Linking Coyness in the Age of Google
One trend that I find alternately amusing and annoying is the practice of extensively discussing a blog post or other Internet piece while making a big show of not linking to the piece in question.
Two recent cases in point:
Thursday, Josh Legum excoriated Glenn Reynolds, Roger Simon, and Pajamas Media for linking to a post which revealed the identity of one of Mark Foley’s alleged victims. (See this post for a thorough discussion of the merits.) Despite referring to the original source as “Wild Bill” eight times in a relatively short post and discussing exactly what Reynolds, Simon, and PJM said about Wild Bill’s posts, Legum closed with a haughty “We won’t be providing links to any of these posts.”
James Fallows, in an otherwise good post pointing out that a Harvard adjunct professor didn’t bother to read an article he had written for the Atlantic before engaging in a snide criticism of it, dances all around the name of the prof-blogger in question for several paragraphs. Finally, he observes, “There is no benefit in naming this blogger, who in trying to make a ‘gotcha!’ point instead illustrated a failure to read any farther into an article than the first half of its sub-head.” Yet, the article contains an extensive excerpt of the post in question and observes, “The blogger is a professor. Of political science. At an Ivy League university.”
Given that any reader with access to Google can quickly locate the posts in question, it’s simply silly to play this “I’m above naming the person I’m critizing” game.