Simon Owens: Do you think that the political blogosphere will remain mostly a “commentary” type of media, or do you think they have the capacity to do some major investigative reporting? What kind of resources would they need to do this?
Jurassicpork: With very few exceptions, such as Media Matters and Newshounds, to name but two, I don’t think one major blogger and not many B listers got into this game to act as a watchdog or minder of the watchdogs of democracy, as Helen Thomas calls the press. I believe that the political blogosphere originally started as a platform for commentary, which it still is essentially. Don’t forget the provenance of the word “blog”: It’s a contraction for “web log” or an online diary. Diaries are typically journals of private thoughts.
However, for the first time in our nation’s history, we’re in a position to judge the probity and efficacy of the mainstream media. Blogs have broken us out of the capricious and often exclusionary forum of letters to the editor or even emails to your favorite program. And the longer we do our thing, the more people discover us.
All the same, the impression I get is that bloggers in general are not comfortable with having to be arbiters of what’s true or not true. And now I’m about to say something very surprising. It’s not our job to tell the truth. I can picture the expression on your face right now. But I’m right in that it’s not our job to tell the truth. That’s why we have a Fourth Estate. It’s their job to tell the truth instead of being mere mediums and stenographers for the government. It’s only our job to seek the truth. And if the MSM doesn’t do its job which it largely isn’t, then we will have to seek it out that much more diligently. And in some notorious cases, we have “scooped” the media.
Otherwise, there’s no blogger out there who can approach the likes of Ron Suskind, Seymour Hersh or David Brooks in terms of access or sources. And that’s the way it ought to be.
Still, the MSM largely disrespects us and even resents us for being so critical of the way they do their jobs, which is alarmingly similar to the arch, “We’re in charge and we know what we’re doing” attitude of the government. And they forget that we’re an increasingly large part of their customer base.
Very well put - and since I hold the MSM at least partly responsible for this mess we're in because they have not held up their end of the bargain, I think it's important for bloggers to hold their feet to the fire.
And JP was nice enough to list Hooterville as one of his five favorite blogs! I will try to keep up with posting, even with my book sucking up most of my thinking lately.