The last few days the MSM has made a big deal of the Yearly Kos convention in Chicago. In case you missed it, the Yearly Kos is a get-together of liberal bloggers who are fans of the Daily Kos, an influencial liberal blog. And this year's convention has been highlighted by the appearance of the Democratic presidential candidates and a rift between Candidate Clinton and Candidate Obama. (He said she should stop taking lobbyists' money and she said she wasn't going to (stop taking lobbyists' money). Clinton also did some deft pandering telling the audience that she does read blogs. Oh, yeah? We're calling your bluff. Prove you're really a blog reader by leaving a comment on this post, Hillary . . . er, Senator, m'am.)
But never mind that. What really cracks me up is the way the MSM, always in search of a hook that'll make sense to an audience they assume is brain dead, has decided that conservatives own the talk show message (TV and radio) and liberals own the online message.
As a political moderate I ask, "Who said so?" Further I would suggest the evidence points to a balance of views, especially in the blogosphere . . . especially in the milblogosphere. Of course, the MSM gives most if not all of the love to liberal outlets like the Daily Kos and Huffington Post, so if all you did was watch TV you'd think the liberals did, in fact, own the web . . . but they don't. And I don't write that because I'm a big Fox News watcher or Dittohead (I'm neither); I write that because it's true. (I reference the absence of a Hillary Clinton comment beneath this post as evidence of this truth.)
Which is a lovely segue into a question of who owns the notion of truth in media. I just watched the movie "Shattered Glass," which is about the career of the fabulist Stephen Glass at The New Republic, an organization that has always made a big deal out of their fact checking process. Well, as anyone who's ever worked in government knows, a process doesn't guarantee an outcome, and The New Republic proved that again recently with their by-in-large bogus features by fabulist Scott Thomas Beauchamp, private - one each.
Any MSM dismissal of blogs because of their inherent absence of editorial oversight misses the point. Well-read blogs do have an oversight process: the "comments" feature. We prove it daily here at Defense Tech. The staff has learned (the good ol' fashioned "hard way") that even the most casual sub-truth or pseudo-falsehood will be savaged by our readership. As the dialectic goes high order, the truth emerges . . . every time.
And that's really what freaks the MSM out. Blogs are not an "I talk, you listen" proposition. They're a discussion . . . one where readers opinions matter as much as writers to the degree that the roles are often indistinguishable.
Is this a problem? We at DT think not. Flame on, dear friends; flame on.
And here's hoping that bloggers DO influence the 2008 presidential elections.