I’ve recently been tweeting about Jeff Gerth’s authoritative CJR article dissecting the massive journalistic mess that was the so-called Russiagate story. I was commenting on how I thought it was excellent, and long overdue, work.

As if to prove Gerth’s final conclusion that this scandal has not only badly damaged the reputation of the media, but with it also the fabric of society as a whole, by making everyone fall back to prescribed partisan positions instead of thinking about issues for themselves, this guy comes along and points to some random article on the web criticising the CJR piece. Gerth has a bad track record and is biased, he tells me. I replied that I don’t really care about what Gerth did in the past as his current work speaks well enough for itself and that I am less interested in people linking me to the opinions of others than I am in discussing their thoughts directly with them. So I invited this person to list some individual issues he has with Gerth’s article and said that I would be happy to directly engage with that.

In response, the guy blocks me. For disagreeing with him, I guess? I was very civilised in my answers, despite the fact that this pattern of random people just linking random stuff instead of actually engaging with the subject matter has been really getting on my nerves lately. This is exactly what is wrong with society these days. What was that guy trying to do? He’s certainly not convincing me of anything, acting like that. Was he just trolling? Does he delight in shitting on other people’s doorstep and doesn’t have the balls to fess up to it when he gets caught? Is his hobby just wasting everyone’s time?

And what was his name again, anyway? Ah, yes…