Monday, August 09, 2010

The sad evolution of Bob "the Daily Howler" Somerby

Bob "the Daily Howler" Somerby has reached the point that I now regard him as a full-blown "concern troll", very often echoing conservative complaints but framing them as the advice of a concerned liberal, wanting to help progressive Democrats clean up our act.

In his Howler post of 08/09/2010, his sad evolution is evident. He defends Glenn Beck's allegedly perceptive analysis of education spending, being careful not to endorse or critique it. (Since Somerby writes frequently about educations issues, it's not clear what would be so difficult for him to check Beck's information.) Somerby defends poor persecuted Beck against the horrible attacks of that bigoted liberal shrew Joan Walsh, whose Salon he now describes as "smutty", when she objected to Beck's characterization of Obama's government as "Planet of the Apes".

As Walsh explains in the post Somerby targets ("It's like the damn Planet of the Apes!" Salon 08/06/2010), this has become a favorite them of white supremacist groups. Somerby doesn't seem to be bothered by such things. But he's very bothered when one of them thar horrible libruls criticized a fine white man like Glenn Beck for white racism. Weirdly, he says it's fine when Beck assumes a mock Southern accent but evil libruls condescension to sensitive white Southerners when Rachel Maddow does it. In a classic concern-troll formulation, Somerby writes of the evil libruls and their discussions of white racism:

... we hapless liberals only know one political play. This is all we know how to do; in truth, we have no other politics. In part, this explains why we liberals have been the loveable losers of American politics for at least the past thirty years.
I had a direct exchange with Somerby in the comments to a Digby post of 08/03/2010 at Hullabaloo. (The link is to my comments and Somerby's; at this writing I was unable to link Digby's post itself.)

Bob Somerby may have been Al Gore's roommate back when. And for years he was a staunch defender of Al Gore and the Clinton's, and a perceptive and funny critic of the very real failing of our Establishment press corps. But he's now reduced himself to patrolling liberal commentary that argues against white racism. It's a sad but also ugly development.

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