Never mind the high horse, it's an ivory tower they're living in, claims the other side. They need to get out more, get in the swim, find out for themselves what people are saying, what they're doing. Be more reactive: the world's changing rapidly and if you're not timely, you're not relevant.
Commentariat vs Bloggertariat? Yes, indeed (there's an account of a debate on this subject from yesterday here). But it also happens to be the argument conducted by academics on one hand and journalists on the other in the early '90s.
This was an era of geopolitical flux when the Cold War ice flows were breaking up revealing new states, relationships and ways of seeing the world. No-one could be secure in their knowledge of what was really going on and this allowed the journalist commentators to make the running. And perhaps more: they aspired to not just write the first draft of history but something rather more lasting.
On the journalist side you had people like Timothy Garton Ash, Misha Glenny, Anatole Lieven and Neil Ascherson. On the other side you had the massed ranks of the academic establishment, including people like Alex Pravda, Geoffrey Hosking, Norman Davies and Archie Brown.
Naturally, the debates - being also a turf war - were suffused with professional and personal jealousies. 'Journalistic' was a term of abuse and the absence of a doctorate was sufficient to condemn your work as such.
So it's really quite amusing to hear accounts of how people like David Aaronovitch are clambering on the same high horse from which their ilk only recently tried to eject the academics. In fact, I'd like to see Aaronovitch defend his comment pieces against critics from the academy; he might find some of their criticisms strangely familiar. Indeed, as by some accounts academics make better bloggers than journalists the experience might become downright uncomfortable.