"They're toads," Tony Kornheiser recently said about bloggers on a radio show for which he is paid good money. "They're little toads. Actually, they're pimples on the behind of the greater body politic in this country and in this city. And because, because they have access to airwaves and three or four people read them, they think, 'Oh, I'm very important.'" Kind of like radio hosts! But enough of that goofball, there are nine bigger blogger-haters who deserve derision — not because bloggers don't deserve constant mockery, but because insulting an entire class of people always guarantees failure.
10. Tony Kornheiser: But only a bit, because god, what media personality hasn't tried to get a rise out of bloggers? Even Garry Trudeau did it.
9. Lee Siegel: The New Republic editor who coined the term "blogofascism" was fired for "blogodouchism" when he defended himself on his own blog using a fake commenter account. Slamming (liberal) bloggers was bad enough. But he got caught pumping himself up with messages like "Siegel is brave, brilliant, and wittier than [Jon] Stewart will ever be. Take that, you bunch of immature, abusive sheep." Yes, he called himself better than Jon Stewart in every way. With a fake name. On his blog. His defense: "I am too childlike to be immature."
8. Andrew Keen: His book, The Cult of the Amateur, is subtitled "How the Internet is Killing Our Culture and Assaulting Our Economy." Subtle! Keen argues that citizen-generated media is unadulterated crap and nothing good will ever shine on the Internet. If he toned it down, Keen would have an interesting viewpoint. But then he wouldn't have sold any copies.
7. Steve Jobs: Over a year after an apparent truce with rumor blogs, Apple shut down Think Secret, and the death of free speech for industry blogs caused a great outcry for about an hour before Fake Steve Jobs pretended Apple shut him down and probably sold an entire new book off that story.
6. Anna Wintour: Not a hater so much as a disdainer. But being disdained by the Vogue empress-in-chief is better than being ignored, and all she really did was avoid calling herself a blogger.
5. Microsoft: Apple was nothing; at least they're nice to the bloggers who just use their stuff. But after Microsoft (CEO Steve Ballmer pictured here) gave free laptops to bloggers and angry Internet users accused them of bribery, the company asked for the machines back. The recipients were not happy, but most gave them away to charity instead. I can imagine Microsoft giving a weak little "Tada!" like GOB from Arrested Development.
4. Dan Rather: The former news host treated bloggers rather well, considering it was conservative bloggers who started discrediting his reports on George Bush's sketchy military service records. Rather still insists that the records, which were also disputed by the Post and Times, have still not been proven false. Still, he lost his job shortly after the controversy.
3. Best Buy: It's kind of the friend of bloggers, because the incompetent retail chain makes so many great stories for angry consumer bloggers. Gawker Media's Consumerist has explained how Best Buy is basically a giant box of Fuck You. The founder of Best Buy's Geek Squad fix-it service, asked to defend himself, instead picked on Consumerist for running stories before he responded. Dude! The complaint gets one post, then your response gets another. WE CALL THAT BLOGGING.
2. George Bush: Ha! Ha! "Rumors on the Internets" joke! But honestly, when the House of Representatives didn't give the White House more spying power, Bush's press secretary blamed them for believing "the fantasies of left-wing bloggers." Miserable failure.
1. Cory Doctorow: Critics call bloggers self-centered, egomaniacal, and shrill. All of which kind of describes Cory Doctorow! The Boing Boing co-founder, one of four writers on one of the Internet's most influential blogs, writes plenty of cool stuff. But because he whines about consumer rights and copyright fairness as if they're equivalent to global warming and world poverty, and because he sometimes rips on annoying people in his daily life on his million-viewer blog without asking their side of the story, he's (maybe a bit unfairly) pegged as the biggest crank among bloggers. Oh bloggers, you fools, your enemy was yourself all the time! Now let me explain to you my evil plan and put you in a death machine that doesn't work.
Photos licensed from Getty Images, except: Siegel from NYT, Keen from Keen, Doctorow from Scott Beale