I've been reading some of his contributions to Amateur Journalism and he really was a stuffy old so-and-so. One of his regular columns was the Department of Public Criticism in which he reviews other people's blogs journals. Much of his criticism is about inappropriate use of metre in poetry, ending on a preposition and the paucity of rhymes such as "howl" with "towel"(!).
And then there are the flame wars feuds, the trolling baiting and the rants political diatribes. It was just like the web except at 25 mph. Perhaps this is what made him so tetchy, he had to keep up his indignation for weeks waiting for the response instead of the more immediate joy of "fuck you and the horse you rode in on". Except, of course, he would have said, "on which you in rode".