Surreality-based community

Not all Europhobes are quislings. Some are just demented:

"The way forward is not to rely on these self-serving panels but to create an alternative media that can rehearse the issues that the establishment media prefers to ignore. That is what is happening successfully in the USA, where the Blogosphere is successfully taking on the networks."

Sucessfully taking on the networks? My arse. The political blogosphere consists of three sorts of site:

1) Informed commentary from existing experts, political hangers-on and journalists (rightie and leftie), which is influential but a complement rather than a challenge to the existing media. See Josh Marshall, Andrew Sullivan, Dan Drezdner, etc.

2) Crazy rants from fanatics (generally rightie; leftie fanatics seem to prefer messageboards), meant entirely for the consumption of other fanatics, although well-informed people looking for vicarious thrills also make up a significant proportion of readers. See LGF, Powerline, Michelle Malkin, B-BBC, etc.

3) Sites that nobody reads, apart from unlucky Google users and other people who write category 3 sites.

All are fun. However, the only ones which are important are written by the same people whose ideas would be noted in the media anyway. Blogging is an amusing way to pass the time; if you’re talented, ambitious to make it in the category 1 world, and lucky, then it might help you get there.

Otherwise, blogging is relevant only in countries where journalism is unfeasible, like Iran. To claim a US or UK blogger has anything significant to add to the story is ridiculous, self-aggrandising nonsense.

Update: I’ve found an even better quote: "Bloggers have poured water over legacy media and just like the wicked witch of the north from Oz, they are melting". Presumably the ‘they’ are legacy media not bloggers, although the quote has approximately equal validity either way.

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One thought on “Surreality-based community

  1. I suppose the one difference between blogs and "existing media" is that blogs can act as a massive re-enforcement of existing views. If you believe that the BBC is, say, massively biased, then you won’t find much to support this view by watching CNN or ITV news, but you can spend many a happy hour browsing various, as you put it, category 2 blogs. Furthermore, because the internet works by interaction, while existing media is much more passive, it’s rather easier to avoid blogs which don’t fit your view of the world than it is in the off-line world. Although I do sometimes wonder what world view one would have from only reading the Daily Mail.

    So in terms of influence, you are completely right. But from the perspective of someone writing a category 2 blog, I imagine it might well appear that the blog world is full of "right-on, sensible people who believe just what I do" whereas the established media is full of nutters. I certainly know that, after an hour reading endless "left-leaning" blogs, I’ve come away thinking the world is ending, only to spend a week without internet access, but with a newspaper, to realise that the world isn’t quite going to the dogs yet.

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