In the midst of a Salon article discussing Republicans listening far too seriously to a right-wing blowhard, there’s this:
This is one of the reasons why politics is basically impossible. Can you imagine if the Democrats only ever read Kos and watched Ed Schultz? That would make a lot of bloggers happy, sure, but most elected Democrats are actively repulsed by liberal commentators. They read “objective” newspapers and listen to NPR, while Republicans mainline the same noxious, misleading propaganda as their base. (I mean, Mitch McConnell probably reads grown-up newspapers, but Republicans have not seemed very interested in Mitch McConnell’s debt ceiling plan.)
Hm. It leaves the question of what role we lowly bloggers and commentators play. It’s true that liberal/conservative blogging is a largely insulated atmosphere full of circle-jerks and self-congratulation. Just sit around reading blogs that lean the way you think and not only will you spend tragically little time second-guessing yourself but you’ll also likely get all of your news bent.
Which isn’t to say commentators are an inherently bad thing. I’ve always considered blogging and the like to act as a sort of “sieve”, if done right. My goal with this site isn’t to sit and twist things to help Democrats. I don’t give a shit about Democrats in the abstract. Rather, I comb through news and pull out things that jump out at me and are worth reading or looking at, plus giving the appropriate sources so you can go and take a look for yourself. That way we can have someone like Zach who goes into the links, reads, and can offer his own opinion on it.
To that end, I see blogging as a good bit of a different animal. The problem with television and physical print opinion pieces is the lack of sourcing. When Bill O’Reilly or Rachel Maddow tell you something you can either accept it or reject it based on whether you feel like trusting the person talking. A newspaper has no links to other newspapers, so when Charles Krauthammer or Paul Krugman shows up in their respective physical papers and tells you the economy is doing this or that, well you can either trust or not. Blogs offer the ability (ideally) to read and check out the sources so you can decide for yourself if I’m full of shit or not. I probably am a lot of the time, but hey, I’m just a guy.
So, by all means, hang around whether you agree with me or not, and for the love of pete leave a comment if you have something to add or just want to tell me I’m a liberal toolbox. The dynamic nature of blogging is what makes it. And remember, just because you read a headline or a blurb on here doesn’t mean to just accept it on blind faith. Click that link, read that article, watch that video. That’s why I link them. And by all means, link alternative sources. I’m here to learn just as much as talk.