Robert Fisk is a legendary Middle East reporter for The Independent and has been called "the most famous foreign correspondent in Britain." But he has that unfortunate angry-old-man attitude about the internet. At a recent lecture, "He recalled being challenged about a quote of his that had been published on a website - although he had never said it. 'But I read it on the internet,' was the response, to which Mr Fisk simply hung up." Reasonable! But what would you expect from a guy who has an entire method of online rhetorical smacking-down named after him?
The term Fisking, or to Fisk, is blogosphere slang describing detailed point-by-point criticism that highlights perceived errors, disputes the analysis of presented facts, or highlights other problems in a statement, article, or essay. Eric S. Raymond, in the Jargon File, defined the term as: A point-by-point refutation of a blog entry or (especially) news story. A really stylish fisking is witty, logical, sarcastic and ruthlessly factual; flaming or handwaving is considered poor form. The term is named after Robert Fisk, a British journalist.Ha, it's like what we do! Here we posit that Fisk has become bitter to the point of irrationality due to his mass of online detractors. Then we support it with a quote from him:
At one point, Mr Fisk retorted: "To hell with the web, it's got no responsibility."Fisked. [OJB]