosphere. I don’t read anywhere near the number of blogs that HH was talking about, but on the whole I think there’s many very excellent blogs out there.

dalewalt on December 27, 2006 at 2:43 PM

(and a bunch of useless garbage, of course :-)

dalewalt on December 27, 2006 at 2:43 PM

AP

I don’t think Hugh is that down on youth as precluding wisdom. After all, didn’t MKH get her first national exposure as a guest blogger on Hugh’s site? And she still has a ways to coast to get to (The-not-so-Big-for-many-of-us) Three-O. I think he is unimpressed by poorly-constructed, young-sounding logic – which Rago seemed to display in that interview. I will say that Hugh does have a li-i-i-ttle bit of that Nancy Grace Subtlety when he begins an interview with someone with whom he strongly disagrees.

eeyore on December 27, 2006 at 3:05 PM

sesquipedalian

Note to Google:
I need a button on my Google tool bar that links to an online dictionary that, when clicked, links the currently highlighted word to the online dictionary, and requests a definition, and synonyms.

cc:HOTAIR

rockhauler on December 27, 2006 at 3:21 PM

There is a sound point buried within Rago’s injudicious op-ed. There is a certain kind of journalism for which the institutional structure of the MSM is far better suited than the spontaneous character of the blogosphere. Despite the fine work of Bill Roggio and Michael Yon, I certainly wouldn’t rely exclusively on blog reportage for my coverage of the war in Iraq, or any other major world event for that matter. For actual reportage, you need the resources, incentive structure and editorial accountability that only the major news sources can deploy. I thought it was a little silly when Hewitt was asking Rago to point out a situation where the MSM broke a story of comparable significance to Rathergate. The MSM does that all the time! Almost every single news story we’re currently discussing, from Somalia to the death of James Brown, was ‘broken’ by the MSM. It’s an event when the blogosphere breaks a story, but its not an event when the MSM breaks a story, because that’s their job. I’m certainly not saying that the MSM is perfect, and neither is Rago. Just having the appropriate resources and institutions isn’t sufficient – they have to be utilized wisely. However, the best solution (at least so far) is institutional reform within the old media, not a transition to blogs. Certainly the blogs have an important role to play in bringing about this reform, but they are not the alternative.

That said, Rago’s fury at the blogosphere is entirely misplaced. Blogs provide many things that the MSM cannot – immediacy, interaction, independence and choice. The problem is when people begin seeing the situation as some kind of battle between old and new media, whereas the relationship should be more symbiotic. Blogs are not a serious alternative to conventional media, but they are an important supplement. Both Rago and the blog triumphalists seem to ignore this fact.

Jazzman on December 27, 2006 at 3:29 PM

I think he is unimpressed by poorly-constructed, young-sounding logic – which Rago seemed to display in that interview.

Exactly. If anything, Rago’s age gives you a better opinion of his column: if you are going to write pretentious, sophomoric trash, you should be not much older than a sophomore. Now, if Rago had turned out to be a 45 year old with 20 years of journalistic experience…

jic on December 27, 2006 at 3:30 PM

Note to Google:
I need a button on my Google tool bar that links to an online dictionary that, when clicked, links the currently highlighted word to the online dictionary, and requests a definition, and synonyms.

Will this do?

jic on December 27, 2006 at 3:38 PM

I don’t think a blogosphere advocate like Hewitt is saying that no one under 23 has ever had anything valuable to say. It’s Rago who in his original column brought up the issue of expertise, and the blogosphere’s lack of it.

Rago’s point was that the MSM’s culture of expertise produces a more useful, informative product than blog culture, not that every single thing that appears in the MSM — especially the op-ed page — does or should demonstrate expertise. What would blog “expertise” look like, anyway? Rago knew many of the blogs Hewitt mentioned; I’d bet he’s more blog savvy than most journalists. Certainly he knows enough of the big ones to make some sort of generalized judgment.

Allahpundit on December 27, 2006 at 3:39 PM

Note to Google:

I need a button on my Google tool bar that links to an online dictionary that, when clicked, links the currently highlighted word to the online dictionary, and requests a definition, and synonyms.

Will this do?

Apparently, both of us were incapable of checking with Google and finding out that a dictionary search button is already an option.

jic on December 27, 2006 at 4:07 PM

Allah is defending his own…heh.

MarkB on December 27, 2006 at 4:10 PM

Rago’s elitism is manifest.
And when I read, JR: Well, I mean, I don’t think it’s like a printing press, you know, because a printing press…not just anyone can get a printing press and go out there. And it’s the same with the blogs. I don’t think I’ve got to stretch the guy’s words very far in order to see a McCain-ian auotocrat.
Neither of these guys would close down the internet.
Both think that on important matters like politics especially near election time that any unlicensed printing press should be silent – for the good of the people.
JR: No, those are perfectly fine blogs, Mr. Hewitt. And that’s not my argument. I’m saying that on the whole, that the blogosphere is chaos, and that we should try to introduce some sort of order, or checks and balances…

Stephen M on December 27, 2006 at 4:14 PM

Rago’s point was that the MSM’s culture of expertise produces a more useful, informative product than blog culture, not that every single thing that appears in the MSM — especially the op-ed page — does or should demonstrate expertise. What would blog “expertise” look like, anyway?

No doubt Rago has a more informed opinion about blogs than most editors, but the gist of his editorial was that an informed opinion is not sufficient reason to commit journalism.

At the risk of sounding like Joe Rago, I think you’re missing the irony. In essence, he offered a pompous, irony-free, specifics-deficient, “here’s my opinion right now” editorial bashing blogs for…well, doing the same things. I guess you could say he embraced the form.

His editorial was none of the things he argued were necessary for good journalism. There were no sources, no news value, and no layers of seasoned editorial wisdom. It’s that last bit that makes his age relevant. It was just one more way of demonstrating the complete hypocrisy of his piece, though I’d probably agree with you it was the weakest one.

John on December 27, 2006 at 4:28 PM

Both think that on important matters like politics especially near election time that any unlicensed printing press should be silent

That’s an incredibly scary suggestion. So who decides who’s political opinions should be heard? Who decides which political views to “silence?” The New York Times? Some political committee, made up of major media corporations? Columbia University?

Sounds similar to what’s going on in Iran right now.

Gregor on December 27, 2006 at 4:35 PM

AP,

I’m no good at reading between lines. Rago is stating flat out, against all evidence and logic, that the difference between the msm and blogs is the specific, credible expertise of the journalist.

Hewitt very reasonably demonstrates that this makes Rago’s piece invalid, by Rago’s own logic, since Rago at age 23 has zero expertise in the field of journalism and blogs. Judging from Rago’s apparent love of flowery language, he is more a critic of plain speakers than anything else.

And yet you take off after Hewitt for some reason that you haven’t made clear. Give us the three examples of 23 year old experts in the field of journalism that you must be thinking of to make this argument. Or is this some border war?

Jaibones on December 27, 2006 at 4:38 PM

Gregor
“So who decides who’s political opinions should be heard?…”

That’s obvious: John McCain and Russ Feingold

eeyore on December 27, 2006 at 4:46 PM

Jazzman, I think you make an excellent point. Had Rago been a bit older, he would have had the wisdom (hopefully) to couch his argument better.

I would have gone for giving the impression that I am not triumphant about blogs and explicitly stating I would like to see institutional journalism revamped– because it has an important function.

Instead, he went on his anti-blog feeling, and wrote a screed that only implied what may have been his real point.

As for HH’s points– some of them were weak. But it doesn’t matter– HH shotgunned the kid. Some buck bounced off, but enough stuck to make a mark.

I think, its probably because HH has some time to fill, so he will throw in some repostes and weaker arguments to fill ‘er out if necessary, or to keep things interesting. Hewitt is pretty damn good overall, but he does have his weak punches.

RiverCocytus on December 27, 2006 at 5:55 PM

An assumption that seems to be implicit in much of the discussion in this thread is that expertise is itself an unqualified good. However, expertise seems, at least, to be closely connected to specialization, while a flexible generality seems to be higher than specialization, despite its many special weaknesses. It’s hard to identify a specialty for Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Locke, Rousseau, and Nietzsche, unless one were to say that they specialized in comprehensiveness. Nor do I think one can immediately dismiss comprehensiveness as a specialty. A problem.

Kralizec on December 27, 2006 at 7:40 PM

Certainly this kid didn’t mind being slow-roasted by Hugh, it’s more exposure than he deserved, more than he’s gotten simply by blowing his own horn at school.

Since self-promotion seems to be his primary aim, everything else is gravy, and subordinate to his desire for recognition. Speaking only for myself, that makes his work suspect, regardless of content, and immediately colors my judgement of his opinions. I would always find myself asking, “What’s Joe’s self-aggrandizing angle for this story?” From a journalistic standpoint, I find no impulse to take seriously someone who takes himself more seriously than his stories.

I get the impression that he sees himself as a standard bearer for the Old Media as against the encroachment of the New. But the blogosphere and traditional media should have nothing to fear from each other. Joe complains about the chaos of blogs, but that is always going to exist where humans have freedom. A freedom he gladly accepts for himself, but like all egomaniacs, disdains for the masses.

Freelancer on December 27, 2006 at 7:50 PM

Freelancer,

I’m thinking the adjacent post on Professor Jeffrey Hart of Dartmouth tells us more about Joe Rago than anything else I’ve heard here.

Jaibones on December 27, 2006 at 10:30 PM

“assistant editorial features editor”

Have you ever noticed that the longer the title, the further from power a person probably is?

Examples:

President - Mmmm…pretty cut and dry – very powerful

Secretary of State – Mmmm…Not exactly the most powerful, but still VERY close to the seat of power.

Assistant Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Planning – I would bet he doesn’t meet with the President all that much.

We use to always make jokes about it in the military.

And indeed the older I get (40 now) the more I get a kick out of young folks thinking they know it all and have the answer to all the world’s problems.

armyvet on December 27, 2006 at 11:49 PM

Hewitt’s “no experts at 23″ routine was just about the stupidest line of argument I’ve heard that guy make during his deposition-interviews.

Let’s see: Welles made Citizen Kane at 24, and authored a book on how to stage Shakespeare at 19.

Most of the best software being written now is being written by “children” under 25.

Tiger Woods at 19. Ditto Federer. Probably plenty of gear-heads who are expert mechanics at 23.

And so on.

Hewitt lived up to his reputation for turgidity on that one.

wordwarp on December 28, 2006 at 3:32 AM

Agree RiverCocytus. Jazzman, *you* make excellent points, not Rago. Yours form the backbone of a “lets not forget…” editorial highlighting the differences between institutional journalism and blogs, differences that the decent bloggers themselves haven’t blurred (so what’s Rago’s beef, really?).

The point made by the blogs [Hugh mentioned] – either overtly or by contrast – isn’t that the institutional media is osbsolete, only that they are broken and need fixing. That Rago becomes the very case-in-point of that can’t have been intentional :-) – oops…

John, Jaibones et al are right on: Rago undermined his own potential point and proved ours instead (Hugh Hewitt notwithstanding, AP).

RD on December 28, 2006 at 3:59 AM

This seems to be an “apples versus oranges” debate.

The world would go on without both fruits, but not very well (think scurvy). Likewise, life would keep on going without internet bloggers or newspapers, but certainly for the worse (think North Korea).

All do some of the same useful things, and all do some different useful, unique things. The world is definitely a better place with all four.

Newspapers and bloggers complement each other, though rarely compliment each other. So I guess technology has brought us an informational fruit salad. If you don’t like one particular fruit, don’t eat it.

HH’s systematic drubbing was a little overdone and unnecessary, but JR brought it upon himself.

P.S. I think I just compared North Korea to scurvy.

hillbillyjim on December 28, 2006 at 8:21 AM

I hate to pile on, but another point to be made against Mr. Rago is his whining that short, simple posts and comments are useless. Surely he realizes that not everyone who reads blogs and newspapers has the benefit of his Dartmouth education, and in fact, some are probably barely able to follow along some prosaic masterpieces found in print and on the ‘sphere.

This is why simple, easy-to-understand analyses have their (important) role. I would rather these folks have some basic understanding of the issues of the day than none, because a lot of these same people will be casting the votes upon which all of our future depends.

hillbillyjim on December 28, 2006 at 8:37 AM

Hewitt lived up to his reputation for turgidity on that one.

wordwarp on December 28, 2006 at 3:32 AM

Dude, name me all of the j-school, msm 23 year old experts on anything other than masturbation. We’re not talking about tennis and muscle cars…

Jaibones on December 28, 2006 at 8:40 AM

HH let this kid off easy. Didn’t think HH was turgid in his interview. It wasn’t so much that HH dressed the kid down but rather gently brought him back down to earth.

Rago probably didn’t have anything better to do during the Xmas-thru-NewYear lull so they gave him a shot as writing something during the period not much news is happening. It just so happens that a blogger (HH) picked up on his story and called him on the carpet about it. Yeah, he probably does the gopher act in his job but he will ultimately be a a full blown journalist. Yes, he is young and he’s just spreading his wings but HH pointed out that he could expand his wings a bit farther by reading and researching a bit more than his narrow-minded perception took him.

The kid just needed someone to bring him off his lofty platform and HH did it gently and without humiliation. Print media is losing out to bloggers.

Rago – buck up, junior. It was just a lesson to be learned outside of college. I’ve given similar messages to my son.

USN6872 on December 28, 2006 at 10:09 AM

P.S. I think I just compared North Korea to scurvy.

hillbillyjim on December 28, 2006 at 8:21 AM

Heh.

And scurvy everywhere is insulted by it.

Jaibones on December 28, 2006 at 10:57 AM

Jailbones — whatever your age, you don’t yet appear to be an expert is *reading*:

HH: Joe, you’re 23.

JR: Sure.

HH: Can you be expert in anything? And I’m serious here.

JR: I think I can write a thoughtful article, even though I’m 23.

HH: That wasn’t…the question is, can you be expert in anything at 23?

JR: No, I don’t think so.

Can you be an expert in anything at 23, is what HH asked.

And yes, there are 23-year old J-school grads who are expert enough in certain fields that, in addition to their J-school training, makes them qualified to write about a field.

HH was right about the rest of his lines of questioning. It was that one, idiotic detour that I took issue with, and still do. Stupid. Turgid. Etcid.

wordwarp on December 28, 2006 at 5:03 PM

*Context*, y’all;

JR: The expertise, in this case, is criticism. It’s the exercise of **judgment and taste.**
HH: Joe, you’re 23.

perfect.

[from the description in his opinion column, I take it he reads mostly Koz, onFiredog, SadlyInsipid, et al. Though possibly I was missing his plentiful, deep and nuanced irony…]

Claire on December 28, 2006 at 8:49 PM