Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy has experienced a sudden revival of late. Column after column under his byline has gotten loads of rotation on the Internet, and he not long ago made the cover of the Washington City Paper.
Yet for someone who's gone viral so often, perhaps Milloy should learn a thing or two about e-mail.
Or maybe not, given the columnist's know-nothing stance on tech. Have a look at the column that kicked off the hot streak. It ran the day after the. D.C. Council Chairman Vince Gray defeated incumbent Adrian Fenty in the Democratic mayoral primary, and it's heavy on digital sneering:
Watch them at the chic new eateries, Fenty's hip newly arrived "creative class" firing up their "social media" networks whenever he's under attack: Why should the mayor have to stop his work just to meet with some old biddies, they tweet. Who cares if the mayor is arrogant as long as he gets the job done?
Myopic little twits.
And lordy don't complain about Rhee.
She's creating a "world-class school system," they text.
The Facts Machine is betting that no one has ever texted about Rhee's "world-class school system." (If they did, it would be "wrld clss schl systm.") People generally use texting for less weighty communications.
For more Milloy bashing of the social media-using masses, check out this excerpt from the City Paper cover story:
Talk to Milloy about the state of the media and his cranky-old-uncle schtick becomes even more apparent. “Sounds perverted,” he gripes when asked about Twitter, his voice suddenly mockingly high: “Follow me on Twitter, and watch me tweet...”
The Twitter logo and "tweeting" evoke birds.
Shortly after his "social media" column, Milloy wrote about the "caldron of hatred" boiling in D.C., citing anonymous comments posted on the Washington Post website about the election. The piece repeated some nasty comments, like this one:
"All the wonderful progress made by Fenty is wiped out by one stupid move by the D.C. electorate. For the first time D.C. has professional managers working for D.C. . . now they will all be fired or be asked to leave, simply because they aren't African-American,"
Milloy assumes that all of the negative (and often racist) comments originated in Washington, D.C. — though many of them refer to D.C. voters in the third person, seemingly indicative of coming from outside observers. And the Washington Post, as a newspaper with national credibility, gets a tremendous amount of its traffic from around the country (not to mention that the population of the D.C. suburbs dwarfs the population of the District itself.)