In defense of Google and other 'parasites'

It's the hottest new media meme since lolcats: The internet is a leech, a louse, a bloodsucker -- a parasite.

Wall Street Journal managing editor Robert Thomson recently described websites that use others' content to build their own traffic as "tech tapeworms as the intestines of the internet." David Simon, creator of The Wire, told Congress "the parasite is killing the host," referring to aggregators like Google News and Yahoo. And The New Republic last week pronounced "the blogosphere and the news aggregators that dominate cyberspace" to be "completely parasitic."

It's enough to make you crave a bath in flea dip.