Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Movin' Out

A few things. First off, an amusing headline from CNN.com:

MTV cartoon draws fire as rasict
At least, that was the headline as it read around 8:50. Apparentlee, teh CNN.com frntpage neads better copi ediiting.

Which leads me to topic 2: I was interviewed by CNN today, and a brief clip of the interview appeared on Paula Zahn Now tonight. The interview lasted 10-15 minutes, but they only showed about an 8-second clip of it. The exact words shown on screen were:

I think that when it comes down to it, the atmosphere that has been created in the blogosphere is one that is just as poisonous as the atmosphere of DC consultants, where they are spinning everything in favor of their candidate.
The obligatory megacut left out much of the context of that statement. Twice, the interviewer asked me a leading question to the effect of "So, you think that the bloggers have done a disservice to the Democratic Party?" I never took the bait, so they just played one of my more direct criticisms of the blogosphere. I think the blogosphere has the potential to revolutionize politics for the better, and we have already seen the seeds of that this year. But we've also seen some pretty rotten seeds get planted alongside them.

I think the intentions of the blogosphere are good, but the tactics of some of its members are questionable. The blogosphere's elite claims to be part of a people-powered movement seeking to introduce a new kind of politics into the American political system. But their tactics of "highlight if it helps, ignore if it doesn't, and spin everything" is eerily similar to that of DC consultants.

A root cause of this is the fact that the blogosphere to date has been pretty strictly divided based on ideology. There are the liberal blogs and the conservative blogs. There is some variation of opinion within each, but neither of the two spheres interact with each other, except to snipe and insult the other across the internet.

It's kind of like a group of 6-year old boys building a fort where only boys are allowed, then crawling inside their fort just to talk about how stupid the girls are, and to occassionally throw a water balloon at a passing girl (or at a boy who dares to hang out with girls). Since they only really talk with other "real" boys while they're in the fort, they become convinced that most boys agree with them, and deride any boy who doesn't as a sissy.

Seriously, that's about the maturity level of the blogosphere at the moment. Many of them show signs of maturity, but the group as a whole needs to grow up a lot more before it can reach it's full potential.

That's the goal of the blog that will be launched soon by Sundog and myself - to provide a blog where people of differing opinions discuss real issues in a thoughtful fashion, and talk with other instead of at each other.

The name of the final site is still TBD (we have several URLs reserved, but need to pick which one to use). Until then, here's the temporary URL while the new site is being chosen and designed:

http://demprogress.blogspot.com/

Sundog and I will be posting our thoughts there over the next week or two while the new site is being completed. If you are interested in being a contributor to the new blog, send me an email with a brief (500 words or less) writing sample and a summary of your political views. And yes, the name of the temp blog is a nod to the recently-formed "GOP Progress" website designed to get Republicans who don't want to toe the line demanded by the more hardline elements of the conservative blogosphere.

The first posts on the new blog will be up shortly. Hope to see you all there.

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