09 January 2009

Juan Cole Thinks 2008 Weblog Awards are a Neo-Con Conspiracy (yes, really)

From the department of sore losers comes Middle East commentator and UofM prof, Juan Cole. After becoming enraged that the 2008 Weblog Award for Best Middle East blog was "dominated by neocons" and "must have been orchestrated", some bloggers rightfully considered an "Anyone But Cole" campaign for the prestigious award. Juan Cole has since altered his whiny post to make himself appear the victim of bloggin' bullies, but Sandbox has the original post (damn print screen key).

Michael Totten, who does actual independent journalism in combat zones instead of armchair speculation, has taken the lead by over 5,000 votes. Instead of gracefully congratulating Mr. Totten, Juan Cole has a lengthy post accusing him of being nothing more than a Rovian agent. That's probably a little bit of an exaggeration, since "thug neocons" tend to not write "A Defense of Barack Obama" and usually don't hail from Portland, Oregon (as Totten does). Cole explains Totten's agenda:

So that's how you do it. 1) You assassinate the character of your opponent. 2) You make his correct statements into a liability by propagandizing that they are false or unpatriotic. And 3) you mobilize a base of single-issue true believers that you can depend on to dominate the discourse because most people don't care and are not invested.
A bit ironic, as Juan Cole was the one who compared Sarah Palin to terrorists only 4 months ago. I can assure you my hatred of Juan Cole has nothing to do with a cabal-like agenda to denigrate his political views. It's simply my dislike of pompous jackasses.


Lisa said...

It's pretty well-known that these blog awards favor conservative entrants. Just look at the military blogs which got nominated.

Cole is right.

McClatchy Watch said...

LT, thanks for the info. I just went and voted for Michael Totten here.

Kevin Gregory

Anonymous said...

They don't get nominated out of thin air, people vote. Once again, if you want your voice heard you have to do something about it. So I'm not really sure how you mean they favor anybody.

I have been a reader of Michael Totten for quite a while and, as always, don't agree with everything he says, but he's there and seeing it. I hope he does win. I voted for him.

cathcatz said...

man, do bloggers have an overinflated sense of self, or what?

i know one who always takes these thing so personally, and i no longer read his crap, because of it.

i think i have to agree that cole should just congratulate his opponent and move on.

Ms. Kiyum said...

High school beauty pageant redux.

Lisa said...


"So I'm not really sure how you mean they favor anybody."

Mr. Aylward & Co. who administer that blog award choose the finalists according to their own bias, which hews to the conservative. As for Mr. Totten "being there," yeah, but he's usually on the wrong side of the fence looking in.

Cole doesn't have to congratulate anyone, he is an equal contender at this point. The interesting fact here is the swift-boating going on by Totten and ilk.

We appreciate you, LTNixon, b/c you're one of the few milbloggers who is not egregiously "hooah." You do try and walk a middle line, to your credit.

amagi said...


As for Mr. Totten "being there," yeah, but he's usually on the wrong side of the fence looking in.

I don't understand -- what exactly do you mean by that?

olgreydog7 said...

I read Totten while in Baghdad. He speaks the truth. I know cause he wrote several pieces on the issue I was in charge of. So many times I wanted to present his blog to the general as a reference. Great journalism is looked at two ways now. Unfortunately, it is only applauded by people who want to believe that it what is really going on and denounced by people who don't want to believe that is what is going on. There is way too much bias.

I find it funny that in areas that really on the audience, ratings, talk radio, and blogs, all seem to have such an evil "conservative" bias. Did the people that claim this, *cough* CNN, Air America, Juan Cole *cough*, ever think that THEY may be the ones that are overtly bias and out of touch with what people actually want to hear/read?

cathcatz said...

lisa.. sorry, i was assuming that the vote was over and cole was crying foul about the results. if it's still happening, i guess i should get my ass over there and vote for my liberal brother!

Lisa said...


It seems like Totten is often looking in from the outside, and then posts based upon his readings or suppositions. But b/c he travels, it seems as though he's boots-on-the-ground, which isn't always the case.

Everyone's got a bias, and I find the best one can do is find the most well-informed sources and assemble a truth from that.