Wednesday, September 01, 2004

More Journalistic Doublespeak

But this time, it's not about Dubya.

Though I appreciate the service he provides with his Wednesday Morning Download column, I hate Salon's Thomas Bartlett with a white-hot, flaming passion.

"What is it that you're in a snit about now?" you may ask.

Well, when he says, "Full disclosure: I appear on the compilation [Barsuk's Future Soundtrack for America] as the keyboardist in Mike Doughty's band," it is the most thinly veiled example of self-aggrandizement I've seen in print perhaps since my days dabbling at my university's weekend entertainment magazine. "Full disclosure"? Come now. You're not exactly revealing this deep, dark secret about your personal, political, or professional affiliations that exposes an unfortunate but unavoidable conflict of interest for the sake of journalistic integrity. No, you just want everyone to know that you're this hipper than thou indie fuck making a few extra dollars (and a whole boatload of street cred) on the side playing keyboards in a handful of obscure rock bands. Believe me, no one gives a rat's ass. No one thinks you're cool, no one thinks this makes you a better or more informed or more interesting writer. In fact, your own musical ambitions might actually make you a worse writer/critic since professional jealousy is more likely to cloud your judgment (e.g. his needlessly spiteful criticism of Bob Pollard and GBV's swan song). You can't have it both ways, Tommy. You can't be both Lester Bangs and Chris Walla. Sure, Richard Meltzer fronted a punk band and wrote lyrics for Blue Oyster Cult, but he's a dickhead, too.

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