Today's Blogs

That’s Entertainment

Bloggers get all exercised about the Obama vs. Clinton celebrity death match, keep a stiff upper lip on hearing that Prince Harry is headed for Iraq, and navel-gaze about behaving badly online.

That’s entertainment: You know the presidential campaign is officially under way when Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton begin to fight publicly over Hollywood money. After producer and A+-lister David Geffen lit into Clinton and her husband in an interview with Maureen Dowd, Hillary’s people demanded that the Illinois senator give back Geffen’s $2,300 donation.

Conservative Ed Morrissey at Captain’s Quarters sees trouble ahoy for Clinton. “With Obama scoring big in his Tinseltown debut, Hillary understands that a major portion of her husband’s contributions has just dried up. Instead of redoubling her efforts to woo the celluloid titans back to her side, she blew her stack and demanded ridiculous penance from a competitor who hadn’t sinned against her.”

Variety managing editor Ted Johnson at Wilshire and Washington is upstairs/downstairs on Clinton: “1. How it helps Clinton: She proves she can mount a rapid-response operation, allieviating any donor fears she’ll be another John Kerry. 2. How it helps Obama: It only puts more attention on the doubts that some major donors—not just Geffen—have about her electability.”

Nothing lasts forever says Moderate Voice editor Joe Gandelman: “This interview is … a warning sign to the Clinton camp that they have not done sufficient fence-mending with longtime supporters, including some who perhaps gave their support while holding their noses. It’s also a warning sign that they may face another negative out there to confront—dynasty fatigue (Jeb Bush take note).”

At The Huffington Post, British pundit Martin Lewis warns everyone involved toPlay nice!”, and has advice for Geffen: “Shut up about the Clintons! Ignore them. Use your considerable skills and even more considerable wealth to help Barack Obama. Don’t trash Hillary Clinton in public. You may be able to afford it. But 300 million other Americans can’t.”

And Defamer gets biblical on the controversy. “We fear that the acrimony will continue until some sort of Solomonic compromise is reached on the Spielberg Question, perhaps with the influential director offering to tie himself to the backs of their OBAMA ‘08 and HILLARY 4 PREZ campaign buses and then having them driven in opposite directions, with each candidate allowed to keep whatever grisly part of his torn-asunder body is still lashed to their vehicle.”

Read more about the Obama-Clinton dustup. Slate’s John Dickerson scores for Clinton.

An officer and a soldier: British Prince Harry is being deployed to Iraq, becoming the first royal in 25 years to be sent into active battle, and the noble noble is getting admiration all around.

As you might expect at a site called BloggingBaby, Susan Wagner gets misty about the prince while admiring his sense of duty. “I have a soft spot for Harry and his brother, Prince William; every time I see them in the news I want to give them a hug and a snack and a normal childhood. … But I have an incredible respect for Harry’s commitment to do what he has trained to do.”

Londoner Political Umpire, at the politics and cricket blog Fora fires a shot at the press before allowing that it’s only fair that the third-in-line-to-the-throne be permitted to make a man of himself: “This in itself shouldn’t really be news. If Harry is a serving soldier, then he has to serve wherever the rest of his unit does, including war zones. It is not acceptable for him to do otherwise.” Haveyoursay’s Abdelilah Boukili, an English teacher in Marrakech, sees an opportunity to return to the good old days of war: “Maybe his presence will revive the romanticizing of wars where princes mingle with ordinary soldiers and live their lives away from the splendour and comfort of palaces.”

Over at Phillyburbs blogs, Dave R mourns for the prince he used to know and love. “I’ve always liked Harry’s wild party ways and his killer sense of humor. (What else is there to do when you’re third in line to the throne?) Guess that’s all in the past now.”

Read more about Prince Harry’s upcoming deployment.

It’s getting hot in here: The New York Times reports on the chilling effect of e-mail flames and the science behind bad behavior. Amazingly bloggers have an opinion or two.

Proving that his blog is aptly named,Lord Archaleon at Daddy is Angry flames the Times writer. “This journalist has got to defy all common sense to write this stuff. Isn’t it a good thing that internet chatters have no sense of inhibition when they write?”

Book Ninja’s George wields a doubled-edged sword of wonder and profanity. “Flame is what happens when otherwise decent people get dressed up in the masquerade costume of an anonymous internet chatroom, discussion board, or comment field, and completely lose their shit. … I’ve always marvelled at the phenomenon. I imagine little old ladies calling people shitfaced fucknuts.” Blame evolution says Leigh Vesta, a Web project manager blogging at Life After Web. “Social interaction has certainly changed over the years,” she writes. “Sarcasm, for instance, is commonplace in many conversations, but this wasn’t always the case. Now that the Internet provides a way to communicate by typing, all of the cues provided in speech and body language are lost.”

Law professor and Moneylaw writer Nancy Rapoport understands an honest misunderstanding, but she’s not sure what to do about true cretins. “Unlike Oscar Wilde’s famous statement that “[a] gentleman is one who never hurts anyone’s feelings unintentionally,” these nastygrammers aren’t necessarily gentlepersons. Instead, they seem to want to stir up discontent in a public forum. I don’t want nastygrammers to use the social neuroscience excuse (’the lack of visual cues made me do it’).”

Read more about science and flame wars.