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February 8, 2007

Turning On The Blogosphere


My (visual) analysis of the supposed Edwards blogging scandal (courtesy of CNN):

1. MSM reaction to right-wing blogospheric hysteria is, once again, completely out of scale.

2.  Isolate portions of any political blog, project it at this level of detail, and you’re guaranteed to offend any reactionary anybody on the opposite end of the ideological spectrum.  Maybe CNN would like to try parsing Michelle Malkin, or even, say Captain’s Quarters?

3.  With the political net taking serious root, those cable folks must be pleased for any chance to take the ’sphere down a notch or two.

>> View CNN video via You Tube here at

  • plum

    The media brouhaha also plays into the media narrative of balance, since it “shows” both sides of the blogosphere has their loons.

  • tina

    I am so appalled by this whole story that I just don’t know what to say.
    She wasn’t using obscenities on Edward’s blog, was she? Then what’s the big deal?
    Just when you think it cannot get any worse, it does.
    Why doesn’t the media ever react when the left wing bloggers are outraged about something? Especially since they are usually outraged about something of substance?
    Simple question. Complicated, scary answer.

  • curt

    How poorly understood, it seems, are the basic assumptions underlying freedom of speech; something we claim to hold as an “inalienable right”, not granted by government but protected by it. At least, that’s the way it’s supposed to work.
    I paraphrase (poorly, I’m afraid) someone much wiser than I (I think it was Madison, but the details are hazy and I’m sure someone else will know the speaker):
    “Freedom of speech means you will have to, on occasion, put up with the airing of opinions which you find offensive, and may even piss you off.” words to that effect, anyway.

  • Darryl Pearce

    Cheney never apologized for “expressing himself forcefully” and “feeling better for it” all those years ago on the senate floor.

  • lowly grunt

    Bag, I think your reading of “taking the blogosphere down a peg” is right on.
    I never get my news from TV anymore and haven’t for about six or seven years. I go to the web; occassionally I’ll check in to 24hour newsites for immedieate information that no one else has had a chance to blog yet, but I get my information from the blogs and their sources.
    TV news, like print news, is history. They’ll make as much noise on the way out the door as possible though, and maybe we should let them. I dunno…

  • donna

    “Why doesn’t the media ever react when the left wing bloggers are outraged about something? ”
    Well, they do, but only after it’s already six years too late to change the course the country is taking.

  • PTate in FR

    Is it taking down the ’sphere, or is it part of the media taking aim at the candidate most like to take down Hillary/Obama? Or probably both, a two-fer. The MSM has a good deal of motivation to encourage their viewers to doubt the credibility of the internet. They also smell money in the Tale of the Hero’s Journey–the outsider, the little brother (Clinton, Obama) who survives the trials set him (or her) which always includes the cautionary examples of those who stumble on the Path. (We even tell this narrative to the very young…”The first little piggy built his house of straw. And Wolf Blitzer huffed and he puffed…”)
    A video clip is more difficult to analyze than a still visual, but it is an interesting example of how the MSM bias the news. The story was, in theory, is “How do political campaigns vet and hire staffers?” Here is what struck me:
    –First, it is graphically very busy: different people, sets, breaking news at the bottom of the screen. Your attention is divided, and the viewer is not likely to remember anything of substance. Mostly one just forms quick emotional associations. Good! Bad! The people who watch TV news are, in general, watching TV to be entertained, not informed. So the cluttered visual is a three ring circus. We’ve seen clutter in conservative visuals on previous threads. (One wonders what is going on here?)
    –We know nothing about Mr Donahue, the President of the Catholic League, except what CNN tells us: the organization is “conservative.” We have to trust CNN’s journalistic expertise to have screened Donahue & the Catholic League. This is a classic peripheral route to persuasion. Donahue is slipped in while our attention is on something else, the hyperbole of bloggers. (Protecting the privileged access that their “expertise” provides is why the MSM have to attack the blogosphere.)
    –As the offensive words are spoken, we see the actual text–a teaching technique that is known to improve memory and recall. Even though the story is ostensibly about how bloggers are vetted and an Edwards camp early misstep, every anti-abortion American out there will take away the message that EDWARDS is pro-abortion and anti-Catholic (and probably incompetent as well, since he’ll hire unhinged lunatics like this blogger.)
    –CNN makes no effort to discriminate between an individual’s personal views, as published on a public forum such as a blog, and the views of their employer–in this case, the Edwards campaign. Given our first amendment rights to freedom of speech, one would hope that CNN would make this distinction clear especially since knowledge of blogs is still limited. But no. In light of the thought police who have emerged in the reign of GWB, that is more than a little sinister.
    –Overall, the take-away is the old conservative meme of “wild-eyed, unhinged commie liberals” even though CNN is owned by Time-Warner and is considered more “liberal” than, say, Fox news.
    And, speaking of wild-eyed liberals, what to make of CNN’s link to a related story: “Is Edwards the Howard Dean of 2008? With his anti-war stance and universal health plan, the 2004 VP nominee wants to establish himself as the progressive candidate — forcing Clinton and Obama farther left.”

  • KingElvis

    PTate – It’s funny that – to this day, the perception of Dean remains ‘leftist.’ Really, the only thing he was ‘left’ on was the Iraq War. He was a deficit hawk and endorsed by the NRA while Governor. Kucinich was quite a bit to the left of Dean.
    The only thing ‘left’ about him really was that James Carvilles of the world were threatened by him and his netroots organization.
    In the same way, the pampered princes of elite media have taken a swing at their plebian inferiors on the net…
    Yet I think they forgot that old P.T. Barnum maxim:
    “There’s no such thing as bad publicity, as long as they spell your name right.”
    Freud said there is no ‘negative’ in the unconscious mind, so maybe any attention Edwards can get to take the spotlight off of Billary and ‘bama is good for him. Likewise, just reporting on a ‘blog’ is actually turning the tables – on themselves.
    Bloggers were once all about reacting to elite TV news reports – now that’s reversed. Just look at the screen – on a computer you could ‘interact’ with that visual – here it’s just another confusing puzzle piece in the screen’s crazy quilt of graphics.

  • roooth

    “Isolate portions of any political blog, project it at this level of detail, and you’re guaranteed to offend any reactionary anybody on the opposite end of the ideological spectrum. Maybe CNN would like to try parsing Michelle Malkin, or even, say Captain’s Quarters?”
    So, when do we, and our liberal spokespeople, unite in attacking, not the Malkins and Donahues, but the media hosts who give them credibility and an unquestioning platform for their hate?
    As long as we respond to each attack, they control the message. Forget their mouthpieces, for every one we discredit, they’ll pay another 5 to spew venom. We need to relentlessly take the fight to the media and confront them.

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