ANGER, VITRIOL AND DISDAIN. When Willie Geist asked Joe Klein why politicians feel the need to "pander" to bloggers, Klein said this:

Well, two M's: money and megaphones. You know, the blogosphere has demonstrated a real ability to raise money for favored candidates, so there's that. And, second of all, they have a very powerful voice in the Democratic party right now. And you don't want to get on their bad side because they'll chew you up. There's an awful lot of anger, vitriol and disdain that spews out of some of these blogs, not all of them. And you don't want to have Kos or one of these guys ripping you apart everyday.

Some bloggers are rude and uncouth, true. But I never realized that this anger could protect one from being criticized. Is this why certain conservative pundits such as John Gibson run programs full of anger, vitriol and disdain? An example:

GIBSON: Our John Gibson program fraud alert today focuses on the biggest fraud running for president, and that takes some doing. We're talking about the Breck Girl, Silky, the former senator from North Carolina, the baron of a 28,000-square-foot manse, the protector of the poor while ensconced on a pillow of 100 million dollars.

ANGRY RICH: A man who whored his wife's cancer as a fundraising gimmick.

GIBSON: John Edwards today was going after other Democratic candidates, and by other he meant Hillary Clinton, for taking money as political contributions from Rupert Murdoch or from certain employees or executives of either the Fox News Channel or News Corporation, which owns the Fox News Channel. Edwards has a real kind of problem about Fox. He just -- well, actually he doesn't have a problem about Fox. He realizes there are a whole bunch of really far-lefters who hate Fox and he's busy sucking up to them.

The blogs are a fairly recent phenomenon while conservative radio shows have been spewing vitriol for some time. It could be that we are just so used to the nastiness of the conservative radio shows that we no longer hear what is actually being said. Or maybe vitriol somehow looks less angry when it comes from the mouths of professional pundits? But I still think that the conservative vitriol is mostly given a pass when conversation turns to nostalgia over the lost arts of bipartisanship and comity.

--J. Goodrich