Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Yet more (back-handed) flattery…

Having had my say, or rather bitched at length about the unholy matrimony of religion and politics, I’ll now set my sights elsewhere. Not to worry though, as that phenomenon shows no sign of waning. I personally, have simply gotten tired of it…for now. What’s that? You have as well? Alright then, on we go to utter frivolity.

On the May 10 edition of the Daily Show, w/ Jon Stuart, a new segment was trotted out called “Blogisphere”. It seems that the major cable-news networks (excluding Fox News) now have “blog watch” bits as a small part of their political shows. For example, CNN features two attractive young ladies browsing and discussing various blogs. Chris Mathews, of MSNBC, now promotes his own blog…as do a few other talking heads. Sadly, Stuart and Co. couldn’t help but take the easy lay-up. Yes, he was compelled to mention that blogs are “unaccountable”, and without “editorial control”, although he failed to mention pajamas.

Mindles H. Dreck, Jane Galt’s other half at Asymmetrical Information, assails Adam Cohen, of the once prestigious news organ, The New York Times. Since registration is required, here’s the money quote:
Bloggers may need to institutionalize ethics policies to avoid charges of hypocrisy. But the real reason for an ethical upgrade is that it is the right way to do journalism, online or offline. As blogs grow in readers and influence, bloggers should realize that if they want to reform the American media, that is going to have to include reforming themselves.
First of all, there’s the obvious pot-and-kettle problem. Beyond that, Mr. Cohen fails to recognize the impetus for the growing popularity of blogs. It’s really a microcosm of the free-marketplace of ideas. Speaking for myself only, this blog is my own little electronic pamphlet, of which I have sole editorial control. The new and fresh aspect that I enjoy most is the real-time criticism and analysis by whomever reads my stuff, by either ignoring it or engaging via comments. Dreck makes this point:
There is no institution to create or enforce rules or judge hypocrisy, and if there were a 'Bloggers Guild' millions of blogs would exist outside it, wax and wane in popularity and still occasionally create an enormous public outcry about certain public figures. Popularity and credibility will continue to be determined by individual market-type forces unless Mr. Cohen contemplates complete State or corporate control of our medium.
Well, there is that. I would love to think that the infallible, benevolent State would show a modicum of restraint, but really, that’s simply wishful thinking. One would do well to be mindful of the court ruling, not so long ago, that the FEC ought to regulate certain political content of blogs. Would the “cold dead hands” statement made by Charlton Hesston be inappropriate in this context? Perhaps something like “well worn finger tips” would be more accurate. Regardless, the First Amendment sufficiently covers every aspect of what I’m doing here, so Big-Bro can butt the hell out!