The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, January 27, 2005

Slate fires another volley against the blogs

I check in with Slate pretty much daily, and rarely find something that I think is link-worthy. But I thought this was worth a mention. A few weeks ago, they ran a strange article by Chris Suellentrop on the shameless self-importance of bloggers. Today there's this one, warning of the shameless self-importance of bloggers.

What's strange about both of the articles, is that they implicitly acknowledge the impact blogs have had on the mass media. Both authors read blogs and look to them for information (people like Marshall and Markos have been known to break stories that are then covered by the press). And I've never heard of any blogger claiming that his or her work will change the face of America. However, the big-time bloggers have managed to become capable fund-raisers, convinced other citizens to take political action of various sorts, and demand accountability from the media and politicians. And when a media outlet is called on something these days, they tend to pay attention to the reaction of the blogosphere. And when you think about it, haven't blogs really started taking off under this administration-- the most secretive and extremist in most of our lifetimes? Liberal bloggers aren't trying to demolish the media. It's just a reaction against the seeming inability of the press to provide objective information to the public.

For my part, I have no dreams of becoming a pundit or activist leader. I'm just providing a forum that highlights news that concerns me, and causes that motivate me. And if it inspires anyone out there to contact a reporter or politician, donate to a campaign, or otherwise take political action-- then I'm content.

Shafer's article completely misses the point, since he acknowledges the effectiveness blogs have had on this front. He warns that bloggers won't supplant the media. But I don't think many bloggers have that in mind in the first place.