One of the reasons I started reading Polyglot Conspiracy regularly was precisely her perspective on this topic (e.g. here). Now PC has tackled one of the worst and ugliest examples, here, about the full cycle of stupidity from ignorant journalism to really ignorant blog posts, all about the work of Mary Bucholtz. (And don't miss the Language Log post by Mark Liberman if you haven't seen it.) If you haven't read the threads on this, do — I won't rehash them all here. The punch line is that linguistics is useless and unscientific (compared to what? Economics? String theory? Creation science?).
At the heart of this, as PC notes (in part implicitly), is a profound anti-intellectualism, and it's one our society suffers from at the very highest levels. People who don't believe in evolution shouldn't have access to medicines that are effective against new strains of infection. (Can't find the cartoon illustrating that.) Speech and hearing science (including stuff like cochlear implants), speech recognition and synthesis, other computational work, forensic linguistics, language teaching/learning, and so on is all done in collaboration with people from other fields, but linguistics is central to tons of it. Sure, you might say, but Bucholtz's work on language and identity doesn't involve any of that. Not true, actually (her CV shows that Bucholtz has done forensic work, like many sociolinguists), but I think the real issue for a lot of these people is that they don't understand the value of basic research generally — they're interested in engineering, not science. Part of the value of blogs and such is the chance to fight the kind of batter PC, LL and many others are taking up. But it might be a long one. A New Yorker cartoon has a judge talking to a humanoid-looking creature:
At your current rate of evolution, I can see no other choice but to give you ten to twenty million years.Image from here.