Monday, January 12, 2004

A bunch of low-income nobodies 

This Viking Pundit post prompted me to watch the replay of Meet the Press on CNBC last night. I was left with a much different opinion than our friend Eric, who seems to think blogging was given a bad name in the panel discussion (I'll blame that Jeff Jarvis guy.)

Granted, Roger (no L.) Simon was in many ways a shrinking violet, but he backed off of blogging the way a moderately social person shirks off some of their eccentricities. For example: "I'll watch an occasional episode of Star Trek but I'm no Trekkie. Space is cool, but those people are freaky and uhm, Seven of Nine is really hot.... hey is that your phone I hear ringing?"

I imagine that Roger was just being understandably weasely in lieu of being the only oddball at a table of old media stalwarts.

And contrary to Ron Brownstein's assertion, I don't think anyone believes that bloggers invented the highly partisan candidate:
MR. BROWNSTEIN: A long time before the Internet, Henry Luce said, ?A magazine creates a community of interest that it did not know it existed.? And the blog does something of the same thing, but I think there’s a broader political question here, Tim. If you think of the blog as part of the overall phenomenon of the Internet growing in importance in politics, one question that has to be raised looking at Dean’s success is whether what it takes to succeed on the Internet and to generate this passion is inimical to what it takes to win a general election and to win over a lot of voters who are less passionate. Does it take a message and a persona that is so cutting and polarizing to attract attention on the Internet that you will then have trouble in November winning over the Senate. I mean, in the end, you need 50 million votes or so to win a presidential election and that’s a lot more people than you have at any given moment signing on to your blog.
On the flip side of this conversation was David Broder who bent over backwards (so much as he can at his advanced age) to praise blogging:
MR. BRODER: No, but I think it’s a tremendous tool, and it’s part of what is the healthiest trend in our politics, which is going back to personal communication, away from the mass media forgive me, NBC. But I think the healthiest thing that’s going on now is people talking to people, either through the Internet or, as we’re seeing on the ground in Iowa, face-to-face communication.
And then there was awe for the people-power generated by Howard Dean's blog:
MR. TODD: And this letter-writing thing that you talk about that was done at the meet-ups, these monthly meet-ups. They write these letters. They’re handwritten letters. You know, they did a poll, the Dean campaign, to find out how many likely Iowa caucus-goers said that they had received a handwritten letter to ask them to support any candidate; 70 percent said they had received a handwritten letter. That’s stunning.
So what are blogs and who are bloggers?

Meet the Press would have you think that bloggers were a community of somewhat uncool people dedicating their free time to a passion for intelligent, open, vigorous, constant debate, and who're determined to expand democracy. I've long felt that blogging was a clear extension of the 18th century attempt to make a truly public space from which societal progress could occur, and if Meet the Press introduced you to this term on Sunday you might think the same.

To which all I can add is: "Beam me up."
Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?