Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Queen Is Dead
"Alas, poor Wonkette! I knew it, Horatio: a blog of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: it hath cracked my shit up a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rims at it. And who made better rimjob jests than thee? Here hung that snark that I have partaken I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your Butterstick? Your jokes about buggery, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning?

Yes, Wonkette is dead. Well, not dead, but it jumped the shark for good this week. Between Ana Marie Cox's departure for multimedia stardom and the arrival of the new guy, we're being treated to various bigfoot bloggers (Ezra Klein Tuesday, Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds yesterday--who's a Republican, for chrissakes) who are trying on Ana Marie's thong and finding it an uncomfortable fit. Klein's posts read like he was ashamed to be posting on such a frivolous site, while Reynolds committed the cardinal sin of thinking he's funnier than he really is. And for Wonkette to be Wonkette, it's got to bring the funny. Ana Marie could bring the funny. Several of her guests, like the pseudonymous "Joe Klein" and "Holly Martins," could bring the funny. Henry the Intern could bring the funny some of the time. DCeiver, who filled in a few weeks ago, could bring the funny like nobody this side of The Onion. But they're all gone, and we're left with people who, excellent writers though they be, can't summon up the combination of rapier wit and over-the-top snark that made Wonkette what it once was.

From its birth in 2003, Wonkette was never really a blog like other blogs (including this blog) are blogs. It was part of a large online media empire, yet despite its corporate origins, it retained an outlaw edge, thanks to the anal-sex jokes and the Cult of Butterstick. But now that it's safe enough to accommodate writers like Klein and Reynolds (and its coming transfer into the hands of a male blogger, David Lat), its days on the cutting edge are over.

Make no mistake--the change in Wonkette's blogger gender is going to matter. While Ana Marie wasn't a delicate flower of womanhood or anything, her take was uniquely female in many ways. (Would a male blogger have embraced Butterstick to such an extent?) The blogosphere is enough of a boys' club as it is. So I guess this means it's time to start reading Pandagon more often now.

Recommended Reading: One of the reasons Bush seems largely bulletproof no matter what he says or does is because the default position of the media is to defend him. Peter Daou has some thoughts on the media triangle that props him up, and Steve Soto at the Left Coaster has some worthwhile thoughts on what Daou said.

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