Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Are the parties trying to use the bloggers?

I just spent some time on PressThink where there is always a long-winded dialogue going on about something to do with the media, often just a name-calling process between those who cast aspersions on the "liberal" press and the others who beat their breasts about the liberal press. The current discussions have to do with whether the bloggers the Democrats invited to their convention are actually journalists or if they are different from the mainstream journalists. I suspect the difference is more that most mainstream journalists are backed up by fact checkers and editors who look at their work for coherence and, as may be, for the party line before it goes on air or sees print. Bloggers generally do not have that backup and a great number of their reports may spell names wrong, get facts wrong or have some of the other wet dreams seen on blogs. On the other hand they may be very well done. But it will be even more important to weed through what they write to determine the truth from the emotional content. The real importance, I think, may be that the party is attempting to use them to put out its presence, its image, on the Internet. Howard Dean showed Democrats, and Republicans if they were watching, that the internet may be the new television of politics. It may have a significant effect on who votes on what. And name recognition is still the name of the game. I don't care what you say about me, just spell my name right. But manipulation is the name of the game in politics today—the TV sound bite which is avowedly sought by every candidate is a good example. So it may not be important what journalistic function the bloggers will fulfill, but what is their political function? I suggest that inviting bloggers to the convention is just a political recognition of the Internet's potential.

9 Comments:

Blogger MTPolitics said...

You may find this interesting.

6:36 AM  
Blogger The Liberal Avenger said...

Can we trust the "brick and mortar" fourth estate to present us with hard, solid facts?

Media-bashing has become a tired cliche, however I am troubled by the trend towards fanning the flames of fear in the populace. People like being scared, I think, and fear undoubtedly sells media.

Fear can also serve to forward a particular type of agenda... I don't know whether the fear agenda is being driven by the marketplace or by "the powers that be." I'd like to believe that that there is no conspiracy, but parts of "the conspiracy" are too blatent to be ignored - just take a look at the Sunday AM talk shows.

Take a peek at this piece of drivel... Which Washington Times editor was asleep at the wheel when this one passed muster?

http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20040721-101403-1508r.htm

10:19 PM  
Blogger The Liberal Avenger said...

P.S. Three cheers for the bloggers and the internet! Despite everything that has been said about the internet and its pervasiveness in our lives, I don't think we've [collectively] truly recognized it for the epoch-changing social force that it is... That with a very low barrier to entry ordinary people can (A) have access to a staggering amount of information and (B) "publish" with the potential of reaching tens of millions of people is a historical event rivaling the invention of written language or movable type or the steam engine.

I love the internet!

10:28 PM  
Blogger Chuck Rightmire said...

Avenger: I love the Internet, too. For a brief time in the late 60s I was the agitator (editorial page editor) for a newspaper and got to write a number of editorials, including the first one to oppose the Vietnam situation after Kent State. Now I can write editorials again and with no one over my shoulders. I agree with what you say about the Times. But then the new Messiah Moon owns that paper and it's sure to be overboard most of the time. Unfortunately, there is enough possibility in it for people to believe in it. It was probably our own hubris, to quote my brother, that led us to not even dream of terrorists taking over aircraft and using them as bombs. I think it was Day to Day on NPR today that mentioned that Tom Clancy was apparently the only one to think of that in a 1992? novel.

11:02 PM  
Blogger The Liberal Avenger said...

Who would have thought that they would use passenger jets as missiles?

I suppose that the Japanese kamikaze attacks on US Navy ships in the Pacific during WWII were precursors to 9/11. It is now rumored that the suicidal tendancies of the Japanese towards the end of the war may have been fueled in part by methamphetamine.

What sort of insanity drove those 19 men to kill so many on 9/11/01?

11:53 AM  
Blogger Chuck Rightmire said...

Avenger: I think what you are asking about is a belief that starts in a mosque or a temple or a church. When you believe that you understand what some great figure in an unknown spot in the universe wants and you can communicate with the figure, then you are ready to do what the 19 did and what the Kamikazi pilots did. The 19 have a belief that they go instantly to heaven where they can screw up all they want. The Japanese pilots believed in the divinity of the emperor and had faith in doing what their God said. At least they had a god that actually could speak to them, whether he actually did or his subordinates just said he did. I believe Kamikazi translates as "Divine Wind" does it not? I believe the same thing could happen in this country given the half and full nuts on the so-called "conservative christian right" who are neither conservative, christian or right. Are you familiar with Robert Heinlein's "Revolt in 2100" or its sequel "Coventry"?

2:58 PM  
Blogger The Liberal Avenger said...

Indeed I am. Your bringing them up serves as a reminder to me to reread them.

3:30 PM  
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5:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like when people are expressing their opinion and thought. So I like the way you are writing

11:36 PM  

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