For Chapter 14: "Nobody is Safe from Everybody"

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This chapter is devoted to the darker side of Listenomics.

If you Google Bob Garfield (and I don't know why you wouldn't; I do it every day) you will get about 159,000 hits.

Number 1 takes you to my blog. Number 159,000 is a nice shout-out about one of my "On the Media" shows. And the rest are all over the lot. But I'd like to call your attention to item Number 7, since Google has been calling attention to it for about four years. It is an ad hominem attack on yours truly, in which the most flattering descriptive is "boring, self-indulgent hack."

I take exception to this representation, of course, because in my opinion I'm not that boring. But let's just call it an occupational hazard. The screed was posted by a disgruntled interview subject – disgruntled in particular because he was one of a half-dozen interviewees for a 10-minute radio pieceand not the subject of a fulsome profile dedicated entirely to his worldview. Had he received, say, 9 ½ minutes of airtime, presumably he would have been a lot more gruntled.

I won't trouble you by detailing his wild misstatements of fact, general cluelessness and paranoia. The salient point here is: NUMBER 7 ON GOOGLE!

Maybe it stays there because, ugh, lots of people are clicking on it. Maybe it's because my Bizarro Boswell is adept at search-engine "spoofing," using multiple links to game the algorithm and force his page higher in the search results. Either way, whenever someone from my worldwide cult of devotees, or a potential lecture client or my aunt Googles me, there on the first page sits a most vivid character assassination titled "Bob Garfield's Boiled Soul."

How lovely for me.
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