Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, August 04, 2021

Interesting assessment of the state of poli-blogging in an article looking at the influence of bloggers in the Joe Lieberman-Ned Lamont Democratic primary in Connecticut:

“Too much of what passes for political commentary in the blogosphere is pretty juvenile and petulant, and that’s not the way you persuade people,” [Joe Lieberman campaign aide Dan Gerstein] said. “If the blogging community is going to have a real impact, they’re going to have to have a reckoning soon about their place in the real political world, because in that world there’s a caricature of them as being dominated by crazies.”

As opposed to, say, the sane voices on talk radio and television shoutfest shows?

Not that I’m disputing Gerstein’s statement, nor am I coming to the defense of the blogs. It’s true: They’re often nothing but glorified message boards, with the subject of individual posts scarcely mattering to the trolls that populate their commenting sections.

But that’s the case with all media. The shrillest voices will always attract a disproportionate amount of attention. This is especially acute in the polarizing arena of politics. No one flips on the radio or visits a website looking for sober, reasoned exposition — that’s boring, and takes too long to absorb. People look for entertainment in their civic discourse, and the soundbite/infobite electronic media is tailor-made for that. (I think when/if people want to take a serious look at issues, they sit down and read a newspaper or magazine, online or off.)

Which, depending on your outlook, casts poli-blogging in a rather revealing light: An outlet no more guilty of immaturity than any other, but at the same time, not particularly groundbreaking.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 08/04/2021 01:25 PM
Category: Bloggin', Media, Politics
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2 Feedbacks »
  1. You ain’t kidding about discourse as entertainment - that’s probably the only way to explain how I wound up on a major candidate’s campaign blogroll. I’m not sure about entertaining, but I’m sure as heck not taking much of it seriously.

    I guess it’s easier to dismiss the bloggers because most of them aren’t classically trained in journalism or politics. Then again that might make the tomfoolery in mainstream media all the more shameful.

    I’m honestly pretty pragmatic about the whole thing - even if most of it is reactionary falderol (I’m big on the old-timey phrases), at least people are talking. Most might disagree, but I’d rather see ignorant passion that informed apathy.

    Comment by Joel — 08/04/2021 @ 5:33 PM

  2. You’ve arrived as the blog powerbroker on the Tampa Bay scene! Try not to pull a Tammany Hall maneuver.

    Wish I could agree about the “ignorant passion” over “informed apathy” — good phraseology, btw — but as anti-democratic/elitist as it sounds, I find it hard to stomach idiocy that ensues.

    Comment by CT — 08/04/2021 @ 6:17 PM

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