The pajama meme


I happened to be watching the Fox News Channel when the pajama meme was born. You know what I mean — the now—infamous remark by Jonathan Klein, a former CBS executive that Americans should trust REAL news professionals, not the bloggers, whom he characterized as 'a guy sitting in living room in pajamas writing.'

I howled with delighted laughter when I heard that one. George Neumeyer, in today's American Spectator online summarizes just about perfectly why:

Klein's remark encapsulates the mindless credentialism, sham authority, and elitist insularity that has made CBS so repellent to ordinary Americans. The American people can see that their aging media emperors have less clothing on than pajama—clad bloggers. The tidy world of credentialed news gave us the Jayson Blairs and Janet Cookes, the bogus documents of Seymour Hersh, the phony Dateline car blow—ups, and now 1970s documents produced on 1990s computers. For news executives sitting on a whitened sepulcher, disparaging appearances is the only insult left.

The blogosphere has eagerly seized upon  and embraced the pajama image. James Lileks created a delighfully elegant graphic. As this new and powerful medium comes into its own, there is a good chance that the pajama image will become iconic, just as the newspaperman with a fedora hat and a pencil tucked over his ear became iconic of Twentieth Century news reporting.

Of course, we live an era where irony is de rigeur, so the ironic embrace of pajamas by bloggers perfectly fits the needs of the zeitgeist.

Best of all, Jonathan Klein has now guaranteed himself a place in history. To the extent that he is remembered at all, it will be as a pompous buffoon, the very embodiment of the corrupt, haughty, and reactionary mentality of an elite which has outlived its utility, but doesn't understand. Think powdered wigs at Versailles.

Thomas   9  14 04