Posts Tagged 'trollumnist'

Death Panels and Trollumnists

After getting the term trollumnist out there, I came upon this article over at 3QD which clearly points out a few examples of trollumnists. Unlike the original article which coined the term trollunist, these aren’t Australian examples, but really good American ones.

The first example of a trollumnist is is none other than Betsy McCaughey, who’s infamous for coining death panels and being the architect behind the idea.

Betsy McCaughey – architect of the widely rumored “death panels” idea – that Obama’s health care proposals would create government sponsored draconian consultations imposing conditions upon both patients in end-of-life circumstances and doctors treating said patients to decide which patients were worthy of living.

Here is where the trolluminsm comes in:

James Fallows of the Atlantic Monthly described her role in the healthcare debate as: “She has brought more misinformation, more often, more destructively into America’s consideration of health-policy issues than any other individual. She has no concept of “truth” or “accuracy” in the normal senses of those terms, as demonstrated when she went on The Daily Show¹. Betsy resigned from the board of directors of Cantel Medical Corporation the next day.

Bill Kristol is another fine example of a trollumnist.

But Jon manages to rise past the agendas of his guests – conservatives and liberals alike – in the most ingratiating manner. When he peppered Bill Kristol – editor of Weekly Standard, a right-wing opponent of health care reform that includes a public insurance option – he even managed to steer him into complimenting government run health-care².

Trollumnist

I’ve never come across the term trollumnist, but it’s pretty self-evident that there are quite a few trollumnists out there. So what is a trollumnist?

{Note, the word has been added to the Urban Dictionary}

Trollumnist (n.) — A writer or blogger who “trolls” in a multichannel, multimedia environment, trying to bait readers into a reaction that editors want to generate. Comes from the term trolling or the noun trolls.

Here is what trolling is all about:

In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

Here is where the term first came to my attention:

As the newspaper business model heads south, though, we’ve been subjected to the rise of what we might christen the “trollumnist” — the writer who simply “trolls” in a multichannel, multimedia environment. And the erstwhile self-identification of papers like the Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian as quality outlets matters little in the attention economy: on the internet, no one knows you’re a broadsheet. Whereas a true columnist might make controversial arguments or challenge common sense, trollumnists merely provoke outrage in order to sell papers, draw links and capture increasingly scarce reader attention. The beauty of it all is that it doesn’t take much training to do it, and as media content goes, it’s cheap as chips. Any fool can offend people given a reasonably prominent platform.

{via david reid}


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ranjitwithkinginbehand.jpgI'm Range, your host. On the menu, photos, art, stories, entertainment and reviews. Links, maths, education and social issues. I'm in Quebec (Canada) or Taiwan (R.O.C.). Follow me on Twitter.

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