Laurie Garrett, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Newsday reporter, was invited to the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. She sent back an aw-shucks e-mail about the experience to some acquaintances that contained interesting observations on Al Qaeda, Iraq, and the world economy.
Garrett's letter was forwarded around the Internet and became weblog fodder. When she was alerted to a discussion on Metafilter, Garrett responded by flaming to cinders its members and the entire notion of Internet community:
Ten years ago, before the Great Dot Com Crash, Silicon Valley pundits waxed eloquent about the great "community" of the internet, and the "new global democracy" it represented. But People, this is a fraud. Do you imagine for a moment that the participants in the WEF -- whether they be the CEOs of Amoco an IBM of the leaders of Amnesty International and OXFAM -- waste their time with Internet chat rooms and discussions such as this? Do you actually believe, as you type your random thoughts in such Internet settings, that you are participating in Civilization? In Democracy? In changing your world?
Though I responded at length on Metafilter, I think Tranquileye sums it up best: "We're hearing the sound a privileged journalist's ego makes when it crashes to the ground."