The long-time finacier and reinging poo-bah of The New Republic, Marty Peretz, has formally entered the blogosphere with a dramtic … thud.

Dubbing his site The Spine, Peretz offers himself up as the stiff, upright antidote to what he sees as the limp world of contemporary journalism. His main indictment of the MSM? That it gives air-time to Al Sharpton.

Oh well. The New Republic has been in slow decline for the last half decade, having tied itself to the political fortunes of first Al Gore and, more recently, Joe Lieberman and now, it seems, none other than Scooter Libby!

It seems doubtful that Peretz’ new online foray will do much to revive the mag’s slumping appeal. His long time nemesis, Slate’s rapier-togued Jack Shafer just can’t hold himself back. Muses Shafer:

The Peretz Index: Number of words: 1,500. Number of self-references: 28. Number of $10 words: two (“tocsin” and “phantasmagorical”). Number of stupid comparisons: one (the Republicans are like Sen. Joe McCarthy because they have the “habit” of referring to the Democratic Party as the “Democrat Party,” just as Joe did). Number of foreign words or phrases: one (“par excellence”). Number of grammatical errors flagged by Microsoft Word: one (he writes “It’s” when he means “Its”). Number of sentences that begin with “And”: nine. Number of British spellings: one (he writes “judgement” twice).