Conservative Blogs and Democrats: Perfect Together
Instapundit links to a Goldstein piece in response to this by John Cole. Both latter posts are long and well thought out, but neither can loose the bonds of pure rhetoric to which so much of blogging is confined. That’s a critical task which new and emergent organizations like Pajama Media and Blogger News Network are finally meant to accomplish.
Cole takes the position that individuals like Hugh Hewitt do more harm than good with their constant criticism of the MSM’s motives.
Reporting on abuses that have been committed by our troops, in our name, is not anti-military. While I am not arrogant enough to attempt to divine the motives of every journalist who reports on such abuses, Hugh appears to be up to the challenge.
Goldstein comes closest to the mark here:
clearly, honest reporting of actual U.S. government and military missteps is one of the roles of a free press, and any truly honest reporting show a willingness to note successes in a tone that isn’t quite so obviously gruding.
But then understandably can’t help but fall into the same rhetorical trap in which most blogs and bloggers, including this one, often find themselves trapped.
Thinking back to the 2004 Presidential election, I believe a critical difference between the two campaign strategies was the Republicans were determined to stand for something, while the Dems were just as determined to stand against seemingly everything, without putting up an alternative plan or vision.
Those campaign tactics now seem to have followed them right into the Congress and will likely hand them a Newt Gingrich-like defeat at the mid-term polls. By and large, Americans do not much care for obstructionism.
The Dems suffer from a pure statistical minority status. However, while the pure number of bloggers might actually rival the number of individuals making up the MSM, their disadvantage has more to do with organization and resources than pure number.
Fox News has not realized its significant growth because it riffs on CNN and ABC fodder everyday. It has developed into a MSM organization with its own view and brand while market dynamics have revealed a vast audience for its content. I suspect the same would or will be true when blogs finally get around to generating original news content, as opposed to a rehash of the day’s MSM offerings.
I’m not faulting Goldstein or Cole, there’s more right than wrong in both their essays. But until blogs develop into a form capable of genuinely reporting news, as well as standing for and not just against something, they’re destined to occupy a compartmentalized fringe on both sides of the political equation.
The vast majority of Americans are moderate with no particular ideological anchor when it comes to politics. And they are and will continue to be welcoming to balanced reporting of Fox’s "fair and balanced" variety.
Unfortunately, currently lacking in organization and resources to be what they can and likely will be – a true alternative media; by default, even talented and resourceful bloggers are often left to simply rhetoric. And rhetoric is always more readily and often consumed by the converted, as opposed to the neutral.
Right or Left, to effect real change, blogs will have to do better then simply talking to the mostly like-minded. The development of new approaches and organizations like those mentioned above can make then happen.