Friday, October 22

I find it mighty ironic that so many media types I've observed (my professors included) have adopted such a derisive attitude toward blogs lately. The mainstream media (That's what "MSM" means, if you didn't already know. It's OK- it was weeks before I figured that one out. Makes me wonder if I'm a little slow on the uptake...) could have learned a thing or two from blogs about ethics and responsible journalism this year- not to mention how not to accept everything politicians say at face value.

As much as any crusty, leather-patches-on-the-elbow-wearing curmudgeon would love to gasp "Aha!" as he points a finger gnarled from decades of pounding away on an ancient Underwood (not a 1970s IBM Selectric, mind you) at the impudent partisan hackery of pajama-wearing geeks, posts like the one linked above from Rick Brady render my completely-fabricated-but-not-altogether-unbelievable caricature speechless.

Indeed, it wasn't Hugh Hewitt (or any reputable blogs on the left, for that matter) who started bandying around contenders' children's sexual orientations as though they bore grave weight in the context of the campaign; it wasn't Glenn Reynolds who suggested that being a mother is something less than a full-time job; it wasn't Rick Brady who said voting for a particular candidate would quickly bring about as-yet unseen miracles in the field of embryonic stem cell research.

No, it wasn't any of them. Those statements (or, to borrow a phrase from my political communication professor, "asinine unsupported assertions"), were all recently made by the Democratic nominee for president, his wife and his running mate. But it's the blogs who are destroying civic discourse as we know it- right, Mr. Stodgy Media Curmudgeon? And it's the blogs who are reporting these baseless attacks unchallenged, am I correct?

It's unexpected positivity like Rick's that really stands out amid so much that's negative. That's why I expect Ashley's story, the largest ad buy of the campaign, to be successful.

So while stubborn managing editors huddle in musty offices to gripe about the blogosphere's lack of editors and disregard for objectivity and truth, Hugh will continue to encourage Mark Sides and countless others to write well-informed, positive posts making the case for our president, and the Powerline boys will keep sanding away to reach the unvarnished truth and buttressing their arguments with a keenness only lawyers could possess. And I will sit here and inform myself and then go out and try to convince people, for heaven's sake- for America's sake- to vote, and vote wisely.

In this brief and passing model, a nearly perfect model, of the marketplace of ideas, the market is speaking and it is choosing to reward those who do their homework, and those who think before speaking.

A refined code of ethics? A remarkable effectiveness in holding public figures accountable? A valuable forum for sharpening and evaluating ideas? How can all these things be? Surely they can't occur without some kind of government regulation?! These days, they let any old hack with a modem just say whatever he wants, don't they?

A tip of the hat to the blogosphere.


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