Thursday, December 01, 2005
The Politics of the Blogosphere
Just who are the political bloggers?
Yesterday I was thinking a lot about the article I linked concerning Ann Coulter's "not nice" ways. No, I am not comparing myself to Ann (I'm not worthy!, I'm not worthy!) Here's the thing. America's voting statistics are abysmal. Most people find politics about as exciting as a root canal. You may despise Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, Michael Moore and Al Franken...but they have done something that politicians and reporters have never been able to do. They have gotten conversations started. They have turned dinner conversation from "Did Nick and Jessica really break up?" to "This is why we should/shouldn't be in Iraq..." Don't you see? You HAVE to be over-the-top and sarcastic to get people talking. They have facilitated a discourse even if it's started with , "Well Coulter/Moore is a bit harsh, but I think..."
This is also how I view the political bloggers. None of us are investigative journalists (except maybe Michael Yon). We are all regurgitating stuff you could go read or watch anywhere...but we are trying to make it a bit snazzier, a bit more in-your-face to get things started.
The difference with radio/print media and the blogs is that Ann, Rush, Moore and Garofalo don't get to know their readers and don't have to deal with the hurt feelings of the "you went too far" backlash. It's so hard to make some things interesting (income taxes, social security, Congressional pay hikes), but that doesn't mean they aren't important issues. In the Gen X/MTV Generation arena it's sometimes imperative to give politics a bit of Monday night RAW smack-down theatrics.
Just try to remember why all these bloggers faithfully do this everyday (for free mostly). If posts are over-the-top -definitely use them as a catalyst for debate and discussion, but don't harbor grudges against the poor schlub that's tirelessly working to affect a bit of change, or the talk show host that actually gets people talking. How else are they supposed to get you discussing otherwise boring topics. That's what it's all about, isn't it...............?