NYTimes: read convention blogs to find Mencken’s ghost
Thursday, July 15th, 2004
A remarkable editorial in today’s New York Times advises readers to log on to blogs to get the scoop on the upcoming Democratic convention. See for yourself. Astonishingly candid. (Via Jeff Jarvis.) Before it disappears into the Times’ archives, I’ll copy a chunk for the scrapbook:
People who think the mushrooming world of wannabe polemicists and their Web logs, or blogs, is merely a high-tech amusement should talk to Senator Trent Lott, the Mississippi Republican.
In Web lore, bloggers are credited with relentlessly drilling Senator Lott after he expressed segregation-tinged nostalgia for the Strom Thurmond presidential campaign, a story that the major news media initially missed. Mr. Lott was subsequently forced to quit as majority leader.
Beyond its power as a source of news and commentary, the Internet has proved itself to be the ultimate fund-raising tool. Bloggers can be crass and biased, but politicians no longer scoff at their rich online realm. Hence the red carpet at the conventions ‘ at least for some of them.
The Democrats, needless to say, are already paying for their venturesome invitation. They received applications from 50 bloggers and later announced there was room for only 30. Conspiracy theories are already abounding on the blogs of the disinvited. Such is Web life. We do wonder whether a blogger’s buccaneer self-image will suffer from having to wear a garish credential necklace just to watch conventioneers as they mainly say, “Nice to see you!” to each other. Will bloggers be tamed into centrism? Or, like Mencken, will they gleefully report that the convention’s main speechmakers are “plainly on furlough from some home for extinct volcanoes”? Log on to find out.
Want to advertise on some of the convention blogs? You can advertise for the week on fifteen of the biggest for $1290. Here’s a package for your convenience. (If you know of any convention-going blogads sellers I’ve missed, please let me know and I’ll amend.) Update: here’s a completish list of all bloggers at the convention: http://www.cyberjournalist.net/news/001461.php