I really don't even understand why some high-tier bloggers are even bothering to continue this discussion. It amazes me that once a suggestion has been thrown out by the Right- "say, didn't John Kerry molest a retarded baby in Vietnam?"- that anyone on the Left actually thinks that'll be eliminated from discourse.
We seem to have some fascination with the economy of the blogosphere all of a sudden... let's talk about the psychology of the blogosphere for a minute, okay?
Bloggers don't care. They just don't. They don't care if anything they say is one hundred percent pure bullshit. If they can feel good about themselves and extract one more day of joy out of their meaningless non-blog lives but snarking in someone's comments section, they will.
The accusations about Kos being a Armstrong Williams-esque shill for Howard Dean are bullshit. Everyone knows it. Why are we even bothering trying to legitimately counter it? It's bullshit, we all know it's bullshit, the right-wingers all know it's bullshit. But they know the "Al Gore invented the internet" line is bullshit too, and you still see it in weblog comments.
Oliver Willis or Jesse Taylor could write 2,000 of the most eloquent, intelligent words on the dangers of the current Middle East crisis. Within the first five comments, some dipshit loser will simply respond "oh, I suppose you'd rather have the army run by a guy who raped a retard in 'Nam, wouldn't you?"
They don't care. They don't care about their own self-evaluations. What matters- the only thing that matters- is that they said something they think was really clever on the comments section of some person they've likely never met.
In the three years I've been blogging I've seen college professors knowingly lie. I've seen gay men sell out their very soul for the sake of pretending that their President doesn't consider them an abomination. I've seen brilliant women with the most clever minds for pop culture force themselves to act stupid for the sake of convincing themselves of the infallibility of recent foreign policy. The right-wing blogosphere has removed itself from any realm of rational discourse and instead established only one principle: win the argument. It doesn't even matter to them what the fucking argument is. If some liberal said something, they're either a hypocrite, a liar, or a traitor. Don't worry, you'll make some shit up to validate that a little later.
...and the "Blogging, Journalism, and Credibility" conference descends further into self-parody...