Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Successes and Failures of the Blogosphere

in the political sense, I guess.
Jim Geraghty thinks political bloggers have "gone sour" and expands this in a guest post at CBSNews' Blog.
I throughly agreed with his analysis of the blogger excessively horrible reaction to Jill Carroll - Debbie Schussel is still ranting in a post entitled Anatomy of an Extremist about her.
Geraghty says among other things -
Today, there are still some blogs out there going out and doing reporting, or drawing on well-grounded experience in non-journalism fields or providing insightful analysis. But many, many more blogs are forsaking fact-gathering for the venting of straight-up, raw anger.
The blogosphere has always had heavily ideological conversational posting boards like Daily Kos and Eschaton on the left or FreeRepublic and LittleGreenFootballs on the right, where no holds are barred and no shot at the opposition is beyond the pale. On those sites, there's always a crowd of peers cheering you on, and reinforcing the perception that those who disagree with you are so wrong, mendacious, stupid or evil that no criticism is over the top or out of line.
Perhaps the most illustrative example of the changing tone on the blogs was the reaction to the release of Christian Science Monitor reporter Jill Carroll from her captors in Iraq. Before returning to the protection of U.S. forces, Carroll issued a statement full of praise for her captors. Her comments were odd and disturbing to say the least – but a surprisingly large chunk of the blogosphere reacted to the news with a torrent of scathing hatred.

At their best, blogs can provide the mainstream media with competition, and pressure established organizations bring their A-game and put out their best work. But the MSM will have little reason to fear competition from blogs, if enough of them embrace the growing trend of denounce-with-spittle-flicking-fury-first-and-get-the-answers-later. Some readers new to the blogosphere will make distinctions between blogs; others will look at the high-profile worst of the lot and say, "to hell with them."
The Pajamahadeen have gone from fact-checking Dan Rather to speculating that Jill Carroll faked her tears on her hostage tape. This is not progress.


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