Annoying Christopher Hanson

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All the cool bloggers are doing it, so why not join in?

By "it," I mean annoying Baltimore Sun columnist Christopher Hanson, who complains that "[a] great many bloggers are... too self-absorbed to focus on keeping the public informed." He calls such bloggers "I Bloggers", who, says Hanson, "owe less to Watergate investigative reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein than to the recently deceased Hunter S. Thompson. His 'gonzo' journalism focused on the writer's precious idiosyncrasies, not on fact digging, and the Blogosphere, too, is a wilderness of self-absorption."

As his first case in point, Hanson cites the Dawn Patrol, which he describes as "Manhattanite Dawn Eden's preening report on Dawn Eden, iconoclastic neoconservative 'petite powerhouse,' illustrated with Dawn Eden glamour photos."

One wonders if Mr. Ever-Accurate Main Stream Media bothered to read the target of his scorn. Dawn Eden is second to no one when it comes to digging up facts and informing the public about America's Death Industry. (Also, she's not a Manhattanite, either by birth or residence.) She does leaven her fact-digging with personal insights, pop culture, and the occasional photo, all of which make it easier to sit still to read about the latest outrages from Planned Parenthood -- a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down.

On the other hand, I have to make myself read Eminent Domain Watch every few days. It too is a valuable source of information about outrages -- in this case, outrageous abuse of government's power to take private property for public use. I know nothing at all about Mr. E. D. Watch's personal life, other interests, or motivations for keeping on top of this issue. I'm glad the blog is there, but it's dry as dust.

Here at BatesLine, I make you sit through my personal whims on a regular basis. In order to get to first-hand reports and analysis of local news, you have to put up with a theological essay or a tribute to Bob Wills or Gene Scott or a rumination on the summer I was eight or pictures of the kids or links to cool maps and British radio comedy and photoshopped romance novel covers. You don't like it, you can get your own blog and do things your own way. The day I don't publish something that strikes my fancy, because it might annoy someone who's only interested in hard news, is the day I quit writing because I've completely lost interest.

One of the wonderful things about the blogosphere is discovering that people come in such interesting combinations of interests and experiences. I wrote the following in an e-mail about a year ago:

One of the wonderful things about the blogosphere is it provides a showcase, an outlet, and a means of connection for people who aren't easily pigeonholed. How do you categorize a liturgy-loving Calvinistic Baptist conservative Republican with an interest in urban design and local politics and a fondness for pre-British-Invasion instrumental pop? Much has been written about the way eBay has brought buyers and sellers together for obscure items that otherwise wouldn't have a market, but the blogosphere has provided a place for ideas to come seemingly out of nowhere, gain a hearing, and gain critical mass, in a way that used to be possible only in the biggest cities or on college campuses. You just write about your passions, and people who share those passions write back.

So in the spirit of I Blogging, here are a couple of glamour photos of me, my contribution to the "Annoy Christopher Hanson" campaign, hosted by Charles G. Hill of And there's a bonus!

First photo: Here I am, atop 30 Rockefeller Center at a party honoring Senator Jim Inhofe, during the Republican National Convention, where I served as a delegate. I'm with Tulsa City Councilor Chris Medlock (an elected alternate to the convention) and Congressman John Sullivan, two public officials I helped get elected. (Ask them if you don't believe me.) Quite glamorous, n'est-ce pas? (That is your actual French.)

Councilor Chris Medlock, Michael Bates, U. S. Rep. John Sullivan

Click the picture for a larger version. The buttons I'm wearing are from the National Review get-together I had just attended. The one on the left, with the French tricolor, says "Just say 'Non!' to John Kerry," the one on the right says, "Vote for Kerry. Save a hamster." (I don't know what the deal is with the strange reflection on the Congressman's face.)

This next pic is even more glamorous. That's me at the controls of a Dassault Falcon 900 EX EASy, or at least an incredible simulation thereof. The steely glint of confidence in my eye is because I've just landed the imaginary luxury jet, speeding off the end of the runway and through several buildings. (There were no casualties, simulated or otherwise.)

Michael Bates in a Falcon 900 simulator

I think I should get extra "annoy Christopher Hanson" points for that photo, because it was snapped by a glamour photo expert, the preening, iconoclastic neoconservative Petite Powerhouse herself.

And trekking deeper into that "wilderness of self-absorption," here's that bonus I promised, in the spirit of self-indulgent self-promotion: Michael Bates sings! (1.4 MB MP3 file. WARNING: Contains crooning. May cause swooning in bobbysoxers.)

Coming soon: More gratuitous photos of my adorable children.

UPDATE: Charles Hill reports the following e-mail reply from Hanson: "I am trying to be annoyed but am actually flattered by the attention."


Nyuck Nyuck Nyuck said:

O.k., I think the three guys in that photo are Larry, Moe, & Curly (you should be flattered; Moe is the smart one).

Too bad Shemp (DelGiorno) wasn't available for the photo.

Bill Z. Bub said:

What makes you think Hanson will be annoyed by the attention? Perhaps you hope he will cite your site in a future missive, bringing you more hits.

singleton Author Profile Page said:

ROF'L (Rolling on the floor, laughing)

claretoothloose said:

Did you actually quote Mary Poppins?

Uh...sorry Michael...just can't seem to turn of that infectious smirk of mine. You know the one that CfRG and the Tulsa World love to highlight. And all this time I thought it was my smile.

And DID help get me elected. Thanks as always.

Yes, I did quote Mary Poppins, Clare. The movie was a favorite of my son's when he was small. I've either watched it or heard it from the next room dozens of times. When he was three (or thereabouts), he dressed up as Mr. Banks for Halloween, with mustache and bowler hat. The official lullaby of the Bates household is "Stay Awake" -- my wife sings it to the kids every night, and she even recorded it for our son before she went to the hospital to deliver our daughter.

Chris, I don't see a smirk there -- just a pleasant smile.

claretoothloose said:

If you want your comments moderated then why do you
have a problem with Tulsa World not wanting you to
link to your thing?

As for Mary Poppins. Have you read the books?

Thanks for responding by the way!

Clare, I'm not sure what you mean, and if I were to guess what you mean, I don't see the connection. I'm not threatening to sue anyone for posting comments, and I'm certainly not suing anyone for linking to this site or quoting from it. I'm exercising my discretion as owner of this site over the content that the site contains. Criticism is fine, but I will not allow the bandwidth and disk space I'm paying for to be used for slanderous anonymous comments.

clare said:

So you just want everyone to agree with you?

And I'll take that as a no about reading Mary Poppins.

Clare, there's a lot of room for disagreement short of slander, insult, and general impoliteness. If you want to go beyond what I'm willing to host on my blog, you can post your opinion on your own blog (since you have one) or (for those who don't) you can go to and set one up in about five minutes.

FWIW, I have read the first Mary Poppins book.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 14, 2005 11:15 PM.

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