Novak: Bloggers to Blame for Hate in America

Bob Novak was astounded by the level of venom outside the GOP convention last week:

The protesters, while unable to disrupt the Republican National Convention as intended, represented a disturbing new development in the nation’s politics: hatred in the streets. The organized demonstrations were purely negative, attacking George W. Bush with scant expression of support for John Kerry. Individual marchers singled out any person they thought might be a convention delegate, firing off angry, often obscene, denunciations. The streets of Manhattan were not pleasant for anyone foolish enough to wander around wearing a convention badge.

I have covered every national political convention beginning with 1960 and never before encountered so unpleasant an atmosphere. Not even the infamous 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago approached last week’s level of animosity.

That’s really saying something. The next sentence:

The irrational loathing expressed daily on the Internet by passionate, though poorly informed, bloggers was transferred into the streets. While Sen. Zell Miller’s old-fashioned stemwinder inside Madison Square Garden was upbraided by news media critics for being too harsh, they largely ignored the real hatred in the streets.

There is no further mention of blogs in the piece. Bizarre.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. To a certain extent he is right. We have to be just as careful interpreting with a broad brush as Mr. Novak may be in painting with a broad brush. There are bloggers who fit Mr. Novak’s description, but he did not say that all bloggers fit that description.

    The Internet is merely a tool to be used well, badly, and everything in between. Mr. Novak may well believe that all bloggers are drooling, pooly informed fanatics, but that isn’t exactly what he said here.

  2. James Joyner says:

    I don’t necessarily take him that way, either. Surely, there are rabid bloggers on both sides. But the idea that they are the impetus for nasty demonstrations is, to say the least, a stretch. Some evidence or argumentation would have been nice.

  3. McGehee says:

    Mr. Novak may well believe that all bloggers are drooling, pooly informed fanatics,…

    Well, having enjoyed Wizbang’s “Babes of the Day” posts I’ll own up to the drooling part, but…

  4. Boyd says:

    I guess it depends on your connotation of the word “transferred.” To me, this doesn’t equate to causality, but I can see how you might see it that way.