Saturday, July 27, 2002


Like talk radio, the grassroots-ness of blogging seems to have given it a right-wing slant. This has to do, recently, with patriotic reflexes after September 11, and more broadly, with the perception that the media is liberal. I've ranted a lot before (here's a bit ) that while reporters typically vote for Democrats, the function of their work is not necessarily to liberalize the nation (if it were, the media would look at LOT different, and wouldn't make as much money for big corporations). Still, there is a function in grassroots bloggers keeping the institutional media accountable both for reporting errors and what I call cliches of vision--cookie cutter stories that ignore other ways of framing an issue and event.

Andrew Sullivan is usually cited as Exhibit A in the blogging revolution. His blog has thousands of readers a day (one of the few to have more than a hundred hits a day). A former writer for The New Republic, New York Times Magazine, and frequent contributor to the Sunday Times of London, Sullivan supplements his essay writing with daily mini-commentaries and reader e-mail at his weblog. I was first interested in Sullivan when I learned he was an openly gay conservative, which you don't see every day. I've been disappointed, though, at how predictable he has been since September 11--reliably cheerleading for the Bush Administration every time they open their mouths. What's the use of that? InstaPundit, the other major news weblog, is also slanted to the right, but is more flexibile in representing other points of view. The irony is these weblogs have arisen to respond to the narrow-minded institutional media, but liberal blogs like mine are arising to yap at the heels of the massive Weblog-istoctracy of Sullivan and InstaPundit's Glenn Reynold's.

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