The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Monday, January 24, 2005


I've never been much into blogger triumphalism. First of all, that would require something for me to feel trimphant about in the first place. But that aside, while I think that blogs certainly have a role to play in the media, I don't think they are going to supplant the "mainstream media", nor do I think they have the sort of saintly credibility relative to the rest of the media that some ascribe to them. In fact, the only thing that might be "pure" about blogging is its seething bias, on both sides (and more than that in many cases).

That said, whenever I read an article about blogs in a major paper, I can't help but snicker a little bit. Somewhat similar to being ten years old and watching a football game with your mother. Case in point, A large article on the blog phenomenon in today's SF Chronicle. Sure, it covers some of the usual bases (Dan Rather this, Trent Lott that). And sure, the key point made in the article is made by Paul Grabowicz of Cal's j-school:
"I wouldn't trust a single news outlet; therefore I wouldn't trust a single blog, newspaper or TV show."
But by and large, the article is pretty clunky, and its final third deals with a subset of blogs and issues tangential to MSB (mainstream bloggers)

The article finds a way to address Kos and Armstrong taking money from the Dean campaign (and fully disclosing it) while saying "questions linger as to whether others have as forthcoming". If they wanted to know what improper disclosure looked like, they could have glanced over at South Dakota, where some anti-Daschle bloggers didn't disclose their Thune money until after the 2004 senatorial election, instead of making a stink about those whose actions were altogether ethical.

Still, this chronological line graph of blog traffic is interesting.


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