Happy Blogiversary

by digby

No not this one. Apparently, this is the tenth anniversary of "the blog" and the Wall Street Journal asked a bunch of people what it all means. Luckily, they also interviewed some actual bloggers, including our gal Jane Hamsher:

During the '90s, railing at the TV set was the isometric sport of the silent majority. Progressive political junkies watched in isolation as the Washington Post prominently printed one Whitewater story after another as if they originated on tablets of stone rather than the fax machines of Arkansas political operatives. Many people felt like they were the only ones who scratched their heads in wonder that it all made no sense, recoiling in horror as a slick PR operation rapidly escalated from the realm of lazy, spoon-fed journalism to the constitutional mockery of the Clinton impeachment.

That isolation ended with the advent of the progressive blogosphere, which acts as a virtual water cooler for those who not only want to rail at the TV set, they want the TV set to listen. Probably nothing better contrasts the pre- and postblogospheric worlds than the Whitewater and CIA leak stories. In one, the endless repetition of meaningless gibberish was allowed to take root and become conventional wisdom. In the other, despite the constant reiteration of abject fantasies like "no underlying crime was committed," the public seemed to realize that it's not okay to perjure yourself in front of a grand jury and obstruct justice on behalf of your boss. Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald was allowed to try his case in court before GOP spinmeisters could try it in the press, and a recent Gallup poll shows that 66% of the country thinks Bush should've left Scooter alone to do his time.

That message wasn't carried by the beltway Brahmins of the MSM, the media elite who transcend party loyalties and embrace Libby as one of their own. They collectively bristled at the thought that Scooter (and no doubt themselves) should be subject to the verdict of some "ignorant jury" (as Ann Coulter likes to call them). No, that message was carried by bloggers and their readers, the thousands of people who collectively pored over the story's coverage, serving as institutional memory and holding media outlets to account when the politics of access journalism threaten to obscure the truth.

At a time when government is in desperate need of oversight and the Fourth Estate has become uncomfortably close with those they are tasked with covering, the progressive blogosphere is a place where erstwhile Howard Beales coalesce to fill the gap. They come together to challenge the virulent Rovian notion that no law is so sacred, no tenet of national security so vital it can't be flouted in the pursuit of political gain. Scooter and other hermetically sealed beltway denizens may think he's a hero, but the rest of the country realizes he's nothing better than a garden variety crook.

It ain't perfect, but it's progress.


For something completely different read the unintentionally funny entry by Tom Wolfe who rails on and on about rumors and Wikipedia, (apparently thinking it has something to do with blogs) because the entry on him featured something untrue. Then he winds up with this:

Favorite blogs: Mr. Wolfe, "weary of narcissistic shrieks and baseless 'information,'" says he no longer reads blogs.

Poor dear.

And thanks for the kudos, Jane. All those WSJ readers are going to love my blog!