What is especially awful is the seemingly high-brow attack on "bloggers" (Lord, how I hate that word).
Owing to its vastness and its velocity, no medium of communication and publication ever depended more desperately on “content”--the lifeless business expression for words and ideas--than the Internet. Some people celebrate this as a historic breakthrough for literariness in its various forms. They rhapsodize about the democratization of the writing life, about the demise of the “gatekeepers” and their institutions, about the pure and perfect autonomy of blogging and “self-publishing.” Who needs The New York Times if I can arrange for you to know what it is in my heart at this instant?
You read any writer on becoming one, and you see again and again, "a writer writes, and there's no way around it." The advent of the internet no doubt does reduce the mean intelligence of written material overall; it also offers opportunities for some to write. Some fewer gain an audience. Some fewer still actually manage to make something of a living at it.
All the same, Wieseltier's lament over the decrepitude of our culture is really nothing more than the realization that the barbarians are at the gates. I would feel bad for him, but I don't. The simple reality is that internet writing of all kinds attracts a relatively small audience. Most sites tend to play to a particular audience; they are nothing more than examples of market segmentation. The demise of the craft of writing as a paid profession is a bit overwrought because, as things continue to shake themselves out, there will be rewards in the form of pay for those who do the job well. Others, such as myself, are content enough to do what we do for the love of craft.
As a side note, Wieseltier's nostalgia for his avante-garde youth is disgusting. There never has been, nor ever will be, a "decent poverty". The very thought is vile.